Minneapolis parks’ loop honored by national planners

The Grand Rounds in Minneapolis — the parkways and paths that run through the city connecting lakes, creeks, waterfalls and the Mississippi River — is listed in the American Planning Association’s new list of the top 10 Great Public Spaces in America.

Of course, the photo they ran of the Minneapolis sytem has two joggers on the pathways during the winter IN THE SNOW. It’s described in the list like this:

The Grand Rounds is the nation’s only urban-based National Scenic Byway. It is part of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s 6,400 acres of trails, lakes, parks, and recreation facilities. The parkways and paths are divided into seven segments and together form a nearly complete loop through Minneapolis as they connect 14 natural lakes, three creeks, two waterfalls, and the Mississippi River. Because of careful planning and strategic land acquisitions, all waterfront and rights-of-way around the lakes, creeks and river segments are in public ownership.

The other top public places, as determined by the group are:

  • New Haven Green
    New Haven, Conn.
  • The Green
    Dover, Del.
  • The Squares of Savannah
    Savannah, Ga.
  • Lincoln Park
    Chicago, Ill.
  • East Park
    Charlevoix, Mich.
  • Central Square
    Keene, N.H.
  • Queens Botanical Garden
    Flushing, N.Y.
  • Central Market
    Lancaster, Pa.
  • Virginia Beach Boardwalk
    Virginia Beach, Va.

Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 10/12/2009 - 03:53 pm.

    A real credit to the foresight and planning of Mpls’ Parks and Rec Dept. One of the many examples of quality of life that our state and cities have come to be know for. The recently completed Greenway trail is also another fine example of the many opportunities for recreation in the city.

  2. Submitted by Bernice Vetsch on 10/12/2009 - 06:22 pm.

    Minneapolis AND St. Paul have 19th Century landscapists/planners to thank for the beautiful park systems in both cities, with all parks connected in each city by parkways.

    (Wonderful biography of Fredrick Law Olmsted, one of the premiere landscapists of that era, “A Clearing in the Distance,” by Witold Rybczynski)

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