From the St Louis Park Echo
Park ranks among top 100
City receives “Best Places to Live” honor
According to a nationally recognized organization, Park is not just an ordinary city in the United States; it’s much more.
Park is recognized as the 27 best place to live in the United States in 2015 according to Livability.com; the only other Minnesota city besides Rochester, which is number two on the top 100 list.
According to the non-profit organization, the combination of schools, health care and job opportunities place it among the best places to live in the United States.
Nationally recognized for its success in the classroom, the Park school district is the only one in the state where every school is recognized as a blue ribbon school of excellence by the National Department of Education. Park offers a variety of language and special education services that many other school districts in the state do not provide.
Ken Morrison, a school board member, said the school district’s success cannot be credited just to the the educators and the students, but the community as a whole.
“The students and the teachers have done a great job promoting the school in the most positive of ways, but really it is the entire Park community that makes this such a great district,” Morrison said.
With programs such as Health in the Park, the park system and the wide variety of athletic clubs and school programs, Park’s Health Care system is also a main reason for its high ranking, according to freshman Malaika Bigirindavyi.
“One of the great things about Park is the amount of healthy opportunities for young people and older people,” Bigirindavyi said. “Its nice that there are a lot of different sports and clubs students can be a part of.”
According to a poll conducted by Livability.com, 83 percent of adults in St. Louis Park practice healthy lifestyles by engaging in leisurely exercise about once a day and 86 percent of adults in the poll are non-smokers.
Park Nicollet, the city’s only local hospital, provides low cost medical services to residents and is the city’s largest employer, providing over 4,500 jobs.
Despite its various accolades in education, health and employment, high school band director Steve Schmitz said Park’s greatest aspect is its outlook on different cultures and people.
“I really don’t think Park is like any other city. It’s unique. Its got something other places don’t,” Schmitz said. “For me my number one thing is diversity and the respect for diversity. All types of people live here and are respected and celebrated here.”
According to Schmitz, another reason for the award is because of the community and the people in it.
“It’s a tightly knit community, and it feels like a small town even though it isn’t,” Schmitz said. “When we had tragedy with the McManus’, you just knew that you were not alone.”
Here is the link to the article: http://slpecho.com/news/2015/03/12/park-ranks-among-top-100/