The Center for Changing Landscapes at the University of MN has focused on large linear regional infrastructure (state trails, transit corridors, scenic byways, and highways), their local connections, and the communities along them in rural, suburban, and urban landscapes.
The National Recreation and Park Association's Park Metrics are the most comprehensive source of data standards and insights for park and recreation agencies. These agency performance resources assist park and recreation professionals in the effective management and planning of their operating resources and capital facilities. This suite of tools allows park and recreation agencies to build customized reports that allow for comparisons with peer agencies.
Remedy at least one connectivity break by, for example, completing a missing trail section, acquiring a high quality natural area, a priority stormwater management area, vacant space in a high amenity/redevelopment area, a rail corridor. Report remedies for street-to-trail gaps (between city streets and off-road trails/bike trails) under best practice action 11.5.
Remedy at least 3 connectivity breaks; fund trails out of adjacent street assessments; sign at least one shared use agreement with a school that allows public use of school outdoor facilities outside of school hours.
Remedy/plan/budget for 75% or more of the gaps; add a walking/biking trail that connects your city to a key destination/area/trail outside the city.
Who's doing it
Bloomington - 3 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed:
In 2008 Bloomington adopted an Alternative Transportation Plan with a goal to increase use of non-motorized transportation in the City. Since that time the City, in collaboration with other agencies (Metropolitan Council, Hennepin County, Three Rivers Park District, and others), has initiated a number of planning and implementation projects to further pedestrian and bicycle transportation in and around Bloomington. Highlights of these efforts include the 86th Street Multi-Modal Traffic Study, plans for the Nokomis-Minnesota River Regional Trail, the Old Cedar Avenue Bridge reconstruction, Hyland Trail Project, and the 2012 adoption of a Complete Streets Policy. The Alternative transportation plan was updated in 2016.
The city of Chanhassen implements an annual Park and Trail Acquisition and Development Capital Improvement Program. Additionally, the city maintains a Parks and Recreation System Inventory. These documents identify park deficient areas, trail gaps, trail crossing safety concerns, capital improvement projects, existing conditions, vision and guiding principles, initiatives and funding options. The city has a shared use agreement with the local school district for public use of outdoor facilities outside of school hours. The city has partnered with the school to build facilities such as hockey rink, tennis and pickleball courts, warming house and ball fields. The city has also prioritized building and connecting public walking/biking trails to regional LRT trails and trails connecting to neighboring communities.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The park inventory shows the establishment of a neighborhood park within ½ mile of each household, connected by a series of trails and sidewalks
In 2013 the City passed a $17.4 million park bond referendum. Part of this plan includes identifying gaps in the trails and specifically sidewalks in the city. This referendum will be used to address and fix those issues in years to come in conjunction with other park improvement projects.
In the last 5 years several notable projects remedied gaps in our trail sidewalk trail system. Southwest grade school had a fragmented sidewalk system virtually making it impossible for safe pedestrian accessibility for childrem walking to school. Solar powered crosswalks signage,a pedestrian bridge and 1.5 miles of trails and sidewalks to connect the school and Grussendorf Park to the neighborhoods in the SW quadrant of town. In 1999 an Orderly Annexation Plan was developed and passed to annex the rural areas of Grand Rapids Township into the City of Grand Rapids. Over four miles of paved trails were developed in our largest annexed area to connect the Horseshoe lake/Isleview area of road pedestrian travel to the amenities of the City Of Grand Rapids. This travel as developed into one of our most popular recreational pedestrian trails. Crystal Lake Park was an open space park without any connectivity between North Pokegama Ave and 1st Ave NE sidewalks. A concrete sidewalk was placed through Crystal Lake Park to aconnecat the two sidewalks. A major project which took multi projects and several years to complete was connecting the SW,SE and NE quadrants with trails and sidewalks. This included safe travel crossing major (Highways 169S, Hwy 169N), the Mississippi River and the BNSF railroad. Now you can safely walk or bike to the gateway of the Mesabi Trail which is located in Grand Rapids. The Mesabi Trail offers an abundance of nature and outdoor experiences. You may choose to walk,hike,bike,roller blade,ski,snowshoe and in some areas snowmobile. The trail is over 150 miles long and traqverses through 25 comminities with rich significane of the Mesabi Iron Range,Forest Lands,Lakes and streams.
