The Trust for Public Land declared Minneapolis and the Twin Cities the nation’s best big city for public parks, followed by New York, Boston and Sacramento, Calif.
Jayne Miller, superintendent for the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, said the work the board has done over the years earned the award.
“The city was built around the park system, not the other way around,” she said. “We are unique from the standpoint that the park system was built as an economic driver for the city.”
Recent Minneapolis parks projects include the East Phillips Park Cultural and Community Center and new synthetic turf fields; a new beach, boardwalk playground and picnic area at Theodore Wirth Park; and the Phillips Community Center renovation.
“This is an honor not for the Park Board but for the citizens of Minneapolis because they’re the ones 130 years ago who established an independent park board,” said John Erwin, president of the Park and Recreation Board. “Because they valued parks and understood they greatly enhance lives.”
Minneapolis, the 48th largest city, wasn’t ranked when the last list was created in 2012, but it was included this year when the index was expanded to the 50 most populous cities in America. Although St. Paul, the 66th largest city, was not rated by ParkScore, the Trust for Public Land analysts determined that if the two cities had been evaluated as a single municipality, it still would have ranked at the top of the list. Minneapolis parks and St. Paul parks also made appearances in a similar 2008 ranking of parks.
Minneapolis parks ranked high in several categories,...
15th Annual Gobbler Games
event is for parents and children (ages 4-14) set in pairs to
participate in fun, low-key competitive athletic events. Events include,
a floor hockey shoot, frisbee toss, basketball free throw, and more.
Participants should arrive between 10:00 - 11:30 am. The event is free
in Lino Lakes on November 3rd.
34th Annual Old-Fashioned Holiday Bazaar ...
The Minnesota community of Circle Pines has been named the third-most "Perfect Suburb" in the country by CNBC.
Analysts at Location Inc. based their rankings on affordable housing, good schools and employment, low crime, and reasonable commutes. They chose the 10 metropolitan areas with the lowest unemployment rates and then factored in the other variables. At the top was Edmond, Okla., followed by Kensington, Md., in second. No other Minnesota cities made the list.
With 5,407 residents, Circle Pines is one of the smallest cities on the list, but it boasted some high marks:
Suburb of: Minneapolis – St. Paul
Metro area unemployment rate: 6.5%
Median house value: $203,954
Safer from crime than this percent of all U.S. communities: 55%
Circle Pines is a small city with a population of 5,407 — and more people working in computers and math than 95% of the U.S. It has better public schools than 90% of all U.S. communities, and its public schools are better than 95% of schools in the rest of the state. A minority of Circle Pines’ populace holds a four-year degree (31.5%), but the vast majority are homeowners (92.6%).
More analysis of the suburb is found on the Circle Pines Neighborhood Scout profile.
"You always think your community is a special place. It's nice to have that verified by someone," Mayor Dave Bartholomay said.
To see the entire list, visit the 10 Perfect Suburbs slideshow.
Want to live in the perfect Minnesota suburb? Check out Circle Pines MN Real Estate.
People who live in St. Louis Park are really happy with their city
compared to the ratings people in other Minnesota locations give their
A citywide survey conducted this spring "took the
temperature" of St. Louis Park residents. The poll was part of a city
effort to track trends and check priorities. Mayor Jeff Jacobs and City
Manager Tom Harmening were pleased with the results.
And they had plenty of reason to be. Survey firm Decision Resources
told St. Louis Park officials that the ratings they found are among the
highest they have seen in the many Twin Cities communities they have
surveyed. A resounding 97% of residents rated the quality of life in St.
Louis Park MN as excellent or good. About 95% of polled residents said
they feel safe. About 89% rated city services as excellent or good. Only 4% of residents said they anticipated moving in the
next five years.
