Friends Groups

January 16, 2024

Friends of Minnehaha Park

Parks & Trails Council is proud to partner with this independent friends group and act as fiscal sponsor for their land acquisition fund..As fiscal sponsor, we partner to advance their cause and provide the tools and building blocks to run a nonprofit, including receiving, holding ...
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Meet the Friends of Minnehaha

The Friends of Minnehaha Park came into being in early 2023.  Susan Glenn, a resident of Kenny neighborhood and a lifelong nature and history lover and park user, spent many hours outdoors exploring the park and sharing the love of the park with family and ...
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October 25, 2023

Webinar: Habitat Restoration Panel

Details Friends Group leaders Steve Dietz (Frontenac) and Beth Hayden (Gateway), with long-distance assistance from Gitchi-Gami Trail Association's Michelle Pierson, provide advice to prospective Friends Group applicants for P&TC's 2024 grant round. More Webinar Recordings
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Friends help secure major funding for trail extension

Overall, this was a good year for parks and trails, but especially so for the Mill Towns Trail, which saw an incredible $8.19 million investment from the 2023 bonding bill. The Friends of Mill Towns State Trail were instrumental in making it happen. Over the …

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Group of 11 people standing on an outdoor plaza

Mulch and mud pies: a nature play area opens at Tettegouche

After three years of hard work, the Friends of Tettegouche held the ribbon-cutting ceremony for their Nature Play Area on Saturday, August 26th. The play area, which is designed to be ADA-accessible and includes a variety of play features, is located at the park’s High ...
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Members of the Friends of Tettegouche hold a ribbon intertwined with leaves while the assistant park manager prepares to cut it.

DNR Update: MOUs for Friends Groups

Arielle Courtney, DNR Parks & Trails Partnership Development Consultant, shares an opportunity to offer feedback on an updated template Memorandum of Understanding agreement that will be eventually used with all Friends Groups, as well as a reminder about September events.
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Cleaning up at the Gateway State Trail

On August 5th, a group of volunteers gathered at Rotary Park in North Saint Paul to clear out an overgrown stretch of the Gateway State Trail. This event was the opening act in a project led by the Gateway Brown's Creek Trail Association and funded ...
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Glendalough Park Partners

Champions of a Park Legacy

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Collage of four photos showing scenes from Glendalough State Park with a wood plaque overlaid in the center

Restoring tree cover at Frontenac State Park

Emerald Ash Borer has devastated the tree canopy across Minnesota, and Frontenac State Park is no exception. Over the last few years, park staff have been forced to remove more than 250 ash trees from the area, with 30 more projected to be removed in …

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A group of Girl Scouts and Friends Group volunteers stand around a recently dug hole at the park. There is a sapling on the left that is ready to be planted.

The Friends of Lashbrook make space for the bees

Did you know Minnesota has a state bee? The Rusty Patched Bumblebee (B. affinis) is a charismatic little insect with a band of coppery fur on its abdomen. But it's facing some steep challenges due to habitat loss, and is currently listed as endangered in the United ...
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Three volunteers kneel in the foreground of the photo next to newly-planted forest species

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

Field trip brings students to plant native seeds on the Gitchi Gami Trail

Earlier this spring, 37 students from Cook County Public Schools stepped out of their school, hopped on their bicycles, and peddled the Gitchi Gami State Trail, where they helped restore native landscaping. The field trip was a hands-on event that brought together bicycle safety, natural ...
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Elementary students in yellow safety vests on a trail
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