Park and Trail - Plans & Studies

Washington County staff assembles long-range  plans and other planning documents that guide the future development of the parks and trails in Washington County.

  1. How Do We Plan?
  2. How Can I Get Involved?

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.

If the planning document applies to a regional park or regional trail, the Metropolitan Council will review it for compliance with the Regional Parks Policy Plan

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.