When asked what serious issues face Saint Louis Park, 18% of
residents cited Hennepin County's proposal to move a freight train line
from Minneapolis to this city to make room for light rail. Just 8% cited
high taxes and rising crime. And 12% said they did not see any serious
issues facing the city. That "no issue" response is twice what is
considered normal for a place like St. Louis Park, according to the
The city has lots of multifamily housing, and 28 percent of
residents thought there were too many apartments and 21 percent said
there were too many condos and townhouses. Harmening said proposals for
more condo developments have withered as the economy has suffered.
Jacobs agreed that the city needs to be careful not to overbuild
multifamily housing, although he said the three light-rail stations that
are proposed for his city may result in a push for higher-density
housing in those locations.
"I think if...
Those who live in or visit the Twin Cities probably have seen how many trees we have along our streets, avenues and boulevards.
Recently, a first-of-its-kind study was completed that used high-resolution satellite technology to analyze the tree canopy of the Twin Cities. The study was carried out by a team of University of Minnesota researchers. High-resolution satellite technology was used to examine Minneapolis from above on a clear and cloudless day, recording and analyzing how much tree cover there, down to each individual property.
They study estimated Minneapolis' overall tree coverage to be 31.5%, higher than previous estimates using less precise methods. In St. Paul, the canopy cover rate was 32.5%.
Minneapolis' estimated 979,000 trees offer many benefits, including:
- Cleaning the air
- Sucking up water that would otherwise flood stormwater pipes
- Increase the attractiveness of homes
- Drive up property values
- Reducing the need for cooling during hot summer days by providing shade
"In terms of energy conservation, it doesn't get any easier than planting a tree on the west side of your house if you can," [Minneapolis project coordinator June Mathiowetz] said.
The Lynnhurst neighborhood off the southeast shore of Lake Harriet had the most urban tree cover. Nearly 49% of its area is covered, which includes a portion of Minnehaha Creek. Other neighborhoods that rank high for shadiness have residential lots and extensive parkways, mostly along Minnehaha Creek in southern Minneapolis, West River Road, and along the city's western border.
The research will be helpful in multiple ways. The study shows gaps in the urban tree cover, which could help city planners and foresters target areas in need of improvement or develop low-cost programs to encourage more saplings on private land. It also provides a useful benchmark...
Minneapolis and St. Paul are the healthiest, fittest cities in the country, according to a new examination of the 50 most populous United States metro areas.
The annual American Fitness Index, from the American College of Sports Medicine, is based on health factors, including obesity rates, percentage of people who exercise, and the availability of parks, walking trails and farmers' markets.
Some of the reasons the Twin Cities achieved its high rank is due to a lower-than-average obesity rate, an above-average percentage of residents who exercise, a relatively low smoking rate and moderate-to-low rates of chronic health problems likes asthma, heart disease and diabetes. Oh, and Minneapolis and St. Paul have some of the best and most extensive parks and recreational facilities in the country. Almost 16% of land in the city is park land vs. an average of 10% in other cities.
Here are the rest of the top 10 healthiest cities in the nation:
2. Washington, D.C.
4. Portland, Ore.
6. San Francisco
7. Hartford, Conn.
9. Virginia Beach
Oklahoma City were ranked last and Louisville is second to last. The American College of Sports Medicine is working with these cities and others to help create strategies and policies that make it easier for residents to be healthy.
This Old House magazine recently published its fourth annual list of North America's most timeless neighborhoods from each of the 50 states. Minneapolis' Prospect Park was chosen to represent Minnesota.
House hunters and residents alike delight in Prospect Park's mazelike streets, which are lined with trees planted nearly a century ago and homeowners' pristine gardens. "In Minnesota, we're serious about our gardens, and in Prospect Park you can ratchet that up quite a bit," says Joe Ring, longtime resident and historic preservation committee chair for the Prospect Park East River Road Improvement Association. Sandwiched between the University of Minnesota campus and the border of twin (and rival) city St. Paul, this neighborhood has loads of character—and characters. "People here have an exceedingly unique mentality," Ring says of a community that celebrates its political and economic diversity. "If you want a debate," he adds, "come here."
