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Minneapolis Region

Persistence in Open Space Goals

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 Image Credit: Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

The Twin Cities Region (the areas around Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota) is heavily populated and urbanized. Efforts to conserve natural spaces in the region have led to the establishment of impressive parks such as the Grand Rounds.

Even in the 1880’s, Minnesota’s leaders recognized the importance of conserving nature, and so they established the Minneapolis Board of Trade. The Board, along with landscape planner Horace Cleveland, set about designing a park system that would protect open space.

Accomplishing this design was no easy feat. Purchasing the land and building the park took over 125 years but city leaders never lost sight of the goal. Finally, through the efforts of those across decades, the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway opened at the end of the twentieth century.

Today, the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway encompasses over 50 miles of green space and is linked with an additional 6,400 acres of parks. It includes seven sections, each of which highlights distinguishing traits of the landscape for the public’s convenience and enjoyment.

Additional Information:
Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway

Contact: Jayne Miller, Superintendent, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board,
jmiller “at”, (612) 230-6404.

Reference: Pruetz, Rick. 2012. Lasting Value: Open Space Planning and Preservation Successes.  Planners Press. 232 pp.