Monday, April 9, 2007

How to stake your claim on a Minneapolis lake

Walking round the lakes yesterday, you might have wondered when the friendly sailboats will make their spring debut, bobbing and jingling on their buoys. In fact, vague sailboat gestures have long been the official logo of the City of Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board—a situation that the politicians are threatening to tamper with, apparently to avoid more challenging work.

You might be surprised at how easy it is to get a buoy to your own name on Lakes Harriet, Calhoun, or Nokomis. It goes like this: Tomorrow night, the MPRB holds its annual lottery at Lynnhurst Community Recreation Center. If you get your application filed by end of day today, you will in all likelihood be able to park your boat on the lake of your choice, effectively making one of the city's great amenities your own personal cruising ground.

City residents pay just $300 for the whole season, and in recent years there have been unoccupied berths well into August. (Suburbanites, you gotta cough up an extra Benjamin.) Once you're in the system, you have priority the following season—or you can jump to another lake, depending on whether you've hit your mid-life crisis and you're feeling more Calhoun than Harriet.

Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board sailboat buoy lottery,

Photo by Dan H,

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