A group of local park supporters, along with an active chapter of the Game Protective League, were key drivers in establishing Sibley State Park in 1919. Then, in 1935, the Sibley State Park Improvement Association was established to help enhance and enlarge the park while also encouraging its protection and enjoyment. Their long history of support likely makes the Sibley State Park Improvement Association the oldest friends group of a state park in Minnesota.
This small and mighty group has accomplished quite a lot since inception. Some notable projects include:
- Helping to secure the Veteran Conservation Corps camp, which constructed all of the park’s historic buildings
- Working with the local Lions Clubs to help fund the remodeling of Mt. Tom observation structure
- Contributing input to the park management and development plan
- Supporting the expansion of the park through land acquisition and campaigns to adjust the park’s statutory boundaries.
The Sibley State Park Improvement Association is a true collaborative partner. They’ve built coalitions around common goals to achieve great things for the park. They have been becoming more active in supporting the Glacial Lakes State Trail connection through the park. Parks & Trails Council has also recently worked with them to acquire two separate parcels to expand the park—155 acres in 2013 and 16 acres in 2017. Read more about these land projects.
The park’s momentous 100th birthday is being celebrated through a series of centennial events throughout the year. Mark your calendar for one of these events to visit a truly iconic Minnesota state park.