Residents of the Twin Cities metropolitan region now have the opportunity to provide feedback on the draft 2040 Regional Parks Policy Plan update. On Wednesday, July 25, the Council voted to release the draft plan for public comment. Since the 2040 plan was adopted in 2015, the plan has new policy modifications, and an updated system plan. See highlights of the parks plan update (1 page, pdf).
“Parks are the cornerstone of community,” said Council Chair Alene Tchourumoff. “They lend insights into who we are and what we value; places where we come together as family, friends, and neighbors to recreate and celebrate, or escape to experience the quiet and tranquility of our treasured natural environment.
Council staff have engaged members of the community through focus groups and surveys to inform parks policy decisions on recreational activities and investments.
See the Regional Parks Policy Plan Community Engagement Summary (6 pages, pdf).
“Public input on this plan is critical to assuring our region’s parks continue to be the popular destination they are for the region’s residents and visitors.”
Public hearing and ways to comment
The Council will host a public hearing on Monday, Sept. 17, beginning at 4 p.m, at the Metropolitan Council Chambers, 390 Robert Street North in Saint Paul.
Public comment will be accepted through Thursday, Sept. 27 at 5 p.m. as follows:
Mail: Metropolitan Council Public Information, 390 Robert St. N., St. Paul, MN 55101
Record a comment on the Public Comment Line: 651-602-1500
Focus on stewardship and maintaining/enhancing current system
As required by state law, the Council prepared the 2040 Regional Parks Policy Plan, which was adopted in 2015; it must be updated every four years. It includes policies, strategies, and a system plan that guides the Regional Parks System. It also includes estimated costs for acquisition and development, and a five-year capital improvement program. Its goals are guided by Thrive MSP 2040, the region’s vision for the future.
Following the public comment period, the Council will revise the plan and release the final Regional Parks Policy Plan Update later this year.
Annual regional parks visits top 58 million in 2017
The official number of visits to regional parks and trails in the Twin Cities reached an all-time high of 58.3 million in 2017. The regional 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.
The Regional Park System is operated by 10 park agencies, which own and operate the parks in the regional system. The Council is responsible for long-term system planning, investment and coordination.
Posted In: Parks, Planning