DNR Friends Group News

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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July 28, 2022

DNR Update – Listening to Friends Groups and updating volunteer requirements

Arielle Courtney, DNR Parks & Trails Partnership Development Consultant, shares an update on the department’s plans for Friends group engagement and answers some frequently asked questions. 
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view of the headwaters
May 31, 2022

DNR Update – Flooding, volunteer requirements update, and a thank you

Arielle Courtney, DNR Parks & Trails Partnership Development Consultant, shares an update on the latest recission of the COVID-19 volunteer requirements and talks about what’s next for improving the volunteer experience.
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Big Bog SRA boardwalk
January 4, 2022

Volunteering with the DNR – Survey

An update from Arielle Courtney, DNR Happy New Year, everyone! I hope you all enjoyed a safe, healthy celebration of the winter holidays and got the opportunity to spend a bit extra time at our state parks and trails. As I write this, I’m planning ...
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volunteer in a bright yellow vest
November 29, 2021

DNR Update – Gratitude, new leadership, and 2022 goals

An update from Arielle Courtney, DNR I hope everyone is staying well and enjoying the holiday season so far as we approach the end of the year. I can confidently say on behalf of the DNR and all of the staff you work with at ...
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volunteers discussing how to best approach the protective fencing
August 2, 2021

Nature Play Areas at DNR Parks & Trails

An update from Arielle Courtney, DNR Nature play is both a really old and really new concept, depending on how you think about it. Before plastic toys and playgrounds, nature was the original medium for children’s (and grown-up!) play. Research Some children took advantage of ...
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July 1, 2021

DNR update: COVID restrictions loosened, goal and project planning

An update from Arielle Courtney, DNR Summer is now in full swing, and so are our campgrounds, trails, water access sites, and state forest recreation areas. And thankfully they will continue that way as the state avoided a government shutdown when the state legislature came ...
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hikers stand and rest while physical distancing
May 4, 2021

DNR Update: What’s happening at parks and trails?

An update from Arielle Courtney, DNR Rejoining our effort Greetings, friends! I am back at work after nearly a year of parental leave, extended by the challenges of COVID. While I am beyond grateful for the opportunity to have spent additional time with my daughter ...
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woman carrying sticks in DNR hard hat
October 1, 2020

Friends Group Update from the DNR

A note from Ashley Pethan (Friends Group Coordinator, P&TC) You may remember that Arielle Courtney, the DNR's central point person for friends groups, went on parenthood leave starting in March. She and her husband welcomed a baby girl to the family and have been adjusting ...
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hikers stand and rest while physical distancing
June 8, 2020

DNR Guest Post from Oliver Liu: North Shore Update

Amidst Arielle Courtney's parental leave, we'll hear from some DNR staff across Minnesota to hear their perspectives. Oliver Liu is the Area 2C Specialist, working on paved trails and water trails out of Two Harbors. Read his story for an update on what's happening on ...
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Father and daughter look over lake Superior with bikes
March 4, 2020

Spring Changes for DNR Parks and Trails

An update from Arielle Courtney, DNR Kao Thao, park naturalist, showing kids how to tap a tree to collect sap for maple syrup First of all, congratulations to everyone for making it to March! I hope you enjoyed wonderful wintry outdoor activities and are now ...
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Icebergs on the banks of the St. Louis River
November 25, 2019

Sharing your park or trail with your family this holiday season

An update from Arielle Courtney, DNR Sharing your park is caring for your park (or trail!). While some of you may seek solace from the stresses of the holiday season by taking some alone time in nature, don’t forget to bring your friends, family, and ...
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Winter group picture at event
October 30, 2019

Best ways to help your state park or trail this season

An update from Arielle Courtney, DNR Fall colors are all but finished and while we consider this the end of our “busy” season in state park and trails, our work is far from over! And there is plenty still to do to make sure buildings, ...
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Group of supporters in representatives office
October 3, 2019

Rewards and challenges of being a parks and trails manager

An update from Arielle Courtney, DNR Whenever I tell people I work for DNR Parks and Trails, I usually receive one of several reactions. The first reaction is usually delight at the idea of playing with frogs and butterflies all day, what a lucky person ...
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People touring Little Elk Preserve
August 29, 2019

Demystifying DNR management and master plans

An update from Arielle Courtney, DNR Management and master plans—sounds familiar, right? You may have heard park and trail staff talk about their management or master plans. Perhaps you have even seen one of these plans or provided input during the planning process. We view ...
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DNR staff host a public input tent
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