Parks & Natural Resources

Parks and open space are key contributors to the region’s livability, sustainability, and quality of life. They strengthen residents’ physical, psychological, and social well-being by providing opportunities for recreation, stress reduction, and social interaction. Natural areas provide environmental benefits by preserving natural resources, reducing air pollution, and managing storm water runoff.

Comp Plan Conversations: Parks & Natural Resources

Mon, Aug 7
Agenda | Minutes

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The proposed Parks Plan will include goals, objectives, and policies that provide guidance and policy direction for the long-term future of the City’s park system either as a publicly-maintained local system or in partnership with local, regional and state agencies. The chapter will also include the Natural Resources Management Plan, which was adopted by City Council in 2015.

Proposed Land Use Goals and Objectives

Goal 1: Preserve Parks and Acquire Additional Land

The City of Golden Valley recognizes the importance of parks, open spaces, nature areas, and recreational facilities to the community’s overall health, vitality, and appeal.


  • Provide and maintain attractive parks and scenic areas for community enjoyment and leisure time activities.
  • Develop appropriate park and recreation areas and facilities to serve existing and future community needs.
  • Implement an excellent maintenance system that maximizes the available resources and provides for high quality parks and facilities.
  • Pursue and acquire additional land for open space, parks, and trails.
  • Maintain a no net-loss of acreage for specific use land, open space, parks, and nature areas owned and operated by the City. Acreage baseline is 480 acres.


  • Maintain the current level of service by providing at least 22.5 acres of City-owned parks, special use land, open spaces, and nature areas per 1,000 residents.
  • Provide direction, coordination, and cooperation with adjacent communities, school districts, Three Rivers Park District, the State of Minnesota, the Metropolitan Council, and other related agencies, both public and private, for facility usage, park planning, programming, and development efforts.
  • Pursue the acquisition and development of neighborhood parks in order that each neighborhood is adequately served with appropriate recreational facilities.
  • Pursue grants from local, regional, state, and federal agencies to obtain funding assistance for park and recreation planning, administration, acquisition, physical development, and programming efforts.
  • Provide special use recreational facilities for broad community use.
  • Expand connections between existing open spaces and parks.
  • Preserve and enhance parks and open space areas in accordance with the City of Golden Valley Capital Improvement Plan.
  • Seek all opportunities, within financial limits, to plan, procure, develop, and maintain parks and recreation resources.
  • Acquire and develop land or expand existing land for parks where it is deemed beneficial.
  • Maintain excellent internal park trails that provide connectivity and access within each park area to park amenities and citywide sidewalks and trails.
  • Provide insight and direction for the citywide trail and sidewalk plan.
  • Develop a plan to eliminate physical barriers in all park areas to meet the recreational needs of all residents.
  • Stay connected to the community for flexibility and responsive collaboration.
  • Maintain, update, replace, and add athletic facilities to meet community recreation needs.

Implementation Strategies

  • Identify and secure properties that add to or improve park locations.
  • Develop partnerships to expand recreation amenities.
  • Maintain a zero net loss park acreage goal.
  • Be responsive to collaboration opportunities.
  • Support the Parks Department through efficient facility use, capital reinvestment, and technology upgrades to ensure a dynamic park system.

Goal 2: Deliver Recreation and Education Opportunities

The City of Golden Valley believes that lifelong learning and active lifestyles are vital aspects for a vibrant community.


  • Provide recreational and educational opportunities to meet the needs of the community, including all age groups and ability levels.
  • Deliver a variety of recreational and educational programs and events that are responsive to the changing needs and interests of the community.
  • Create and maintain a city environment supportive of active living by providing opportunities for physical activity to people who live, work, and play within the City.


  • Cooperate with the school districts in promoting community use of facilities.
  • Collaborate with other non-profit organizations and agencies to provide adaptive and recreational and educational opportunities for the community.
  • Promote social equity for those under served in our community by eliminating barriers and providing access to programs, facilities, places, and spaces in our park system.
  • Partner with and support youth athletic organizations.
  • Cooperate with public and private entities to provide recreational and educational opportunities.
  • Cooperate with corporate citizens to provide employee recreational opportunities.
  • Encourage and provide entrepreneurial recreation and educational program activities.
  • Monitor user satisfaction and solicit new program ideas.
  • Develop program budget priorities that help ensure quality recreational and educational opportunities.
  • Encourage and enable programs and classes provided by other agencies and groups.
  • Recruit and use seasonal/part-time employees and volunteers to assist in implementing the City’s recreational programs and events.

Implementation Strategies

  • Stay connected to the community to provide recreational and educational opportunities for an ever-changing resident base.
  • Continuously explore opportunities to partner and collaborate on recreational and educational initiatives.
  • Support local organizations that provide programs and services for the community.
  • Utilize thorough evaluation as an integral aspect to our service delivery.
  • Ensure recreation programs and educational opportunities are available to all.

Goal 3: Protect and Enhance Open Spaces and Natural Resources

The City of Golden Valley desires to provide and maintain high quality natural resources through its management of nature areas and open spaces, which provide healthy wildlife habitats, nature-oriented recreation and educational experiences, and enhanced quality of life for residents.


