Mayor’s memo: Enjoy everything Bloomington has to offer

As Bloomington residents, we enjoy some incredible community amenities right in our backyards. With nearly 9,000 acres of green space, 50 miles of off-road trails, 60 miles of bike lanes, 97 parks and the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, there are countless ways to enjoy the outdoors. When summer is in full swing, many people make their way to Bush Lake Beach or the Bloomington Family Aquatic Center to soak up the sun while others work on their golf game at Dwan or Hyland Greens golf courses.

If you’re looking to expand your perspectives, Artistry packs a cultural punch with seven productions on two stages and 15 or more visual art exhibits each year. Not only does the organization provide exposure to new ideas and artists for residents, they offer art education courses and outreach at the Center for the Arts and in the community. They also partner with the City to incorporate public art and creative expression into the South Loop, a district encompassing Mall of America and near the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport, two of the best-known amenities in the area.

The City Council noted maintaining and expanding these and other community amenities as a strategic priority in its One Bloomington plan in 2016.

For example, the City is in discussions with the YMCA of the Greater Twin Cities on a potential partnership for a new community center. In 2016, a task force recommended that, as a community center, the Creekside facility could no longer meet community needs.

We are also conducting an inventory of City-owned community amenities and park facilities, to catalog the remaining service life of equipment and facilities and to determine long-range budget needs.