The Minnehaha Bunny has served as a gateway landmark for the Hale, Page and Diamond Lake Neighborhoods in South Minneapolis since its creation by Jeffrey Barber in 2002. But the huge bronze rabbit has become so much more than that.
It is a destination in itself, delighting children and adults with its whimsical and relaxed pose. It is a neighborhood icon that invites you to interact with it. And people do. Kids of all ages love to sit, climb, snuggle, pet and talk to it. “Let’s meet at The Bunny” is a common refrain for residents strolling or biking in the area.
Located at the intersection of Minnehaha Parkway and Portland Avenue, The Minnehaha Bunny receives gifts year-round from admirers. In winter, she often sports a huge scarf around the neck and long stocking caps on each ear. I say “she” because when Spring comes, she is typically surrounded by hand-made baby bunnies. The ones in this picture were created by students at nearby Hale School. And in an amusing role reversal, people bring decorated eggs to The Bunny at Easter.
The statue’s creator gave it the formal name of “Cottontail on the Trail”, but The Minnehaha Bunny is its true name. And the statue’s true purpose is to make people stop and have some fun. Or at a minimum, to smile as they pass by. At least that’s how I see it.