The City of Hutchinson is constantly improving and upgrading its systems of parks, trails, and open spaces. Notably and recently, the City partnered with the DNR to pave the section of the Luce line trail passing through the City. This improvement, in combination with nearby communities contributions has not only provided better trails within the community, but also has helped expand accessibility to those surrounding communities by bicycle and other forms of alternative transportation.
The City of Inver Grove Heights received SHIP funding to complete a Trail Gaps Study (2011). This study highlighted areas that lack connectivity between trails and sidewalks. Since this study, the City of Inver Grove Heights has eliminated at least 4 gaps (see attached map - Eliminated Gaps: G-1, H, P, part of R, U) highlighted by the study. The study is reviewed on a regular basis by engineering and parks and recreation departments during redevelopment, development, and street reconstruction projects.
The City of Inver Grove Heights has eliminated connectivity gaps to the Mississippi Regional trail, which leads to other cities such as Rosemount and South St. Paul. Additionally the City is adding local trail segments to connect to the Mendota-Lebanon Hills Greenway, which will connect Lebanon Hills Regional Park to the North Urban Regional Trail.
We are currently in the 2nd phase of the Wagon Wheel Trail along the Mississippi and we have received final approval for the third phase which will be a million dollar plus bridge connection for pedestrians. We have also recently expanded our park system (2016-2017) with the addition of Stoney Point Park which is over sixty acres of new park, wilderness, and trails for our community.
In the past 5 years the City of Marshall has completed a comprehensive analysis of biking and walking paths in an effort to improve safety and connectivity. During this time the number of miles of paved trails has more than doubled. As part of this effort a Health Impact Assessment was conducted (see attached) through community surveys and listening sessions. A report of the Health Impact Assessment findings were presented to the Marshall City Council.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Reduced conflict intersection and pedestrian overpass ($5.4 million) 2016 completion (access to residential and Marshall Middle School).
Pedestrian Underpass ($1.1 million) Connecting Southwest Minnesota State University, Marshall High School and the Amateur Sports Center under four lane interregional corridor (Minnesota Highway 23).
Windstar Street pedestrian access from residential neighborhood to developing commercial area.
Downtown bike path and pedestrian connection from downtown to YMCA, dog park, Library and the Marshall Middle School.
12.73 miles of on-street bike paths and 14.34 miles of off-street bike paths.
Completion of off-street paved bike path connecting the City of Marshall, City of Lynd and Camden State Park (14 miles)
The City of Minnetonka adopted the Minnetonka Park, Open Space and Trail System Plan (POST plan) in 2000. The plan establishes an approach to managing facilities as well as identified potential connections between city greenways, open space and other conservation areas. The city also refers to the Upper Minnehaha Creek Corridor Vision and Master Plan. While the primary focus of the plan was to implement complementary activities in areas to emphasize the creek’s corridor natural resources the plan also identifies trail connectivity within the city. In conjunction with the Lake Minnetonka LRT regional trail connections are planned at Baker Road, under Plymouth Road, and I-494. In addition to the trail plans associated with the POST plan and the Minnehaha Creek visionary plan the 2030 Comprehensive Plan identifies two regional trail links: (1) CR 101 Regional Trail Connection and (2) North Cedar Lake LRT Regional Trail. The city council annually allocates funding over a five year period for capital projects that involve park, open space, trail and recreational facilities. The 2009-2013 CIP included significant funding to increase connectivity in the city.
The Moorhead River Corridor Trail Master Plan (descriptive file) is an $18 million, 25+ year plan to acquire flood prone property adjacent to the Red River to be converted to public use lands. This land will create an attractive community destination that promotes conservation, recreation, and trail connectivity.
Moorhead High School, Ellen Hopkins Elementary School, and Horizon Middle School all offer use of outdoor tracks after school hours.
The City of North Branch has over 232 acres of parkland at 19 sites for outdoor recreational enjoyment. In addition residents and visitors can utilize four (4) North Branch Area School District 138 site, a 9-hole North Branch Golf Course, Checkerboard County Park, and the Janet Johnson Wildlife Management Area.
The City also has 30 miles and sidewalks and is home to head of the Sunrise Prairie Trail that connects with the Hardwood Creek Trail in Washington County.
Read more at http://www.ci.north-branch.mn.us/residents/parks/parks.php#rLeWkIlewbhJdH1I.99
The Parks Trails and Open Spaces Commission continuously advises and work with City on all of parks improvements.
