Negotiating with Nature: The Evolution of Urban Parks in the Twin Cities

Ariel A. Trahan, Macalester College

Document Type Article


This paper examines three local case studies—Loring Park, Lake Harriet, and the Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary—which illustrate the dynamic relationship between humans and nature. Throughout history urban parks have variously served as pleasure grounds for moral uplift, recreational/entertainment facilities, abandoned sites of urban decay, and most recently sites of ecological restoration that promote a harmonious view of cities and nature. Regardless of their specific form and function, urban parks are not preserved pieces of nature within the city, but rather are contrived landscapes continuously evolving in response to changing social conditions.


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