Burnsville has many attractions, including its regional mall, Burnsville Center. The city is also a recreational attraction with Alimagnet Dog Park, a section of Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve, and 310-foot (94 m) vertical ski peak Buck Hill. Minnesota River wildlife is protected by the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge.
Originally a rural Irish farming community, Burnsville became the tenth largest city in Minnesota in the 2000 Census following the construction of Interstate 35. Currently the ninth largest suburb in the metro area and a bedroom community of both Minneapolis and Saint Paul, the city was fully built by the late 2000s. Burnsville's downtown area is called Heart of the City with urban-style retail and condominiums. The Burnsville Transit Station serves as the hub and headquarters of the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority, providing regional bus service to five other suburbs.
The name Burnsville is attributed to an early Irish settler and land owner, William Byrne. His surname was recorded as "Burns" and was never corrected.
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