Loved by students and professors because of its proximity to the University of Minnesota, the Prospect Park neighborhood of Minneapolis is well-known for its "Witch's Hat" water tower and beautiful vintage homes. In fact, of the nearly 800 dwellings here, an astounding 92% are considered contributors to Prospect Park's historic integrity. Nineteenth-century Stick Victorians can be found neighboring mid-20th-century bungalows, many of which feature original architectural elements. Fully restored 2,000-square-foot homes can be found for less than $400,000, while bargain hunters may find deals as low as $150,000 for a 1,200- to 1,500-square-foot house in need of some work.
St. Cloud was last year's Minnesota winner. Check...
Men's Journal Magazine has proclaimed what many of us already know when they selected Minneapolis as one of 18 "coolest towns in America."
Specifically, in its April issue, the magazine is lauding Minneapolis as the "Best Place to Live in a Big City Designed for Getting Outside." The editors say its "countless parks, large biking community and numerous farmers markets" as the reasons.
They also chose Angry Catfish bike and coffee shop owner Joshua Klauck as a "model citizen" of Minneapolis. The magazine says Klauck used a neighborhood grant to spruce up his shop and sells organic coffee and handmade bikes.
Men's Journal chose 18 towns they conclude have mastered the art of living well in the modern world. In its analysis, the magazine took into account factors such as cost of living and the number of sunny days each year.
The April issue of the magazine will appear on newsstands Friday.
Using statistics and analysis of the biggest 50 cities from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Juju.com's monthly Job Search Difficulty Index for Major Cities and Moody's Economy.com, Forbes recently released its list of America's Best and Worst Job Markets.
According to a recent analysis, Minneapolis and St. Paul ranks as the 4th best major community for job markets throughout the United States. The Twin Cities Area's unemployment rate stands at 6.5%, compared to the 9.1%. There is an average of 2.68 job-seekers per opening.
In the Twin Cities area "employment is expected to recover fully by mid-2011, far earlier than nationally," according to a recent Moody's Economy.com analysis of the region. Look for growth in manufacturing and professional services jobs like accounting. Did we mention that the metro is home to the Mall of America, a retail and tourist destination, which is expanding?
Best U.S. cities for jobs:
- Washington, DC
- Boston, Massachusetts
- Austin, Texas
- Minneapolis/St Paul, Minnesota
- Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
- Baltimore, Maryland
- Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- Salt Lake City, Utah
- New York, New York
- Hartford, Connecticut
Worst U.S. cities for jobs:
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Riverside, California
- Miami, Florida
- Detroit, Michigan
- Sacramento, California
- Los Angeles, California
- San Diego, California
- Providence, Rhode Island
- Jacksonville, Florida
- Orlando, Florida
Read the full America's Best and Worst Job Markets article at Forbes....
Looking for the best community in the Twin cities for a relatively quick trip to work? Look no further than Richfield. Residents of this city, located at the heart of the Twin Cities' transit and highway system, get to work an average of two minutes faster than average state residents.
According to U.S. Census date released in December, Richfield MN residents had an average commute of 20.2 minutes, while Bloomington, St. Paul and Minneapolis trailed at 21 to 22 minutes. Commutes were much longer in outer-ring suburbs and bedroom communities such as Marine on St. Croix at 34.6 minutes, Chisago City at 35.1 minutes, Bethel at 37.7 minutes and Waverly at 39 minutes. Statewide, the average Minnesotan's commute to work takes 22.2 minutes.
The data come from 2005 to 2009 estimates from the American Community Survey (ACS), which measures population characteristics in detail. Some of the questions focus on how people get to work and how long it takes them to get there.
While it seems self-evident that commuting times are shortest when workers are near employment centers, the data indicates that other issues may complicate the commute. Minnesota communities with the longest commutes also had no public transit systems.
Lee Munnich, a transportation expert with the University of Minnesota's Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, said long commutes from the fringe of the metro area reflect people's search for affordable housing in the last 20 years. The farther people went, the cheaper houses got. But industry and employment didn't necessarily follow.
"It's part of the cost of housing moving further out," he said. "There...