Friends Groups

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

In 2023, Parks & Trails Council partnered with four friends groups to spearhead habitat restoration projects at natural areas around the state. See our recap of their activities below! 2023 by the Numbers $10,000 4 173 83 Funds granted Friends Group Partners Trees and shrubs ...
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The Friends of Lashbrook Park pose for a photo
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 12, 2022

Friends of Savanna Portage State Park

Parks & Trails Council is proud to partner with this independent friends group.Parks & Trails Council cannot accept donations on behalf of this friends group. Friends of Savanna Portage State Park Mission The mission of the Friends of Savanna Portage State Park is to support ...
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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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August 18, 2022

Webinar: Heritage Interpretation 101

Details Melissa Peterson, Interpretive Programs Manager for the Minnesota Historical Society, provides an overview of the theory surrounding heritage interpretation. More Webinar Recordings
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August 17, 2022

Webinar: Park Rx

Details Hear from Sara Holger and Jay McLaren about their efforts to implement Park Rx programming at Whitewater State Park. More Webinar Recordings
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June 14, 2022

Minnesota Valley State Trail Friends Group

Parks & Trails Council is proud to partner with this independent friends group.Parks & Trails Council cannot accept donations on behalf of this friends group. Minnesota Valley State Trail Friends Group Mission The Minnesota Valley State Trail Friends Group is currently the planning stages. They ...
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Land along the planned trail
May 23, 2022

New trail at Sibley made possible with P&TC land

A long-awaited 3-mile, paved, multi-use trail has been completed at Sibley State Park. This scenic trail meanders through the prairie for a uniquely peaceful experience. Plus, its current endpoint— a tunnel under Hwy. 71—foreshadows an exciting next phase.
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Person in pink jacket walking on paved trail
May 5, 2022

NorthStar Trail Travelers Events Update

NorthStar Trail Travelers started the year off with a winter snowshoe event on Saturday, February 12, at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park by Northfield. It was a very cold day but 13 diehard souls showed up and enjoyed seeing the falls frozen over. In May, ...
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snowshoers walk on the trail in the prairie
March 31, 2022

Community Support for the Mill Towns State Trail

Friends of the Mill Towns State Trail has been a steadfast supporter and local advocate for the Mill Towns State Trail. From advocacy to financial contributions, the friends continue to work behind the scenes to move trail development forward throughout the trail corridor. The group's ...
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