Park space for dogs increases human interaction. These spaces become community gathering places where people actually talk to each other. We need this! We also need urban reforestation. Parks create space for large trees underneath it.
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The Regional Parks Policy Plan should emphasize maintaining the quality of natural resources in our regional parks. High-quality natural areas and water resources must be preserved and, in areas where they already have been degraded, they should be restored. Greenway corridors should connect these places, but not necessarily be developed through these valuable green spaces. These natural areas will only become more valuable as the areas around them become more developed.
I realize this is a likely to remain a pipe dream, but I would love to see St. Anthony Falls restored to it's former glory. When the Mississippi river meets the falls it slides down an obviously manmade concrete spillway in a rather underwhelming way to continue on its journey south. My dream is to build a concrete platform, starting from where the falls starts to angle down, that would extend forward enough so that the falls could drop vertically it's entire height. This would allow for the creation of a walkway, from bank to bank, through the void between the platform and spillway that's open to the falls so one can witness the roaring mighty Mississippi as a wall of water flowing at 89,869 gallons per second from behind.
35W and 94 have both cut through the center of the urban fabric. Cities across the world have looked at remedying this by creating useable space above freeways by decking over them to allow for construction. Buildings or parks can be built above these freeways to restore neighborhoods, provide greenspace, and increase walkability. This can be done on a trial basis between Downtown and the University of Minnesota's West Bank or in another area that would demonstrate similar benefits from being tied together.
For example, people living in the downtowns or other very urban parts of the cities (such as the Central Corridor/Green Line), particularly people such as myself who have no car can't easily visit the giant park preserves way outside the urban center. Funding for regional parks should go primarily to the parks closest to high-density. More funding for urban regional parks that are smaller, but higher volume than their complementary rural regional parks. Urban parks serve a primarily recreation need (active use) while rural park preserves serve a natural resource protection need (passive use).