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Tim Phenow, Three Decades of Planning Maple Grove Parks

Tim Phenow

MAPLE GROVE, Minnesota  (Channel 12 – Northwest Community Television)

When Tim Phenow takes his grandchildren to enjoy some of Maple Grove’s parks and recreation programs in the years ahead, Phenow will be reaping the rewards of 35 years spent volunteering on the Maple Grove Park Board, helping to plan the city’s parks and recreation system.

Phenow, who has spent the last 20 years as park board chair, will retire at the end of the month after overseeing the city’s park system since 1981.

“None of this would be possible without a lot of different people, and all of the park boards now and in the past,” said Phenow. “It’s been a great experience and a lot of fun.”

In more than three decades worth of service, Phenow has seen facility additions in Maple Grove that include the 165,000 square foot Community Center, the Town Green Bandshell, and most recently the $16 million, multi-seasonal Central Park which includes 45 acres complete with an ice skating loop, water splash pad, pickleball and basketball courts.

“All the things that have been done in this system are amazing under his tenure,” said Terry Just, Maple Grove’s Park and Recreation Director. “It’s kind of mixed emotions that we’re letting him leave, sad he’ll be gone and not be there for his leadership, but joyful for his legacy.”

During Phenow’s 35 years on the park board, Maple Grove’s park and recreation programs have exploded from 69 in 1981 to 925 programs this year with more than 51,000 people participating annually.

Quick to credit other city council members and city staff, Phenow says he’s pleased to have had the opportunity to help plan and create outdoor spaces and facilities for others to enjoy.

“There’s just a satisfaction that anybody who volunteers feels when they give back,” said Phenow.

Alexandra Renslo reporting
Twitter: @alexrenslo

December 8, 2015