Located in Dakota County, Minnesota, Burnsville rests on the south bank of the Minnesota River, and it occupies with neighboring suburbs the southern part of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area. Named after the Irish settler William Byrne, the city has an estimated population of 59,321, according to a 2006 census. Burnsville is characterized by its many recreational attractions, including the Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve and Buck Hill ski area, although the Heart of the City project has enhanced the city's urban image.
Known as a prominent commuter town of both Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Burnsville experienced a major boom in the 1960s after the construction of the Interstate 35W Minnesota River Bridge. The resulting population increase encouraged widespread construction, especially throughout the downtown area. Burnsville has also undergone a rapid redevelopment project, which has created a distinct variety of architectural styles throughout the city.
Although the area along the Minnesota River was once a bustling industrial center, it is now primarily the site of a sealed landfill. The newer industrial area is located in the west side of the city and contains a number of manufacturing and corporate businesses.
Composed mostly of single-family homes, Burnsville's neighborhoods are designed using largely suburban patterns, and homes are surrounded by natural features such as wooded areas, parks, lakes and wetlands. The regional traffic flow from north of the Minnesota River, which gives Burnsville its commuter-town character, also contributes to noise and air pollution, not to mention roadway systems that divide the city into numerous subdivisions.
Home and neighborhood organizations have attempted to reduce the high-density traffic flow in areas near Interstate 35E, Interstate 35W and Highway 13 by connecting neighborhoods and constructing community meeting zones. The Heart of the City project, which is run and supported by urban residents, is a 54-acre, mixed-use development project designed to create a pedestrian-friendly downtown area. This project is characterized by numerous new business and office spaces, community parks, retail shops, condominium buildings and a community arts center.
Additionally, Burnsville has three mobile home parks that are privately managed and offer a multitude of facilities to park residents.
Burnsville's economy is based mainly on education and the service and manufacturing industries. Burnsville's Independent School District (ISD) 191 is the city's largest employer, and news and real estate firms as well as Internet utilities can be found along Highway 13. The majority of manufacturing employers are located in the industrial areas of the north and the southwest. Specific major employers include:
The Burnsville Center, a regional mall, constitutes the main retail hub of the city. Additionally, County Road 42 contains a whole string of suburban strip malls.
The Burnsville Performing Arts Center is the hub for the arts in Burnsville and is located at 12600 Nicollet Avenue. The center features two theaters: a 1,000-seat Proscenium Stage and a 150-seat Black Box. In addition to the theaters, the center has an art gallery, a rehearsal room and meeting rooms.
The Science Museum of Minnesota is in close proximity to Burnsville and features exhibits that combine technology and hands-on entertainment, and also contains a domed, nine-story omnitheater.
Burnsville Fire Muster, which takes place every September, offers fireworks, a fire-truck parade, and exciting demonstrations with fire equipment.
The Art and All That Jazz Festival is put on every August at the Nicollet Commons Park.
I Love Burnsville Week is a recent event that occurs in June. Residents and visitors gather to celebrate the city with a community garage sale, an afternoon picnic, golf tournament, boat parade and farmer's market.
Heart of the City Lighting Ceremony is an annual event that takes place every November at the Nicollet Commons Park, situated west of Nicollet Avenue. Participants can observe the lighting of more than 200,000 mini-lights and 200 streetlight snowflakes while local youth choirs entertain with music.
The annual Burnsville Home Remodeling Fair provides residents with information regarding home-improvement projects. Numerous local vendors display their services and offer advice on indoor and outdoor remodeling projects. Additionally, free seminars are offered during the fair.
The Lake Alimagnet Center for the Arts, located in East Burnsville, is the city's major arts institution. The Garage Youth Center, situated close to City Hall, is another art institution that has attracted both national and international musical acts.
Burnsville boasts almost 2,000 acres of parkland and nearly 80 parks, most of which are preserved as a natural habitat. Crystal Lake offers summer activities such as swimming, fishing and boating, and the Burnsville Ice Center has two large professional ice rinks for winter sports.
Additionally, a number of concerts and movies is connected with the many festivals that occur year round.
There's a number of excellent primary schools within the ISD-191, which includes Burnsville and parts of Eagan and Savage.
Elementary schools include:
Secondary schools include:
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