April 2013 Meeting

This month's meeting was held on the site of the previously discussed proposed Kingswood Special Recreation Feature. We had a chance to tour various areas of the site, including the old cart path along a glacial esker that would become part of a regional trail, a beach on the lake, hiking trails, and the campground and picnic area. I've posted photos from that tour online. After the tour we were given a briefing on the business items we would address later if we were to add this site to the system plan, scheduled for consideration in May.

After a grant request for Carver County, we had an extensive discussion with Dan Marckel from the Metropolitan County about the ongoing Thrive MSP 2040 process. This is the first step in revising all of the Metropolitan Council's various 30-year policy plans for the next cycle, including the one for parks, trails, and open space. Much of the direct parks and trails policies either have broad agreement or will be discussed in the later, more detailed planning stages, so he was seeking our parks and trails related perspective on four other key issues that were found to require significant additional input, namely:

  1. Regionally Significant Economic Places
  2. Water Supply
  3. Land Use and Transit
  4. Affordable Housing

For instance, when talking about transit, we noted that people ought to be able to get to regional parks on public transit, at least in areas where that's reasonably feasible, so that needs to be taken into account when choosing transit routes. For affordable housing, we said it was important to either locate housing units near an existing regional trail or align future trails to serve existing housing so that even low-income people have easy access to our regional recreation system. If you haven't yet, I'd encourage you to check out the web site linked above, to see what's being considered and offer any of your ideas in the online discussion section.

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