We envision an interconnected system of parks, trails, waterways, natural areas and open spaces that provide all Minnesotans with outstanding outdoor recreational opportunities and that preserve the natural diversity of our state.
We value and promote
- Sustainable, long-term statewide land stewardship and conservation
- Outdoor recreation for its educational, health and community benefits
- Openness, inclusiveness, collaboration and volunteerism
- Service as an independent, honest and forthright voice for parks and trails
- Decisions informed by the best available science and data
Founded in 1954
Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota was established in 1954 as one of the first of its kind in the nation—a statewide citizen advisory board for state parks. It all began, appropriately enough at Itasca, Minnesota’s first state park, where the state’s top parks advocates gathered to discuss the future of Minnesota state parks. In attendance were Minnesota State Parks director U.W. Hella and Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Clarence R. Magney.
Judge Magney (for whom Judge C.R. Magney State Park is named), served as the first chair of P&TC, then called the Minnesota Council of State Parks. At that time, membership was limited to 16 active members. In later years the membership limit was raised to 50, and eventually membership was opened to all people who wanted to assist this work through their membership support. Today that’s well over 3,000 people.
Today, we continue the important work of preserving land and creating opportunities for everyone to enjoy Minnesota’s outstanding natural heritage. With your help, we can continue to ensure these same opportunities are around for future generations!