Partnerships have created great park system
One of the best parts of my job is getting out to see people enjoying the regional parks and trails. The Council works with park agencies across the seven-county metro area, helping to plan for and fund park and trail expansions and enhancements. The result is ever-growing opportunities for people to recreate, gather, and experience Minnesota outdoors.
This work enhances the quality of life for everyone in the region and people are taking advantage of the opportunities. We are serving record numbers of visitors—close to 49 million in 2014. That’s up 1.5 million visits from the previous year and an increase of 15 million visits from 2005.
The parks are gaining popularity, in part, because of our valuable partnerships with the 10 park agencies across the region. Working collaboratively with Dakota County and the Three Rivers Park District we were able to open two new parks in 2014: Whitetail Woods Regional Park and Kingswood Special Recreation Feature.
In 2014 we also added 15 additional miles of recreational trails. This commitment to collaboration and improvement will ensure that our regional parks draw even more visitors in the future.
Looking ahead, we are also committed to working with our partners to reach out to people and communities that traditionally have not been park users. In some cases that involves asking for the perspectives of new immigrant populations as we design parks, as well as providing them information about the existing parks and trails. At other times it may involve improving transit connections to the parks.
As we move forward we are committed to ensuring that our parks are welcoming to everyone in the region.