The Metropolitan Council has approved an update to the 2040 Regional Parks Policy Plan, which includes modest policy changes and an updated system plan.
The 2040 Regional Parks Policy Plan outlines the Council's goals and strategies for the development of our world-class regional parks. It reflects the regional vision set forth in Thrive MSP 2040, and describes how the Regional Parks System will be developed and operated to support Thrive MSP goals.
The parks policy plan, which is required by state law, must be updated every four years. The current plan was initially adopted in 2015; it includes policies, strategies and a system plan to guide the Regional Parks System. It also includes estimated costs for acquisition and development, and a five-year capital improvement program.
The plan update focuses on stewardship of the Regional Parks System and maintaining or enhancing the system. Since the region is in the middle of its planning cycle, any major updates to the plan would likely come with the next revision in a few years.
The Regional Parks System is one of the region’s most popular features, attracting an all-time high 58.3 million visitors in 2017. The system includes 55 regional parks and park reserves, totaling more than 54,000 acres, nearly 400 miles of interconnected trails and 8 special recreation features.
Ten park agencies own and operate the parks in the regional system. The Council is responsible for long-term system planning, investment and coordination.