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Walk and Talks Created a Fresh Experience of Minneapolis Parks

With Summer receding into wonderful fall weather, we hosted our final 2018 Walk and Talk park tour – a hike along the Winchell Trail in the Mississippi River Gorge.

Studies continually show that people are more likely to return to parks and public spaces if they are provided a curated experience through that space or feel welcome when they arrive. Our Walk and Talk events are just one small example of how to create a fresh experience for people to see our Minneapolis park system in a new light and learn some of the history and context for these incredible spaces.

Over the course of the last four months of Walk and Talks, we toured the Central Riverfront and the Water Works site, learned pollinator-friendly practices along Minnehaha Creek and in the Longfellow Gardens, followed Shingle Creek from the Webber Natural Swimming Pool to the Mississippi River, and rediscovered the Winchell Trail and its natural qualities.

Thank you to all of the individuals who participated. We found that the conversations and additional insight that arose during our walks were inspiring to us and fellow walkers. I hope that each of you who joined us retraces your steps with someone else, so you can pass on the stories you heard and history you learned.

We will host these walks again next year – and hope to have even more of you join us. Historic decisions by park leaders, city founders, and generous benefactors are a reminder to us today that future generations will benefit from our work – and that constructing and maintaining a city’s park system are gifts also to the future. Each site we know and love today resulted from past decisions that weighed costs with benefits and ultimately strengthened our city.

We welcome ideas for future walks. If you have a park, trail, or public space you’d like us to highlight or, even better, a story connected to our parks that you’d like to share, please let us know. As the Parks Foundation grows, we want to ensure that storytellers and the places those stories unfold are shared more widely.

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