Regional Parks Policy Plan

2040 Regional Parks Policy Plan

The 2040 Regional Parks Policy Plan outlines the Metropolitan 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 Council adopted the 2040 Regional Parks Policy Plan (PDF, 123 pages) on November 28, 2018. This update builds on the significant policy plan update completed in 2015.

The plan strives to build upon the existing good work of our partners to advance equity by committing to several strategies designed to strengthen equitable use of the Regional Park System. A study conducted by Council staff in 2014, Regional Park Use Among Select Communities of Color (PDF), along with feedback from 400 individuals across the region, informed and refined the strategies outlined in our 2040 plan.

Parks support vibrant communities and healthy people

Parks Policy Plan Summary coverParks are critical to our region's current and future livability, sustainability, stewardship and prosperity. Our region is expected to grow by 800,000 more people by 2040. The planned regional parks and trails will enable residents to enjoy a variety of new park experiences throughout the region.

Policies and strategies for regional parks include:

  • Expanding the regional parks system to conserve, maintain, and connect natural resources identified as being of high quality or having regional importance.

  • Providing a comprehensive regional park and trail system that preserves high-quality natural resources, increases climate resiliency, fosters healthy outcomes, connects communities, and enhances quality of life in the region.

  • Promoting expanded, multimodal access to regional parks, regional trails and the transit network, where appropriate.

  • Strengthening equitable use of regional parks and trails by all our region’s residents, such as across age, race, ethnicity, income, national origin and ability.

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: