Dakota County has developed a Parks Visitor Services Plan to improve services that enrich the overall parks experience, including events, outdoor education, volunteerism, rentals, customer service and community outreach and awareness. The project purpose is to build:
- A contemporary understanding of residents’ expectations for County Parks services
- An inclusive vision that:
A responsive overall approach for providing recreation services, including steps to achieve the vision.
- builds a stronger park system identity, based on unique park characteristics and features
- continues to offer what current park visitors like
- offers opportunities for residents who aren’t using County parks
Planning and process schedule
The plan was developed through several phases, with opportunities for public involvement at each phase:
1. Research (January 2016–September 2016)
This phase looked at public interests and evaluated current services and what other agencies offer. A community-wide scientific survey sent to more than 5,000 households looked at current service use, likelihood of future service use, service opportunities, and service satisfaction.
Park Visitor Survey Report
A workshop with the Dakota County Board of Commissioners considered research findings and future directions for visitor services.
Park Visitor Services Plan Research Report
Research Report Appendices
Board Workshop Packet - Sept. 13, 2016
Develop options (September–November 2016)
Options for visitor services were developed, based on the research findings. Public comments on the options were provided through the website, discussion sessions, and other events.
Draft concepts were presented at an open house on Nov. 14, 2016 and Physical Development Committee on Nov. 29, 2016. See open house displays. See Nov. 16, 2016 Board Workshop packet.
Draft plan (January–August 2017)
Based on research, public comments, and County Board direction, a draft plan for visitor services has been developed. The County Board authorized release of the draft plan on Aug. 22, 2017 for a 30-day public review and comment period through Sept. 21, 2017.
Visitor Services Draft Plan
Open houses on the draft plan
Two sessions will provide an opportunity to learn more about new park services, sample activities, and share ideas on park programming with staff.
These will be family friendly events. You'll also be able to investigate the plants and animals that live in the lakes and enjoy s-mores by the bonfire.
Sept. 20, 2017, 5-7 p.m.: Dakota Lodge in Thompson County Park
Sept. 21, 2017, 5-7 p.m.: Lebanon Hills Visitor Center
Please send comments and ideas on the draft Parks Visitor Services Plan to email@example.com.
Check back on this page for project updates. To receive regular email updates on this project and other park information, sign up for the Dakota County Parks E-News.