The Mpls Downtown Improvement District (DID) today announced the public voting for the 10th annual Greening & Public Realm Awards is now open.

The Greening Awards, a DID initiative since 2010, celebrate outstanding examples of greening and placemaking that improve public space in Downtown Minneapolis. Winners will be selected by public vote at The vote will be open Aug. 27 through Sept. 13.

This year, 42 finalists were selected from more than 110 nominee submissions through an interactive public nomination process. These finalists were divided into 12 categories based on the project’s characteristics and size.  Among the finalists selected were 14 new nominees—a continued sign of the growing diversity of greening in the downtown area—as well as 15 past winners. Six of last year’s 12 winners are nominated again this year—including nine-time winner Loring Greenway.

“Each year our greening awards finalists represent the best of the best public and private greening we enjoy here in our downtown,” said Steve Cramer, Mpls Downtown Improvement District President & CEO. “We appreciate all the efforts done to enhance our downtown environment. The work being done throughout our community help make our downtown vibrant, welcoming and extraordinary.”

Winners will receive a commemorative Greening Award created by Wood from the Hood, a Minneapolis-based company that reclaims discarded trees from urban neighborhoods and creates high-quality wood products. Each award will display the year the award was issued.

The DID Greening Awards are intended to inspire all to work toward making downtown greener and more vibrant. DID’s mission through the Greening Awards is to encourage all downtown businesses and organizations to participate in the greening effort.

The public is encouraged to vote by visiting and clicking on the interactive vote link. Each category will showcase the finalists along with a photo of each location for easy viewing and identification. This year’s 12 categories include the following finalists:

Small Activated Space

  • Gethsemane Community Garden
  • Mill City Farmers Market*
  • Open Book Parklet*

Small Green Space

  • Gateway Park*
  • Hennepin Healthcare Pocket Park
  • RSM Plaza – Pocket Park*
  • WCCO Plaza

Large Activated Space

  • The Commons
  • Hennepin County Government Center
  • Loring Park
  • Nicollet

Large Green Space

  • Gold Medal Park
  • Loring Greenway
  • Peavey Plaza
  • Triangle Park

Façade Greening

  • Borealis North Loop Apartments*
  • Lenox Brownstones
  • The Local

Public Art

  • Hennepin Theatre Trust – It’s the People public art project*
  • Nimbus*
  • Radical Playground*

Outdoor Café

  • Bachelor Farmer Café Ally
  • Barrio*
  • The Freehouse*
  • The News Room


  • Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel, The Depot*
  • Grant Park Median*
  • HQ Apartments

Streetscape Infrastructure

  • Hennepin-Lyndale Crossroads
  • Minneapolis Convention Center
  • North Loop Washington Avenue*

Entryway Greening

  • Canopy by Hilton*
  • Cynthia Froid Group
  • Demi (Parking Lot)*
  • The Marquette Hotel

Public Realm Improvement

  • Peavey Plaza
  • RSM Plaza – Pocket Park
  • Open Book Parklet
  • Grant Park Median
  • Borealis North Loop Apartments
  • Barrio
  • Nimbus
  • Radical Playground
  • Hennepin Theatre Trust – It’s the People public art project

Best Neighborhood

  • Downtown East
  • Downtown West
  • Elliot Park
  • Loring Park
  • North Loop

*-First-time finalist

The public is encouraged to not only vote on a winner for each category but to also celebrate greening on social media year-round. Send your greening photos to @MplsDID on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #GreenAwardsMpls.

For more information, visit