Burnsville Attractions and Activities
The Burnsville Park System contains approximately 1,750 acres spread throughout 76 parks. Approximately one-third of the parkland is developed for active uses. The other two-thirds are preserved as natural areas, some accessed by trails.
Community parks are intended to attract users from the entire community. They also include the majority of the park system’s special uses and facilities such as the ice center, boat landings, and fishing docks. The 20 community parks generally are 20 acres or more in size and include intensive recreational facilities, such as playing fields and courts, and/or natural areas for more individualized recreation. They are strategically located so that most households are within one mile of a community park.
The 28 neighborhood parks range from four to 40 acres in size and generally feature play structures and playing fields. A few neighborhood parks include natural areas or special use facilities such as a sledding hill or fishing dock. Neighborhood parks are intended to be located within one-half to three-fourths of a mile of all households and to be accessible on foot.
Mini-parks are generally one to three acres in size, although a few ranges up to eight acres. Some of the City’s 19 mini-parks function as play lots, with play equipment and an informal playfield, while others are largely natural open spaces. Mini-parks have traditionally been designed to serve neighbors within a convenient walking distance and to serve persons with limited mobility such as small children and the elderly.
There are nine preservation areas that are intended to remain undeveloped. They provide neighborhoods with natural open and/or wooded spaces.
Burnsville is also home to two major regional facilities. Part of the Black Dog Unit of the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, approximately 1,300 acres in size, is located in the northeast portion of the City. Part of Murphy Hanrehan Park Reserve, a 2,400-acre regional park in Dakota and Scott Counties, is located in the City’s southwest corner.
Some of the many amenities in the park system are:
- Natural Hiking Trails
- Cross Country Ski Trails
- Mountain Bike Trails
- Tennis Courts
- Volleyball Courts
- Basketball Courts
- In-line Skating Rinks
- Two Public Beaches
- Skate Park
- Boat Launch
- Recreations Buildings
- Picnic Shelters
- Playground Areas
- Hockey and Pleasure Rinks
- Archery Range
- Frisbee Golf Course
- Numerous Athletic Fields
- Canoe Rack Rentals
The Ames Performing Arts Center is located at 12600 Nicollet Avenue in the Heart of the City. The center has two theatres, a 1000-seat Proscenium Stage, and an art gallery.
THE GARAGE Youth Center located near City Hall is a non-profit music club and teen center which has attracted music acts nationally and internationally.
Annually every August or September, the community holds the Burnsville Fire Muster. Established in 1980, the event originated in the 1970s as a showcase and short parade for a local fire equipment collector. Taking on the New England fire muster tradition, the event now includes a large parade, music concerts, and fireworks. In 2004, the namesake event of this celebration, a fire truck parade, was cited by the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest of its kind in the world, at that time.
Homes and businesses in Burnsville receive the same television, news, and cable stations as most metro area cities, provided by Comcast and Time Warner Cable. Burnsville Community Television (BCTV) provides public access programs and information. The Burnsville Sun Current and This week Newspapers supply local news and the Minneapolis Star Tribune recently created a South section dedicated to South of the River news.