Summer 2017 Update!

trail.jpgBasset Creek Trail is finished!

Our Bassett Creek Trail is now complete from French Park to Golden Valley! In addition to French Park, the trail connects with our Medicine Lake Trail, local schools and businesses, Northwood Park in New Hope and Valley Place and Bassett Creek parks in Crystal. Here’s a link for more information.

 

community.jpgJust one week of community engagement!

In just one week of community engagement, Three Rivers teams visited six Brooklyn Park Mobile Recreation locations on Monday and Thursday, a Brooklyn Center Community Center camp on Tuesday, a St. Louis Park Playground program on Thursday, and three Bloomington Park Playground sites on Friday! On Wednesday, we also had one team working with the Explorer Camp students in Edina, and another crew leading a puppetry program with students at a Dayton mobile home community serving nearly 250 families! On Thursday night, our Parks On the Go van and bike riders participated in the Earle Brown Days Parade in Brooklyn Center, at Hyland on Sunday for a 5K hosted by our partners in the Kenyan immigrant community! Here’s a link for more information.

  

owl.jpgA raptor success story

Click on this link to read a wonderful story resulting from our long partnership with The Raptor Center at the University of Minnesota. This success story involves Three Rivers providing a barred owl nesting location where young fledgling owls could transition to independence and still receive parental care.

 

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Down on the Farm!

I grew up with a host of farming relatives, but most kids now-a-days have no exposure to farm life. Check out this great video about Three Rivers' working farm at Gale Woods, and the many educational activities we have available for families and groups.

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Injured Vets Kayaking Partnership

Three Rivers is a proud partner with the City of Edina and Team River Runner to provide kayaking opportunities for injured veterans - a program that is nationally recognized! Here's a link to an article in the StarTribune, and be sure to check out this great video!

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We Can Ride Partnership

ows_149769952064505.jpgThree Rivers is very pleased we could help the We Can Ride program continue its excellent work! After four decades in Minnetonka, the therapeutic horseback riding program has been resettled into new stables at our Baker Park Reserve.

We Can Ride serves about 250 people with disabilities or special needs — from autism or learning disabilities to multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy. When faced with the need to relocate from Hennepin County land, Three Rivers invited the program to use our vacant stables, riding trails and indoor arena, which can be used for year-round events. Check this link for the StarTribune story on our new partnership. 

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Designed by Kids, for Kids!

061dfgh716_Newsworthy.jpgKids played central role in our public engagement effort to plan for replacement of the French Creative Play Area. Our goal was to replace the old play area with a new facility that meets the needs of our diverse customer base, and since our primary customer group is kids, that's where we started the process - talking to kids of all ages!

Three Rivers places a high priority on transparency and outreach, so we also talked to parents, grandparents, teachers, field trip students 061716_Newsworthy.jpgand summer camp participants. In addition to engaging the general public, we invited a group of 20 kids to be part of the design team throughout the two-year implementation process. This “Kid Task Force” was a third grade class from Park Brook Elementary School in Brooklyn Park. The school principal was very supportive, and committed to give the kids this unique opportunity, so our Three Rivers design team gained much-needed insight from the kids’ perspective.

Children who were part of our “Kid Task Force” had the opportunity to: (1) participate in the design process, which began on a 0617mnb16_Newsworthy.jpgfield trip to the existing play area, (2) attend various workshops, including a construction site visit in 2017, (3) learn about various careers from designers, project managers, parks and recreation, community engagement, and (4) celebrate the grand opening with us in 2018. Members of the Kid Task Force will be in fifth grade by the completion of the project, and we hope to all be able to look back on this experience and say that this was truly a creative play area designed by kids, for kids!

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Check out one of our Signature Races!

Three Rivers now hosts Signature Races throughout the year, so be sure to check one out! Most recently, Lake Rebecca Park Reserve hosted the 26th annual Allina Health Trail Mix Race. With perfect spring weather, a beautiful park and historic trail run, participation continues to grow. Two new races were added this year to provide more options: 12.5K Solo and 25K Team of Two races joined the long-standing 50K Ultra, 25K Solo and 50K Team of Four races. Our next Signature Race will be the Big Woods Classic mountain bike race at Lake Rebecca on July 15. Check out this cool video! 

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Our U of M partnership is expanding

040717_TRPD_update.jpgOur Outdoor Recreation School works with more than 200 schools, businesses, nonprofits and government agencies to introduce new park users to active, outdoor, healthy lifestyles. As one growing example, Three Rivers' partnership with the University of Minnesota offers J-term sessions and other programs for environmental education and recreation majors from around the world! Be sure to check this link for more information about these and other programs available through the U of M!

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Hopkins Artery Project begins!

041017_TRPD_update.jpgAs a regular user of this trail, I am particularly excited that the City of Hopkins will begin work on the Hopkins Artery project in May! The Artery will be a pedestrian and bike friendly corridor along 8th Avenue in downtown Hopkins that will connect Mainstreet and the Lake Minnetonka LRT Regional Trail to the Minnesota River Bluffs LRT Regional Trail. The Artery will offer a cycle track for bicyclists and art-infused sidewalks for pedestrians. Here's a cool rendering of the Artery looking north from the Minnesota River Bluffs LRT Regional Trail

In other regional trail news, Kiosk and directional blade structures are in place along the Bassett Creek Regional Trail in New Hope and Crystal. The final trail segment along 36th Avenue N. between Winnetka Avenue N. and Nevada Avenue N. will be completed this spring. Open this link for more information on both of these trail developments.

 

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Building Community in Brooklyn Center

Check out this cool video about our partnership with Brooklyn Center Schools and Safe Routes to School as an integral part of their overall efforts to reduce health disparities, close the achievement gap, and round out a comprehensive student wellness program.

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Cross Country Season Wrap-Up

ski.jpgOur ski trails are closed for the season, and the man-made snow glaciers have receded. Check out this Season Wrap-Up of a great ski season, in spite of Mother Nature not providing much natural snow. Thank goodness for the excellent snow and grooming provided by our awesome maintenance teams at Hyland and Elm Creek parks!

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John Gunyou
Three Rivers Parks Board Chair