We are implementing a trail system to loop around the City of Pierz in different segments to connect in two different places to the Soo Line Trail that runs just south of town. The purpose of the project is to be able to connect the trail to businesses in town and be able to provide residents a safe loop to run, walk, bike, etc on. We currently have received funding for segment 2, which will be implemented in 2020-2021. We are currently working on funding for segment 1, and in conversation with the public school for segment 3.
The City has completed the following important trail and park links: 1) The City completed the bike lane link along Bloomington Ave. 2) In collaboration with the Three Rivers Park District, the City added its first regional bike/pedestrian trail link-up with the Nine Mile Creek Trail and Inner City Trail. 3) On Portland Ave., the City a added bike lane between 66 and 76 St. 4) The City wants to connect Veterans Park to Taft Park by vacating a road and creating a greenway space.
The comprehensive plan update includes priorities for identifying and filling in the existing gaps. A new trail is being planned as part of the "Lake Francis" development. This new development will include the Sartell Community Center, which will also house outdoor recreational opportunities. The new development is adjacent to the recently constructed Chateau Waters an Senior Independent living facility. These two new developments are directly adjacent to a retail cluster which includes a grocery store and various restaurants and banks. The future town center is planned to be constructed adjacent to the Community Center area. Connections will be provided to all these destinations.
The city acquired Sauk River Regional Park located on the contingence of the Sauk and Mississippi River. The park has natural trails and will be connected to other destinations in the community including the adjacent retail development "Epic Center". Currently Sauk River Regional Park has existing trails which connect users to St.Cloud's Whitney Park. Whitney Park houses the Whitney Senior Center and various recreational opportunities.
Through the city's Safe-Routes-To-School plan the missing connections around the elementary and middle schools have been identified. During the 2014 Transportation Alternatives Program grant the city received grant funds to construct an additional 1200' of sidewalk. The additional sidewalk will create connections and complete some missing gaps in and around the school area.
Through the city's subdivision ordinance street gaps continue to be filled because of the requirement of constructing a sidewalk on at least one side of the street in all new development.
The City of Stillwater is constantly making improvements to its extensive system of parks, trails, and open space. This year, 2019, the budget allocates $400,000 for maintenance and improvement projects for the parks system. In 2018 the Department of Public Works improved the lighting system for their basketball and tennis courts at Lily Lake, replacing all the lights with LED lights. In addition, in 2018 Palmer Park was reseeded and an irrigation system was installed.
The city is currently planning 2 major park projects: Bridge View Park and Aiple Park. Aiple Park will be built within a long narrow stretch along the St. Croix River in North Stillwater. This area formerly belonged to a private owner, but has been purchased by the city, and will provide residents with access to the river and provide residents with a park to enjoy in Downtown Stillwater for perpetuity. The Browns Creek Trail that opened in the fall of 2014 runs parallel with the property to
connect downtown Stillwater to the Gateway Trail.
The City did a complete reconstruction of Harmon Park in 2014. The $6.2M project included incorporating school district property (attached JPA) as well as 4 acres of newly acquired property (3 residential properties and 1 commercial greenhouse property). This reconstruction filled a need in the City for trails, youth ballfields, a splashpad, and a new community building space.
The City is currently in the planning process for an important trail segment that will connect an existing trail that terminates at County Road E and Highway 51 and a second trail that ends at County Road E2 and Snelling Avenue. This new trail section will provide for improved trail access to one of the City' main commercial and retail corridors on County Road E, Bethel University, Valentine Hills Elementary School, and Tony Schmidt Regional Park. Construction of the trail is expected to be completed in 2018.
The City of Big Lake has created a Master Plan for Parks, Trails, and Open Space (in 2016). The plan outlines 3 recommendations for the trail system which are in the process of being completed: 1) create trails to provide local and regional connections (there is a plan to create a trail connecting the wildlife refuge with the Mississippi, running through Big Lake), 2) create new trails where necessary to link neighborhoods which are currently lacking access to the system, 3) address pedestrian and cycle crossings at major intersections. The next section seeks to expand recreational facilities by 1) developing an athletic complex, 2) develop a partnership with the school district to utilize their facilities, 3) improve lighting at existing facilities to expand hours, and 4) explore opportunities to partner with other agencies to enhance facilities and programming. The last section seeks to enhance existing parks through 1) utilizing the master plan to guide development, 2) convert existing open spaces to neighborhood or community parks, 3) upgrade, update, or install park amenities in existing parks. The City is also developing a plan for a trail wayfinding system throughout Big Lake.
