John's Committment to Our Trails

trail.JPGAs bikers, hikers and skiers, Kim and I have long enjoyed the 60 miles of paved trails that wind through Three Rivers parks, plus hundreds miles more of Regional Trails maintained by the district. In fact, we downsized a few years ago into a townhouse located right on the Lake Minnetonka LRT Regional Trail!

 

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We are particularly excited that the Nine Mile Creek Regional Trail, which has been in the works for more than a decade, is finally moving ahead in the communities I would represent. Just last week, Three Rivers received funding for the eastern portion of the trail, and funding options are being prepared for the western section. I strongly support this commitment to making the trail a reality.

trail2.jpgOur long-awaited Nine Mile Creek Regional Trail will connect the existing Minnesota River Bluffs Regional Trail in Hopkins and Minnetonka, run through Edina into Richfield, and link up with the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Bloomington and Grand Rounds Trail System at Lake Nokomis in Minneapolis.

 

trail4.jpgWith all of us baby boomers shifting to more age-appropriate activities, Three Rivers trail usage is growing exponentially - up to an estimated 3.5 million visitors last year! That presents funding challenges for both new trail development to meet the growing demand, as well as ongoing maintenance. Three Rivers needs an ongoing, secure and stable funding plan for the popular trail system.

trail7.jpgAs Minnetonka’s city manager, I initiated a trail improvement program based on just such a sustainable funding structure. We reprioritized existing resources rather than raise taxes, and integrated our local efforts with regional partners, including Three Rivers. As your commissioner, I will continue to be a strong and effective advocate for the trails that connect our communities, neighborhoods, schools and businesses.

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John Gunyou
Three Rivers Parks Board Chair