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Council adopts Park System Master Plan

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Bloomington Briefing Published November 1, 2021
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As adopted, the Park System Master Plan provides a clear action plan and guidance for improvements to Bloomington’s parks, trails, facilities, recreational programs and green spaces. 

“We want to ensure that generations to come will benefit from the continued enjoyment of Bloomington’s beautiful parks and amenities,” Stephanie Tungseth, Chair of the Parks, Arts and Recreation Commission said. “The thoughtful and methodical framework of the plan will enable the City of Bloomington to have the flexibility needed to continually meet the needs of its dynamic and ever-changing community and the community’s needs.”

The purpose of the Park System Master Plan was to establish a clear, 20-year vision for the Bloomington park system, which includes parks, trails, recreation, and open space. It will serve as a blueprint for planning and completing park improvements, program planning, and budgeting to serve the needs of the community.

The development of the plan took nearly two years. “This plan is what it is today due to the staff’s desire and attempts at soliciting our community’s engagement, their prioritization to meaningfully integrate the community feedback into the plan, and their extensive data-driven research,” PARC Member Laura Perreault said. 

The extensive community engagement process that occurred between November 2019 and June 2021 included a statistically valid survey, stakeholder interviews, listening sessions, conversations with residents and staff, and online interactive engagement via project bloom! and the City’s Let’s Talk Bloomington site. 

Based on the extensive engagement and participation of the public, staff, PARC and City Council in the planning process, four “Priority Park Elements” were established:

  • Natural resources
  • Park system need—level of service
  • Trails and mobility
  • Equity

“The Park System Master Plan is committing to ensure the vibrancy of the single greatest asset in this community, our parks and green spaces, for decades to come,” Councilmember Patrick Martin said. “I love that as we’re working with neighborhoods and prioritizing these older parks, neighborhoods will be able to weigh in on this again, really take pride and ownership in those park improvements, because they’ll see themselves reflected in it.”

“There is no doubt that the plan will enable significant changes in our park system,” Councilmember Nathan Coulter said. “This is something that will serve the community really well, because so much of it came directly from the community.” 

For more information about the plan, visit blm.mn/park-master-plan

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