Our History


Minneapolis Swims began informally in 2006 in Minneapolis to provide swimming lessons and outdoor recreation opportunities for inner-city children. A group of friends became acquainted with the neighborhood children and their friends. As a group, the adults enjoyed swimming, camping, hiking and biking and talked about these activities with the children. The children wanted to participate. With their parent’s permission, the adults began bringing neighborhood children to area private pools and teaching them to swim, then taking them swimming, camping, hiking, and biking. Minneapolis Swims grew from serving a few children the first year to serving approximately thirty children per year. The requests by children to participate in swimming and outdoor adventures grew and we realized we needed to create an organization to increase our capacity to serve more children.

Minneapolis Swims officially incorporated as a non-profit in 2009. In March of 2010 the Phillips Community Center swimming pool, owned by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB), was one week away from being filled with concrete. Minneapolis Swims rallied the community to save the pool. We spent the next year successfully negotiating with the MPRB to the terms of the lease agreement for the pool and the fundraising goals for the capitol improvements and operating endowment. Minneapolis Swims will enter into a long-term lease with the MPRB for the swimming pool pending a successful fundraising campaign.

Currently Minneapolis Swims is in a major fundraising campaign to fund the capital improvements, the operating endowment, and interim programming. We have a dedicated and growing group of volunteers involved in this effort to help us save this pool for the community. Join us to ensure that all Minneapolis children have the opportunity to learn to swim.