Park maintenance

Goose/deer control

Each year, Park Maintenance conducts programs to help control the number of geese and deer in the city. These control programs focus on public safety, sanitation concerns and the health of the animal population per square mile. Surveys and studies are conducted to determine the concentration of animals, and removal programs are set up based on the results.

For more information contact:

Park mowing

Park Maintenance is responsible for mowing approximately 700 acres of turf throughout Bloomington. Areas include boulevards, parks, athletic fields, freeway noise wall areas and park open spaces. There are three basic levels of mowing:

  • High use areas are mowed every 5 - 10 days.
  • Less used areas are mowed once a month and some areas once or twice a year.
  • Weed control is performed as needed to maintain the particular use of an area.

Playgrounds (Apparatus Inspection Program)

There are 55 playground apparatus units throughout the city parks system and at school sites. These playgrounds are inspected and repaired on a regular basis to help insure the safety of the many children that use them. Trained "Playground Safety Inspectors," certified by the National Playground Safety Institute, perform weekly walk-through inspections including a detailed inspection of the entire apparatus. Monthly inspections are also performed and any necessary repairs or adjustments are made.

Prairie grasses

A number of years ago, Park Maintenance staff began a program to retain and reclaim sites throughout the city for improved areas of native prairie grasses and wildflowers. Fifteen areas of varying sizes have been designated as native prairie/wildflower areas and special care has been given to them. Maintenance strategies include seasonal mowing, burning or the planting of wildflower seeds. Interesting textures and a variety of colors can be seen at these locations throughout the year:

  • Bloomington Ferry Road and Pioneer Trail: Northeast corner.
  • Girard Park: South and east of 84th and France Avenue.
  • Nord Myr: West of Poplar Bridge Road and north of 91st Street.
  • Tarnhill Park: North side of 98th Street east of Rich Road.
  • West Bush Lake: South and west of #2 picnic shelter.

Rink maintenance

The City maintains 16 hockey rinks, two broomball rinks and 15 general skating areas at city parks. These rink sites are lighted and most have heated warming houses that are staffed. These rink areas are maintained Monday - Saturday during the December, January and February skating season. Rinks and warming houses are open depending on the weather. Specific warming house schedules can be found on the skating rinks and warming houses web page.

Bloomington City Council priorities dictate that when a plowable snow event occurs, the first priority is the cleaning of Bloomington streets and cul-de-sacs for safe vehicle use. This means there is only snow removal on rinks and no flooding on the day of a snow event.


The City has a number of hiking and biking trails at various locations. All trails are usable most of the year. Only paved trails have snow removed in the winter.

  • Bush Lake: 1.5 miles of walking trail with asphalt, wood chip and dirt surfacing.
  • Central Park (including Moir Picnic area and the Nine Mile Creek area): 4.5 miles of trail. Surfaces are asphalt, wood chip and lime rock.
  • Forest Glen Trail: a .9 mile long asphalt trail, connecting Marth Road with East Bush Lake Road.
  • Girard Lake: A one-mile wood chip trail.
  • Heritage Hills: A one-mile wood chip trail.
  • Marsh Lake: A .75-mile wood chip trail.
  • Normandale Lake: Two laps of two miles each, one for walking and one for biking and in-line skating.
  • Parker's Picnic: Over three miles of trail that are chip/dirt.
  • Smith Park: A newly installed asphalt trail system that runs through the entire park.
  • Tierney's Woods: Wood chip trails maintained by Three Rivers Park District.