Gaps are continuously filled when new development or redevelopment projects occur. Cottage Grove Parks and Recreation Department along with planning staff manage a parks and trails map which outlines gaps in the City’s system of trails and open space in order to implement projects to remedy these gaps.
In December 2017, the Crystal City Council approved a 20-year Parks Master Plan. The first project was improving Welcome Park by closing and removing Welcome Avenue that cut the park in half and installing a sidewalk for pedestrian use. The second project is the renovation and updating of Becker Park, including a trail/sidewalk connection to provide pedestrian access throughout the park and providing a pedestrian connection between Douglas Drive and Bass Lake Road (to be construction spring/summer 2019)
Gilbert has come together with many iron range cities to create an extensive multi-use trail. The Mesabi trail stretches from Grand Rapids through Gilbert and past Biwabik. This paved trail is accessible to the public at any time. It can be used for Mountain biking, Road biking, roller blading, running, and much more! The trail is over 130 miles long and many attractions the way. Gilbert is responsible for maintaining the trail within its city limits. Repairing cracks and obscurities are vital to the longevity of the trail.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The hopes for such a trail is to connect towns that might not be otherwise be reachable to each other. Such an expansive trail encourages healthy living and active recreation. Integrating the Mesabi trail through multiple towns encourages community involvement by having a common shared resource.
We will be completing a gap in the trail system in Hastings in 2016.
In 2017, a gap on the 10 Mile Loop trail was completed. This trail section created an off street connection between C.P. Adams Park and Vermillion Falls Park.
In 2018, as part of the Hwy 61 Bridge project, a pedestrian path was constructed to the north side of the Mississippi River where South Washington County planned to build a trail to Point Douglas Park on the St. Croix River.
The city recently partnered with a local retail business to extend a sidewalk connection in an area that a sidewalk would not otherwise be required.
The city is in constant discussions on how to provide for an additional sidewalk connection to a primary school in an older part of town where right-of-way was not obtained along a county road.
The City obtained two large parcels along the Rum River through tax forfeiture. One is 27 acres and the other is 38 acres. Both have wild and scenic easements on them. The City is working with the DNR to provide low impact activities within the park (River Bluff Preserve) and down to the river. A community garden has been approved for this site along with several low impact walking trails and a roll in fishing dock system.
The Comprehensive Plan's Parks and Recreation chapter identifies geographical regions of the city that need new parks. Subsection VII is where this information can be found. We also created a Parks Master Plan.
In late 2013 an update of the City's Parks & Open Space Plan was undertaken to ensure availability of recreational resources and trail connections for all residents and visitors and improve connectivity between existing systems. Input was solicited from residents through a series of neighborhood open houses, and discussions with City staff at neighborhood annual "Night to Unite" event (similar to National Night Out).
In Maplewood's Comprehensive Plan chapter for parks, trails and open spaces "seeks balance between servicing the social, individual, environmental, and economic needs of the community." Most of them have been remedied by a restructuring in the maintenance department and a commitment by Public Works to our trail system.
With the Living Streets program, there has been a large increase the the availability of trails from neighborhoods. In 2015 the Parks & Recreation department of Maplewood finalized a new Parks System Master Plan. This plan will work help shape decision making for new trail creation as well as determine areas that need the most work to create connectivity between open spaces and parks.
Maplewood has completed its portion of the Lakes Link Trail for 2011.New trails have also been created near Lake Phalen within Maplewood that allow for greater connection between existing bike trails that are in Maplewood such as the Gateway trail and the Bruce Vento trail.
The City of Mounds View has completed two segments of trail along Mounds View Boulevard (CSAH 10) in 2016. These two segments provided a connection along a busy, divided four lane highway. The first segment connected existing trail on the north side of Mounds View Blvd that ended at Red Oak Drive to newly constructed sidewalk at Groveland Road. The second segment connected an existing section of trail on the south side of Mounds View Blvd that ended at Edgewood Drive to existing trail at Woodale Drive. This trail project also provided new LED lighting fixtures along the trail to allow for use throughout the day.
The city also constructed a sidewalk link from the intersection of Hillview Road and Lois Drive south and east along Hillview Road to Quincy Street and the then south to County Road I. Thus providing a better alternative than the street to students walking to school at Pinewood Elementary School at the south east intersection of Quincy and CR I.
