Richfield Community Outreach

field_kids.pngThree Rivers has been making a major effort to bring more of our exceptional recreation and environmental education programs into first tier communities. This is very important for children and seniors in communities like Richfield, Hopkins, Robbinsdale and Brooklyn Center, who have traditionally had less access to our great facilities and services. Creative local partnerships have significantly improved access to our parks, trails and programs. As examples in the City of Richfield:

  • A Taft Park Expo was held in August, and included free recreational and naturalist activities, including our portable zip line (experienced by yours truly!), climbing wall, live animals, fishing, and games.  
  • Our Outdoor Recreation staff conducts fishing clinics at Taft Park each summer in one of the cleanest lakes in the metro area.    
  • A Paddle Share Station (self-serve kayak and Stand Up Paddle Board rentals) was recently installed at Taft Lake, along with a unique adaptive boat launch to open more opportunities for those with mobility challenges - like our wounded veterans who participate in water sports.  
  • Our Community Engagement staff have also provided programming to Lifeworks in the Richfield Community Center -- Lifeworks provides programming for adults with disabilities.  Our staff and Parks on the Go van also attend the Vehicle Day each June.      
  • Several Richfield schools have worked with Gale Woods Farm and Baker Near Wilderness Settlement for outdoor education programs.

We have also worked closely with nonprofit organizations and city staff to reach more people of color, especially those children and adults who might not have had access to Three Rivers programs in the past. As examples in the Richfield area:girl.png

  • We serve numerous Richfield residents through our Park Partners relationship with the Bloomington Schools Office of Educational Equity, since that is where many of the students and families live. That program includes ongoing programs and contacts from Richardson Nature Center with students and families in the school district that come from a variety of backgrounds, including Asian, African American, Latino, and Somali.   
  • Similarly, we also serve many Richfield residents through our work with the Dar Al Farooq Muslim Center – many of the kids and families active in Dar Al Farooq live in Richfield.  
  • Our Community Engagement staff regularly work with such cultural affinity groups as: Kwestrong (Native American Women), Outdoor Afro, and Outdoor Latino.  These groups not only serve Richfield, but also the entire metro area. Over the past year, we made a particular effort to expand our offerings to these groups to include winter activities. As a result, all of these groups attended our first ever Nordic Ski Opener, and the Kwestrong group started their own ski club.
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John Gunyou
Three Rivers Parks Board Chair