BEST PUBLIC PARK Minneapolis 2005 - Lyndale Park Gardens
4125 E. Lake Harriet Parkway
Minneapolis, MN 55410
In the power struggles of Minneapolis city politics, none are as contentious as those surrounding the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. The City Council is constantly looking askance at the board, which is always rife with infighting and controversial decisions. But one fact remains: The city's park system is among the best in the country, and it seems, for the most part, bureaucracy-proof. Lyndale Park Gardens, which neighbors the Roberts Bird Sanctuary, is really four gardens: the Perennial Garden, the Perennial Trial Garden, the much-needed Peace (Rock) Garden, and the Rose Garden. All of these areas are lovely, but it's the Rose Garden that makes the place special. Designed by Minneapolis Park guru Theodore Wirth, the Rose Garden is the second oldest in the country, having been constructed in 1907. The roses begin blooming in June, and some variety or another can be seen flowering until late September. There are guided tours, but we appreciate the way a mellow stroll will take you back in time. There are many parks--not to mention the chain of lakes--that now double as fitness centers; we'll take beauty over brawn any time.