I know, I have said it before that Minnesota is a great place to live. No one wants to move here, but once people do move here, they never want to leave. There are so many reasons why Minnesota is a great place to live but recently a few more came out in the news that I wanted to share.
If you want to be healthy and enjoy the great outdoors, this is the place to be. I know, it sounds crazy since we have those super cold, long winters with lots of snow but you know what? We are outside in the winter doing winter activities, we have grips to put on our shoes to keep us from slipping if we are running or walking outdoors and some folks even bike in the winter! Not only are we outside but we have so many great places to be outdoors!
First of all, a big congratulations to the Twin Cities for making the top spot on the list of fittest US cities for the third year in a row! Looking at personal health habits, community resources and access to health care, the American College of Sports Medicine, along with the Indiana University School of Family Medicine and a panel of experts, released on Wednesday its sixth annual rankings for the 50 largest metropolitan areas in the United States. When it comes to the number of baseball fields, golf courses, play grounds and dog parks, the Twin Cities spends twice as much on parks per capita than many other cities. The reasoning behind the spending is that if people don’t have a place to go out and exercise and play, they won’t, supply the place and they will come!
Secondly, a big congratulations to Minneapolis for having the top park system in the country! In Minneapolis, 94% of residents live within a 10 minute walk of a park! Minneapolis has 197 parks that total 6,744 acres with roughly 20 million people using them per year! According to Jayne Miller, the superintendent of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, “The system here is unique and far superior to any other park system in the country,” in the mid-1800s, civic leaders were very forward-thinking and visionary. They felt very strongly that our system needed to be independent (from the city government.)” As an independent entity, Minneapolis’ park system draws funds from several sources, including property tax revenue, state bonding money and the regional Metropolitan Council. It can even get funding directly from the state Legislature, which no other park system in Minnesota can do. Minneapolis has a parks budget of just under $100 million and 472 full-time employees.
Now don’t think that the parks are just for the summertime. Many of the parks are used in winter for walking, kids really do bundle up and use the play sets and many parks have hockey and skating rinks. Starting at a young age residents in Minnesota learn to get out in all 4 seasons and enjoy what the great outdoors has to offer.