  • Partner with the Environmental Commission to protect, preserve, restore, enhance, and develop the natural resources within the City and implement the Natural Resources Management Plan.
  • Control existing and emerging invasive plant species, pests and diseases.
  • Provide access and connectivity.
  • Maintain and monitor natural resources.
  • Support and provide public outreach and education and citizen participation.
  • Foster partnerships and inter-governmental cooperation
  • Protect and manage wildlife.
  • Support the goals and policies outlined in the City’s Resilience and Sustainability Chapter of the Comprehensive Plan


  • Apply an adaptive management approach to achieving natural resource goals to ensure success
  • Connect people to the benefits of nature and the outdoors through sustainable community assets by protecting natural resources and open spaces.
  • Increase passive recreational opportunities of existing natural resources through park land enhancement.
  • Review development proposals for conformance with ordinances regarding tree preservation, water quality, wetland protection and mitigation, and shore land protection.
  • Work with developers to provide permanent open space/park areas or monetary compensation of land in development plans through a park dedication fee.
  • Educate private property owners on how to protect and maintain natural resources on their property.
  • Protect parks and open space areas from unnecessary encroachment or destruction from neighboring properties.
  • Use site planning, construction, and maintenance techniques on public park lands to minimize negative impacts on the natural environment.
  • Use or specify native plant materials in projects on City property.
  • Search for, and take advantage of, opportunities to acquire properties to add to the City’s inventory of natural resource-based open space.
  • Protect and preserve endangered and threatened species and their natural habitat through cooperative efforts with Metropolitan Parks Commission, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
  • Enforce no-net loss of wetlands within jurisdictional limits through administration of the Minnesota Wetlands Conservation Act.
  • Increase emphasis on minimizing runoff volumes, through implementation of storm water best management practices and other environmental practices that are technically acceptable and financially feasible.
  • Continue to take a proactive approach in efforts to identify and treat diseased and insect-infested trees in a timely manner through implementation of the City’s shade tree disease program.
  • Work with private property owners and developers to encourage reforestation and preservation of significant vegetation and enforce current tree and landscape ordinance.
  • Use best management practices to improve the effectiveness of natural resource management.
  • Provide, maintain, search for, and develop public access to parks and water bodies.
  • Protect and manage priority open space areas within the City.
  • Maintain and develop natural corridors to foster ecosystem continuity and provide connections to parks and open space.
  • Expand environmental education programs with partnerships in schools and in the community.
  • Continue to inventory and analyze natural resources and manage them accordingly within the City.
  • Control and deter growth of nuisance wildlife populations.

Implementation Strategies

  • Address encroachment issues through education, identification, and boundary demarcation
  • Market and brand the City’s nature areas and open spaces and distinguish them from parks
  • Expand certain nature areas through agreement, easement, or acquisition as opportunities arise
  • Develop a communications/education plan with topics and schedule, and deliver using various media
  • Further develop the City’s volunteer program including public outreach and citizen participation
  • Design and install signage (entrance, general wayfinding and educational) in nature areas and open spaces
  • Continue to regulate/enforce natural resource related laws, codes and policies
  • Develop maintenance schedule and set of best management practices/procedures for nature areas and opens spaces
  • Complete the specific natural resource and amenity improvements listed in the Natural Resource Management Plan

Goal 4: Grow Brookview Golf and Recreation Area

The City of Golden Valley believes the Brookview Recreation Area is a key asset to the park system and the opportunities provided to residents are unique and worthy of continued investment.


  • Provide a full-service public golf facility, including an 18-hole regulation course, 9-hole par three course, driving range, lawn bowling green, practice areas for warm-up, bar and grill, golf shop, and all other amenities associated with the operation of a municipal golf opportunity.
  • Maintain, evaluate, and improve Brookview Golf Course and amenities to provide an excellent golfing facility for the public.


  • Provide high quality golfing opportunities for the public.
  • Maintain and improve the lawn bowling green to consistently provide an excellent facility for recreation, league, and rental play.
  • Replace aging infrastructure on Brookview Golf Course. Infrastructure includes: irrigation system, bridges, cart paths, tee boxes, greens, signage, on-site buildings, and pond areas.
  • Update and maintain golf course mechanical equipment to ensure proper maintenance of golf course.
  • Develop systematic plans for the replacement of patron use equipment, such as power carts, pull carts, tables, chairs, benches, locker room amenities, technology and event equipment.
  • Plan and implement for safety shelters throughout the golf course area for golfers to take shelter during inclement weather events.
  • Update golf maintenance building and infrastructure to employ all environmentally, appropriate practices associated with the golf operations.
  • Continue to utilize pollinator plants when developing annual planting program.
  • Continue to explore new recreation activities that align with recreational opportunities provided through the golf operations.
  • Continue to invest in winter recreational activities throughout the golf course property, including but not limited to, fat bike trails, winter disc golf, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, etc.

Implementation Strategies

  • Create new opportunities that produce strong revenues to sustain the recreation area.
  • Continue to diversify revenue baskets in order to ensure a broader base of fiscal opportunities.
  • Constantly evaluate management systems, technology, and staffing efficiencies to keep expenses at appropriate levels.
  • Expand marketing initiatives.
  • Grow private partnerships to maximize facility potential.
  • Partner resources to expand customer base.
  • Make innovation a priority.

Comp Plan
In A Box

Comp Plan In A Box is a small group meeting, guided by a leader, where people share ideas about the future of the place where they live, work, and play.