The city's 2030 Comprehensive Plan states that the city should work to fill in gaps, providing continuous pathways that connect destinations to the larger regional pathway system. In project work on the Twin Lakes, 3 street gaps were remedied.
Master Sidewalk and Trails Plan identifies gaps in current sidewalks, where new sidewalks are needed to connect residents to school/churches and determines where trails are to be added to connect to the regional Soo Line Trail.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The Plan was used in applying for the Safe Routes to School grant and we are funded for FY 2017 for this project.
The cities of Pierz and Royalton applied for a grant from the Initiative Foundation to do a Master Sidewalk & Trails Plan for both cities and when funded, worked with an engineering firm to do the plan. We then applied to the Central Regional Development Partnership (U of M) to have a student do a survey of the trail system and report back to both cities.
(Design) LRT, Ayd Mill Rd and other trails, Raymond Rd. area for Grand Rounds, Frogtown new park search area - Wilder site acquired, Master Plan begun, Victoria Park area - land acquired, rec center for NE corner of City. Bike/ped trails across the City as outlined in System Plan, p. 13, Trout Brook Reg. Trail, acquisition and development has begun. Great River Passage Master Plan system of 17 miles and 3500 acres of parks and trails along Mississippi River passed, implementation begun with an Interpretive Plan process. Grand Round parkway design process to begin. Implementation for part or all of the Wheelock and Johnson Parkway sections of Grand Round planned. Nice Ride bicycle lease racks in parks, electric vehicle charging stations, solar power installations (?) at various locations.
1) In 2011-2012, Ramsey County paved the final section of trail in Grass Lake Regional Park. It connected several sections of trails and allowed for crossing over the pedestrian bridge over 694. It had previously been limestone.
2) The City is putting a sidewalk on the N side of Red Fox to help people from local business access the new restaurants and stores off Red Fox.
3) The City is looking to put trails on both sides of Hodgson from Hwy 96, South to 694. These plans completely depend on the County time line for reconstructing Hodgson as well as the amount of space available during the project.
4) The city is looking at a connector trail down Hamline Ave when the road is rebuilt in 2016.
5) Trails will be created along County Road E as part of the Owasso Realignment project and will help connect local neighborhoods to school sidewalks.
6) In 2012 the County did clear several acres of invasive brush and buckthorn and used control burning techniques to bring back native prairie vegetation to Grass lake and other County open spaces.
The Paul Bunyan Trail Bridge was opened and dedicated in September of 2012. This bridge, usable by both pedestrians and bicyclists, spans Hwy 197 and connects a major gap in the Paul Bunyan Trail and facilitates walking and biking across the highway. The Paul Bunyan Trail Bridge Project was a collaboration between the City of Bemidji and the MN Department of Natural Resources, Division of Parks and Trails.
The City of Burnsville have remedied connectivity breaks within the city:
In 2008, the city acquired a stormwater management pond for Burnsville Center. In 1992, the city acquired 10 acres of land adjacent to Terrace Oaks West Park creating a natural area. In 1996, the city acquired 75 acres for the Rudy Kraemer Nature Preserve.
Constructed two trail connectors; (1) Connection to Woodhaven Park amenities from a redevelopment district that will have limited space for recreational opportunities (2) Walnut Hill trail connection to the primary trail grid. City approved Community Transportation Trail System Policy 12-13-04.
The City has adopted a Parks Plan which has been responsible for connecting walking and biking paths throughout the City and has identified areas for future development and improvement, such as remedies for street-to-trail gaps. In 2017, the City completed its bike/hike paved trail "spine" that enables people to bike/hike from the City's east boundary at Windrose Park to Eagle View Elementary School on the City's west side. Significant additional projects included a paved, handicapped accessible bike/hike trail to the highest point in Scott County called Pete's Hill "Lookout", which was in part funded by a grant from Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and partially constructed by Eagle Scout candidates from Troop 325. This is one example of building links from City parks to the trail "spine".
Along with the City of Roseville and the University of Minnesota, we received a Transit for Livable Communities grant of $1.2 million to construct a new pathway from Rosedale mall to the intercampus transitway on the U of MN campus. The portion in Falcon Heights will complete a gap in our sidewalk/trail system along Fairview Avenue. Construction was completed in November 2011.
