The Regional Parks System is turning the big 4 – 0 this year, and the parks have never looked better!
Born in 1974 with the stroke of a pen, 31,000 acres of parks and open space became part of a Regional Parks System that has grown to almost 55,000 acres today. Park and trail visits soared from 5 million in 1975 to more than 46 million today. Needless to say the system is loved.
Parks system has grown and will keep growing
Since its creation in 1974, the Regional Parks System continues to grow and improve. There are 52 regional parks and park reserves, 7 special recreation features including Como Zoo and Conservatory, and 40 regional trails with a total of more than 300 miles open to the public.
But wait, there’s more! By 2030, the system will expand to over 70,000 acres and triple the trail system to almost 1,000 miles. The goal will continue to be to preserve significant natural resources such as lakeshores, wetlands, hardwood forests, native prairies, and groundwater recharge areas, and to make trails as interconnected as possible.
Parks and trails and lakes (and a zoo too) oh my!
With so many regional parks in the seven-county region you could visit a different one every weekend for a year and still not see all of them – and that’s not even including the trails. Activities abound for every season, every interest, every age, and every ability. Some parks feature art classes, environmental education, and recreation instruction such as ski lessons and horseback riding.
The parks would take a selfie if they could
The regional parks look so good, they are worthy of selfies. Here is where you come in. Take a photo while participating in your favorite park-related activity and tag it with #lookinggoodat40 on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for a chance to be featured by us.
Help us celebrate the 40th birthday of the regional treasure known as Our Regional Parks. Take a hike, ride a bike, go for a dip, blade, run, stroll, picnic, play, toss… and tag it with #lookinggoodat40.
See a map of the Regional Parks System.