Open house will give a glimpse into the future of 22 parks in Alexandria

The City of Alexandria will hold a Park/Trails Master Plan Open House on Thursday, Feb. 9 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Alexandria City Hall.

Walking in park
Vanessa Holland walks on a trail along Lake Agnes in Big Ole Central Park in Alexandria on Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022.
Lowell Anderson / Alexandria Echo Press

ALEXANDRIA — Imagine what Alexandria's parks and trails will look like in five, 10, 15 or 20 years.
Here's your chance to take a peek.
Concept drawings have now been completed that give insights into the future of all of the city's 22 parks.
The City of Alexandria will hold a Park/Trails Master Plan Open House on Thursday, Feb. 9 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Alexandria City Hall.
The plans, which at this point are conceptual drafts, will be presented at the open house. In order to finalize the plans, city leaders are seeking review and input from the public that will help guide how the city invests in the parks over the next generation, according to Parks Director Bill Thoennes.
"These concept drawings are formed from what we heard from the public from the surveys that were conducted last summer and the open house we hosted last October," Thoennes said. "The final draft is scheduled to be completed at the end of March or beginning of April."

Bill Thoennes

Those who are unable to attend the Feb. 9 open house may still provide feedback through the city's website, Look for the linking starting on Feb. 9.
Those with questions about the open house may contact Thoennes at
The city’s 22 parks range in size from 0.75 acres (Goose Park) to 74.14 acres (Oakwood Trails near 50th Avenue East). Combined, the parks take up 175 acres.
The city has already designated the parks into three categories:

  • Premier parks. Parks that are the most visited and used for events and larger gatherings. These parks are more centrally located in Alexandria. The city would like to see a priority placed on these parks during the planning process.
  • Neighborhood parks. Parks that are located in specific neighborhoods around the city. These parks will likely not need the full amenities that are part of the premier parks. These parks are scattered outside the area of the premier parks.
  • Other parks/open space. Parks that have a monument, wayside rest area, or parking for events. Some are not developed yet and looking for future options.

Here are the 22 parks in the city limits: Alexandria City Park, Big Ole Central Park, Bluebird Park, Carter Park, Dean Melton Fillmore Park, Fred Foslien Park, Geneva Crest Park, Goose Park, Lake Agnes Park, Lake Burgen Park, Lake Connie Park, Lakeview Park, Manor Hills Park, Martin's Hope Park, Noonan Park, Oak Knoll Park, Oakwood Trails, Pooch Playland, Runestone Park, Skylark Park, Summer Meadows Park and Woodland Park.

City Park pier
Visitors check out the pier at Alexandria City Park.
Alexandria Echo Press file photo

Al Edenloff is the editor of the twice-weekly Echo Press. He started his journalism career when he was in 10th grade, writing football and basketball stories for the Parkers Prairie Independent.
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