The Parks and Recreation Department manages a trail gap map that identifies trail connection needs in the City's system. The City and Dakota County recently completed a trail connection from 195th Street to CSAH 50 on the west side of Pilot Knob Road. The connection consisted of 1.77 miles of trail to fill the gap in the system. Connects with Lakeville trail system.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
A trail connection from 195th St to CSAH 50 has completed a gap in the City's trail system.
Have approval for a bike path from the
City of Hoffman to Elk Lake, approximately 3/4
mile. It is an off-road bike path. Paths were put in the city park to make it accessible to the elderly and the handicapped. The trail was approved and completed in 2016. It is a tarred path running alongside the road right of way.
Increase the amount of green space in two seperate areas of the city. The goal is to add two more park/green spaces to the city.
Contributed financial aid to assist a local snowmobile club in the relocation of a snowmobile trail in order to make it more compatible with our existing walking trail which allows the city to keep the walking trail open all winter for pedestrians.
Purchased easements for the construction of an additional walking/biking trail to be constructed in 2016 and will have connection to existing trails.1/8/2016
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The Greensteps Committee has identified possible locations and have been contacting landowners to determine the availability of the parcels. The city has obtained property in one of the two identified gap areas. This property is located along the Mississippi River. Our Park and Rec committee is exploring possible uses of the property and will making a green recommendation to the council. Currently the property is undeveloped and has grass and trees.
The Pomme de Terre Park was upgraded with a rain garden and better ground to pavement ratio for better infiltration. This helps with lowering the flooding in the park (with greater storms seen from climate change, flooding will be a problem in certain areas) and restoring the area with more native prairie plants.
The City identified two gaps in the trail network being developed by the City in 2014. These gaps were budgeted for and completed in 2014. The first gap was between our South Grove neighborhood and the Merritt Elementary School/Unity neighborhood. The City with the assistance of a grant from MNDNR to construct a trail to bridge the gap. Secondly a gap was identified and sidewalks were constructed between Mud Lake Road and County Road 7. sidewalks existed on both ends and the City installed sidewalks to fill teh gap in 2014.
The Planning Tactics section of the city's 2030 Comp Plan states that "there is also a need for trails for pedestrians and bicyclists that connect parks, schools and other community destinations. The local trail system should be connected with the regional trail system to provide access to destinations beyond the City’s boundaries" (p 139). Goal 7 states that the city should "continue the development of pedestrian trails and bikeways that meet the recreational needs of citizens, and provide an alternative means of transportation" (p 173). The Community Facilities section of the Comp Plan states that "trails are one amenity that newer communities provide and that New Hope must consider as redevelopment continues. To date, one regional trail has been built in New Hope along 36th Avenue North from Highway 169 to Boone Avenue North, south to 32nd Avenue North. This trail section was paid for by Three Rivers Park District. Additional trails are needed in the city to serve as transportation routes to schools, shopping, churches, parks, and recreation facilities, as well as to link up to regional trails. Proposed trails in the city’s 1995 Transportation Plan included east/west trail connections across Highway 169 at 42nd Avenue North, and north of Bass Lake Road along with a trail leading north to south in the center portion of the city linking parks, schools, shopping, and other community destinations" (p 263). Three Rivers Park District led a project that including building a pedestrian bridge over Highway 169 at 36th Avenue North, which provides an important link in the regional trail system for New Hope residents. It also provides a safer path of travel for children crossing the highway to attend the local middle school two blocks west into Plymouth.
The City performed a detailed evaluation of open space opportunities in 2007. Init it detailed the priority areas the city deemed as important for a variety of reasons.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Continue to re-evaluate and update the needs and measure the success of newly added open spaces. Currentoy more than 20% of the City's area is in one of several statutes; parks, trails, open spaces, preserves.
Rochester recently remedied two street segments. The first was the addition of a bridge crossing highway 14, to allow pedestrians to safely cross the highway. The second is underpass near Kutzky Park that allows pedestrians to cross 16th street.
The Parks, Trails and Open Space System Plan details the City's plans to develop and provide these amenities. The Trail & Sidewalk Improvement Map in this plan is a multi-year plan created to maintain and enhance the Citys trail and sidewalk system within the developed areas of the community.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The City recently filled trail and sidewalk gaps along Connemara Trail and Shannon Parkway as shown on the Trail and Sidewalk Improvement Plan. In 2012, the City plans to fill additional gaps along Diamond Path from Co. Road 42 to Connemara Trail and along Hwy. 3 from Rosemount High School to Connemara Trail.
