That’s the vision for the Three Rivers Park District. Minneapolis has its own parks district, but the suburban areas surrounding the city are united in maintaining a mega district. In all there are 27,000 acres of parks and trails which host over 7 million visitors a year.
To grow that number to include even more guests, the administration did some outreach to find out why people did not make use of the beaches, playgrounds, open prairies, cross-country ski trails, mountain bike courses, sliding hills, nature centers, and so on. At the State of the Parks Address and Expo today, the speaker presented these results:
Saying one doesn’t have time is really saying there are other demands for activities they find more worthwhile. But then, if they are not aware of all the there is to do, how could they properly evaluate their opportunities. Like with so many things, there needs to be a connector person who makes and introduction and smoothes over those first uncomfortable moments of not quite know what to say or do.
The parks are free from entrance fees, so there are not barriers there. The distance to he parks is a careful concern when for the parke people especially as they plan new connector trails. Their research gives them a pretty good idea how far folks travel to enjoy the open spaces. This leads them to craft corridors for spacially distributed access.
From their 2040 System Plan:
As Emily Dickinson said, ‘Nature is what we know – Yet have not art to say – So impotent our wisdom is To her simplicity.’