Regional Parks Policy Plan

Public hearing & comment period

The Met Council wants to hear from you. Here are some ways you can participate. Comment on the plan through Monday, October 30 at 5 p.m.


The 2040 Regional Parks Policy Plan outlines the Metropolitan Council's goals and strategies for the development of our world-class regional parks. It describes how the regional parks system will be developed and operated to support Thrive MSP 2040 goals.

The Met Council adopted the current plan in 2018.

New in August 2020: A draft amendment to the policy plan

The Met Council proposes to add, modify, or expand 26 parks and trails to the regional parks system, along with new policies. The proposed update overview has background and a summary of the significant plan changes.

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6 things to know about the 2020 update

  • 26 new and expanded regional parks, trails, special recreation features, and search areas for future parks, trails, and trail extensions
  • New special recreation feature — bridging facilities
  • New policy for regional park and trail boundary adjustments
  • Requiring an equity analysis for parks and trails master plans
  • Policy clarifications and updates
  • Studies and analysis to update policy in the future

Areas for you to provide comment about the plan

  1. Adding parks and trails — Following record use of the regional parks system in 2019, the Met Council’s plans to add parks and trails to the system are reinforced. People use the region’s parks for connecting with family and friends, building community, picnicking, camping, hiking, biking, and being in nature, among other popular activities.

  2. Reconsidering history — The regional parks system’s parks and trails are on lands that the Anishinaabe people and the Dakota people have long cared for and called home. The lands hold great historical, spiritual, and personal significance for these original stewards, the Tribal nations, and the peoples of the region. The Metropolitan Council, in partnership with the 10 regional parks implementing agencies, seeks to honor this history through land acknowledgment and broader regional conversation.

  3. Equitable access — The regional parks system will gain a new type of special recreation feature called a “bridging facility” with this update. The goal of this facility will be to ensure our parks encourage broader participation by people of different races, ethnicities, national origins, ages, abilities and income. This update will also consider establishing a “water trail” park providing safe places for people to paddle creeks and rivers in the region.

  4. Climate resilience — Trees are the lungs of the atmosphere, cleaning the air of pollutants for a more resilient future climate. Parkland plays a significant role in mitigating climate change — keeping us healthy, protecting water, providing habitats, moderating temperature, and teaching future generations about nature. By expanding the regional parks system, we’re fighting pollution, managing water, and providing critical habitats.

Other regional plans

The regional development guide, Thrive MSP 2040, sets the policy foundations for systems and policy plans developed by the Council. In addition to the parks policy plan, see: