The Commons is a community asset for the Village of Excelsior, theSouth Lake community, and the entire Twin Cities region, but funding and maintenance for it falls largely on the local community. Simply put, the Commonsis now a regional destination that is still funded as a city park. This model creates challenges for sustaining the Commons in a way that will be reliable for the long-term. It also limits the ability to fund improvements that might make the space more enjoyable for residents and visitors alike.
Anyone who has visited the Commons knows that it is a unique place that only exists due to the foresight of Excelsior’s early settlers. But the signs of wear are visible — the vegetation, facilities, utilities, etc. — as the park experiences continually high demand relative to its ongoing funding base.
Community for the Commons is focused on creating a funding and planning mechanism thatbroadens the level of long-term support for the Commons, while keeping its formal governance local. This kind of public / private partnership has proven highly successful in maintaining and improving other parks across the country.