The Ramsey County Parks and Recreation system encompasses over 6,500 acres consisting of six regional parks including a family aquatic center and nature center, six regional trail corridors, nine county parks, nine protected open space sites, 11 indoor ice arenas and five golf courses. The parks and recreation services provided by Ramsey County complement services provided by municipalities to meet the needs of an urbanized population. The parks and open space areas held by Ramsey County represent the largest undeveloped land areas in the county.
Ramsey County Mission Statement
Working with you to enhance our quality of life.
Department Mission Statement
The mission of the Ramsey County Parks and Recreation Department is “to enhance the quality of life for the people of Ramsey County by preserving, developing, maintaining and managing a system of parks, open space, trail corridors and special use areas; and by providing year-around recreational programs, services and facilities which are responsive to changing needs, compatible with the resource base and most effectively provided at a county level.”
How Ramsey County Parks and Recreation supports this mission:
- Open space preservation —We acquire, protect and manage unique, fragile and aesthetically attractive natural resources that contribute positively to the urban landscape, and perform critical natural functions.
- Nature interpretation—We promote positive environmental values through an increased awareness, knowledge and appreciation of natural resources and natural processes.
- Outdoor recreation programming—We sponsor or co-sponsor recreation programs that encourage development of resource-oriented outdoor recreation skills and promote wellness. We also organize special events that introduce people to recreation opportunities available within the system.
- Special recreation services—We provide areas, facilities and programs of Ramsey County-wide significance to meet specialized indoor or outdoor recreation needs of Ramsey County residents.
- Park services—We provide diverse and accessible areas and facilities primarily for self-directed Ramsey County resource-oriented outdoor recreation that complement the natural features of each site.
- Trail services—We coordinate establishment of a Ramsey County-wide system hiking and biking trails plan that connect significant natural and cultural features and implement those segments of county or regional significance that are located on Ramsey County park and open space land.
The Ramsey County Parks and Recreation Department works in cooperation with other government units to advance park, recreation and leisure service opportunities for all Ramsey County residents.
Ramsey County Parks and Recreation has developed an ordinance for the control and management of parks, recreation and open space areas and facilities under the jurisdiction of the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners.
Parks and Recreation Commission
The Parks and Recreation Commission serves as an advisory commission to the Parks and Recreation department and Ramsey County Board on matters relating to planning, development and operation of parks, trails, open space and recreation areas.
The system plan sets forth a direction for preservation, use and development of the Ramsey County parks and recreation system. The plan is intended to be a land use guide that documents current and intended uses for all parks, open space sites, trails and facilities. The plan was established by the Ramsey County Parks and Recreation Department staff, Ramsey County Parks and Recreation Commission and the Ramsey County Board of Commissioners.
The system plan summarizes current conditions, and the recreation development plans and natural resource management plans from applicable approved master plans for individual system elements. The information contained in these master plans provides supporting documentation for the system plan. The system plan is a dynamic document, that may be amended over time to reflect changes in environmental factors, demographics, and leisure interests and trends within Ramsey County. Issues relative to operations, maintenance and programs are not addressed directly in this plan.
Natural Resource Management Plan
Ramsey County is the smallest county in the state at 156 square miles with a population density
of more than 3,000 people per square mile. Ramsey County’s parks are located in one of the state’s most urbanized regions and are surrounded by a highly fragmented and developed landscape. This population density puts tremendous pressure on the natural resources in the 6,500 acres of parks and open spaces managed by the Ramsey County Parks and Recreation Department (RCPRD). This plan guides the natural resource management for maintaining and improving the natural resources for wildlife habitat, while providing recreational opportunities and access for park users.