Park &Trail Planning
Washington County staff assembles master plans and other planning documents that guide the future development of the parks and trails in Washington County.
- For information on the projects we are currently planning, please visit Current Planning Projects.
- For information on master plans that have been approved, please visit Master Plan Documents.
- For information on the snowmaking feasibility study for Lake Elmo Park Reserve, please visit Snowmaking Feasibility Study.
1. Public Engagement
Washington County park and trail plans start in the Planning Division within Public Works. The process begins with staff developing a public engagement plan to gather input and ideas from community members, partners, and other stakeholders.
Washington County staff conducts studies, examines trends, and assesses existing conditions. Staff also researches potential funding sources. This technical analysis complements the feedback we receive through public engagement to help determine the plan's content.
Once a plan is drafted, there will be more opportunities for the project partners and public to comment. When applicable, the Washington County Parks and Open Space Commission will review, comment, and provide a recommendation to the Washington County Board. The plan will then go in front of the County Board for approval.
Once a master plan is approved by the Metropolitan Council, the regional park or trail is eligible for regional funding for the acquisition and development described in the plan.
We want to hear from you about how we can improve parks and trails in Washington County! There are many ways to get involved, here are a few ideas:
Attend a public engagement event
- Please review the Current Planning Projects page for the plans Washington County is actively seeking input on.
- Open Houses - staff will share information on the project/plan, answer questions from the public, and facilitate input from attendees. These are typically scheduled in community facilities located near the project site and are advertised in advanced, across multiple platforms.
- Popup Event - County staff will attend an event or set up a table at a community hub (i.e. park facility, community festival, library, local business) where we can reach out to people who may not be able to attend an open house. The strategy is to notify people via social media and simply "meet people where they are at".
Attend a Parks and Open Space Commission meeting
For more information, please visit the Parks and Open Space Commission page.
Send a comment letter and/or questions to County staff
Connor Schaefer, Planner