Originally a rural Irish farming community, Burnsville was fully built by the late 2000s. 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.
Known in the metro area for 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.