In June 2020 the Parks and Trails Legacy Partners embarked on a two-year research project to count visitors to the three system’s parks and trails. Coordination Among Partners funds have paid for this research project for the benefit of all. A data scientist was hired and is housed at the Metropolitan Council offices, working with support of their research team.
The scope of the project is to conduct a statewide analysis of parks and trails visitation, which for Greater Minnesota includes not only designated parks, but parks ranked “eligible for designation” as well.
The data used for the research has come from StreetLight Data, Inc., a company that aggregates vast amounts of anonymized data gathered from cell phones to algorithmically transform the inputs into contextualized, aggregated and normalized travel patterns. In plain speaking, they can deliver insight into how vehicles, bikes, pedestrians and transit passengers move on virtually every road and in every Census Block. This information provides the data scientists with ways to count visitors to our system parks and trails. Information that in many parks and trails in Greater Minnesota, we simply do not have.
While the date shows as May 13, 2022, the information has been updated as StreetLight Data has advanced with a recent algorithm update. Please know that the system park information study is complete, but trail research is still underway and will be released in the first quarter of 2023.
We invite you to review the report, check park visitation for your park or against other parks in the Greater Minnesota system or our partner agencies; Metropolitan Council Regional Parks and DNR State Parks.
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