Added additional sidewalks and trails to the new Minnetonka Country Club development. Added an off road pedestrian sidewalk along the length of Smithtown Road. This also passes by Minnewashta Elementary school.
Harmon Park in sunfish Lake is managed as a "wild" natural area. It has a rustic trail that loops through the main areas of the park that is mowed up to twice each year plus fallen branches are cleared from the path. In July 2013 an Eagle Scout from a local troop led an effort to clear woody invasive species (buckthorn and honeysuckle) from about .25 acres of the 10 acre park and planted 40 new deciduous and evergreen trees of appropriate native species. Chokecherry, crabapple, and wild plum were included to attract bees, butterflies, birds and other wildlife.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Many residents and others learned of the Park because of the project completed by the Boy Scout.
The City had identified and begun remedying the gaps within the City's system of trails, parks and open spaces. The Comprehensive Plan outline new and future improvements to the parks and trail system within the City. The City recently approved a trail connection to the MN Landscape Arboretum connecting nearly 500 residents in the northern section of the City to additional trails. The City has also been making and planning trail improvements with new developments.
The city and ISD 112 share a Use Agreement that states the partnership between the school and the city for the playground and gymnasium.
Many volunteer groups as well as the planning commission, the public works department, and Community Ed and Rec. The group got together to create the City of Willmar Comprehensive Plan: Trails and Pedestrian Plan Addendum.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
The Gap at civic center drive was remedied. Allowing a trail from downtown to the high school. Other gaps are noted in the plan. A gap in ella ave is scheduled for a remedy project in 2013.
The 2010 Duluth Parks Master Plan recognized trail connectivity as one of residents' top concerns as the city's trails are the most popular recreation activity/facility. Since then, 5 mini master plans have been drafted for larger trail projects and most parks plans address connectivity as well. The most extensive and ambitious trail plan is the Duluth Traverse Trail.
For more than 10 years the city of Duluth has been working on completing the Duluth City Traverse Trail System which will consist of the main Spine running the length of the city with spurs connecting to neighborhoods throughout. Once the more than 104 miles of multi-use trails are complete every resident in Duluth will be within 3 miles of a trail access, with many living much closer. The system was 82% complete as of the most recent min-master plan, adopted in 2017, and progress continues to be made. Most recently, the University of Minnesota Duluth Bagley Nature Center is now connected to the Spine helping to link college students to this recreation resource. Chester Park, Chambers Grove Park, and Lincoln Park have also been connected to the Spine in the past two years. The Chester Park access was specifically designed to target an underserved community that is lacking other trails.
Signage and wayfinding were also identified as issues. The city has worked to improve signage for parks and trails to help residents and visitors utilize the numerous parks and trails available to them.
In 2017, the City of Lake Crystal received a grant through the MN DNR's Outdoor Recreation Program, which served as a catalyst for a substantial upgrade to Robinson Park. This park is a city landmark, with towering oak trees, a children's playground, and picnic shelters. It is located on the shore of Crystal Lake, and has a public boat access, several rain gardens a shoreline restoration project undertaken in 2017.
In the spring of 2018, work began. More than 6,000 square feet of pollinator garden was planted by community volunteers and the crew from Blazing Start Gardens. Interpretive signs were added, explaining the importance of lakeshore stabilization, pollinator gardens and preserving water quality. An old restroom was razed and a new one built. About 600 feet of asphalt trail was created, connecting parking lots at the top of a slope to the pollinator garden and lakeshore. A 36' fishing pier was installed. All of these park upgrades are ADA-compliant.
Robinson Park has become a destination spot. The gardens are colorful, thriving, and attracting the desired pollinators, the trail is used by walkers and folks with strollers or wheelchairs and the pier by those looking to wet a line!
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
6,000 square feet of pollinator gardens ($10,000 from Crystal Waters Project)
Interpretive signs ($3,000 from Riordan Family Trust)
36' fishing pier ($22,000, joint effort: Crystal Waters Project, Nicollet Conservation Club, Hewitt Docks, Loon Crystal Lake Recreation, Inc.
600' ADA trail ($59,000 MN DNR Outdoor Recreation Program grant)
Restroom ($81,000 City of Lake Crystal)
The construction of the new pavilion was completed August 2019. Located in 1000 South Minnesota Avenue, the Minnesota Square Park has many features such as a pavilion, playground, park trails, baseball dugouts, drinking fountains and many more.