Messages from the Council Chair

Making our regional parks even better

August 2018

Hiking across scenic prairies, enjoying swimming in the water on hot summer days, cycling through forests, and observing wildlife — these are just some of the many reasons our regional parks system saw more than 58 million visits in 2017. That’s a new record. To put that number in perspective, that’s twice the number of annual visits to Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon combined.

Council Chair Alene TchourumoffSince the Minnesota Legislature charged the Metropolitan Council with acquiring land for regional parks and funding their development more than 50 years ago. Today, we continue to work closely with the cities and individual park boards who own and operate those parks. Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Dakota County and Silverwood Park in St. Anthony are just two examples of the special places that draw people from across the metro and the state. Each park is unique, offering a different look at the beauty, ecological diversity and cultural heritage of the Twin Cities region.

Regional parks preserve natural resources and provide recreational and educational opportunities to our residents. They support our quality of life!

I believe we can do even better as we move forward. Every four years the Council updates the region’s parks policy plan. Right now, we are taking input on the next update, and we will hold a public hearing on the draft update on September 17.

The 2040 Regional Parks Policy Plan includes policies and strategies for maintaining and enhancing our parks and a system plan to guide decision-making. It also includes a five-year capital improvement program.

The feedback from our partner agencies and the people who visit and use our parks is an important part of the process as we move forward. Learn more about the parks plan update and how to comment. We hope to hear from you soon.

Alene Tchourumoff

Learn more about our regional parks.