Author: Phoebe Ward

Looking Back At 2022: A Friends Group Impact Report

Our Friends Group Partners make many significant contributions on behalf of Minnesota's parks and trails every year. While some of it gets highlighted in emails and newsletters, much of it flies under the radar, despite its incredible value to the park and/or trail in question. ...
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Native yellow sunflowers in a field

DNR Update: Volunteering Reminders, Planning Progress, and Free Park Day

An update from Arielle Courtney, DNR It’s hard to believe it’s already June. Congratulations to all of us on surviving a very, very long winter! I hope many of you were able enjoy the snow, but now let us rejoice in the spring and summer ...
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May 15, 2023

New Tracks at Belmont County Park

From Friends of the Jackson County Trails Single-tracks, also known as off-road trails, are one to four-foot wide unpaved trails that wind through outdoor spaces. Belmont County Park located eight miles from the City of Jackson and twelve miles from the City of Lakefield, has ...
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April 3, 2023

Engaging youth service organizations: A Friends Group Partner Primer

Building volunteer capacity is a consistent concern for many Friends Groups. Habitat restoration, event planning, invasives removal, and information gathering can all require many hands on deck, and sometimes, it can be helpful to call on your wider community for assistance. Youth engagement is a ...
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Four Friends Groups receive funding for habitat restoration in 2023

Parks & Trails Council is proud to announce the recipients of our 2023 Friends Group Partners Grants. P&TC works closely with these volunteer-based groups, who are important partners for the stewardship of our state's parks and trails. Each of this year's awardees put forward compelling ...
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group of volunteers stands next to buckthorn pile
March 16, 2023

2022 Friends Group Habitat Restoration Grants Recap

In 2022, Parks & Trails Council partnered with six friends groups to spearhead habitat restoration projects at state and regional parks and trails. See the recap below. 2022 by the Numbers $11,550 $8,174 6 378 612.5 Funds granted Local cash match Friends Group Partners Trees ...
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March 2, 2023

Webinar: Partnering with Youth Groups

Details Hear from Tony Manzara (Friends of Lake Elmo's Sunfish Lake Park) and Jill Beim (Friends of Tettegouche State Park) about their group's experiences partnering with youth groups. More Webinar Recordings
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DNR Update – a timeline for the planning process and clarifying DNR requirements

Arielle Courtney, DNR Parks & Trails Partnership Development Consultant, shares an update on the DNR’s Friends Group planning process and work to clarify special event requirements.

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January 5, 2023

Intro to Winter Activities at Savanna Portage State Park

From Friends of Savanna Portage If you happen to be in the vicinity of Savanna Portage State Park this winter, you might discover a variety of frost-friendly activities to take part in, courtesy of the newly-formed Friends of Savanna Portage State Park. Coming soon: you ...
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December 30, 2022

Planning a Candlelight Event: A Friends Group Partner Primer

The winter nights are long and dark, but you can put a little light back into your life – and the lives of your neighbors - by holding a candlelight event! These popular events involve setting up candles or electric luminaries along pre-arranged pathways so ...
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candles along path in the snow at night
December 19, 2022

The Jackson County Trail Action Plan is on its way

From Friends of the Jackson County Trails The Friends of Jackson County Trails is working with the City of Jackson, Jackson County, and representatives from local schools to create a MnDOT-funded Trail Action Plan to connect the city of Jackson to Robertson, Brown, and Anderson ...
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December 8, 2022

Webinar: Understanding Minnesota’s Changing Climate

Details Hear from Dr. Kenneth Blumenfeld, a climate scientist with Minnesota’s State Climatology Office, as he breaks down trends in regional climate, including winter warming, changes in precipitation, and how these changes relate to places around the globe. More Webinar Recordings
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November 15, 2022

Free Park Fridays

The last Free Park Friday of the year will be on November 25th this year. You can visit any one of Minnesota's 75 state parks and recreation areas for free, including as an overnight camper. This is a great opportunity for people currently without an annual park permit to explore nearby natural areas - and, given that this Free Park Friday falls directly after Thanksgiving, it is also a chance to spend more time with family over the long holiday weekend!
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November 1, 2022

2023 Habitat Restoration Grants: An Overview

Details Hear from Phoebe Ward, Friends Group Program Manager, as she goes over the 2023 Habitat Restoration grant program, including updated application deadlines, eligible restoration activities, and questions to ask during the planning process. More Webinar Recordings
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October 3, 2022

Recapping the 2022 Annual Dinner

A big thank you to everyone who attended our Annual Dinner on Sep. 28. We had a great turnout and several very memorable speakers. Senator Carrie Ruud received this year's Reuel Harmon Award and the Friends of Whitewater State Park were honored with the Friends ...
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