Friends Groups

The rolling grasslands with pond at Sibley State Park
September 21, 2014
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Making a vital trail connection while restoring a prairie

  So close, and yet so far. For years the 22-mile Glacial Lakes State Trail has been just five miles from the popular Sibley State Park. For bicyclists visiting the park, that’s five miles too many. In 2011 park supporters decided that connecting the Glacial …

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June 4, 2014
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Our park continues to grow

A $3.8 million, 164-acre acquisition successfully closed on June 5, 2014, bringing the park total to 721 acres. The purchase was made possible with $2.2 million in grant funding and additional match funding from Wright County and the City of Monticello.
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Casey Jones State Trail sign for Currie Loop
October 1, 2013
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Persistence in fulfilling the vision for a trail in southwestern Minnesota

Fast forward 46 years and you may be surprised to see that only 11 miles of the 110-mile trail corridor for the Casey Jones is paved and another 9.5 miles is natural surfaced. “You could look at it as not much done over 40 years, or you could look at it as a lifetime’s work,” explained Bruce Johnson, a board member for the Friends of Casey Jones Trail.
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waterfalls with sun beams
October 1, 2013
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Making friends

The Friends of Nerstrand Big Woods State Park officially formed in September of this year. A driving force behind the creation of the new friends group was Emily Nesvold, a P&TCM board member and Northfield resident. “I saw the need for this group back in …

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August 20, 2013
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Friends of Minneopa 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 Minneopa State Park Mission Work with Minneopa State Park to preserve, manage, and promote the resources of the ...
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Old, brick mill with wildflowers
June 1, 2013
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Spurred to action to action by a threat

As is often the case with the formation of Friends Groups, it took the threat of development to spur organized action. For Minneopa, that threat was the National Guard, who had proposed building a firing range along the western border of the park. When local activist, Brand Frentz got word of the proposed firing range he realized
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Group of volunteers by St. Croix River and garbage they cleaned up
March 26, 2013
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Friends of Wild River 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 Wild River State Park Mission A community organization devoted to preserving and enhancing the experience of Wild River ...
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December 1, 2012
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Maple syrup brings friends together

The pancake breakfast just never goes out of style and, for the Friends of Wild River State Park, it’s a great annual fundraiser. The event drew about 75 people and raised nearly $1,700 for the group in 2012. Kacie Carlson, a naturalist at the park, said that …

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October 1, 2012
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Active friends for an active trail

The 200 members of the Gateway-Brown’s Creek Trail Association make up one of the most active Friends groups in the state, for good reason: The trail itself is the most heavily used trail in Minnesota. “We have volunteers that do everything from cleaning up the trail to lobbying for our share of bonding money with the Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota,” said John Oldendorf, president of the trail association and a board member of the Parks & Trails Council. This association has worked hard to expand the trail. They credit their success with expansion to getting to know people and communities along the potential trail.
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Crafting station in the park
August 26, 2012
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Bringing new people to an outdoor recreation gem

Friends of Maplewood State Park has about 100 members, with another 30 on an advisory committee. The group publishes a quarterly newsletter and has helped add to the amenities of the park over the last 15 years. In 2008, the group built the Josh Hanson Memorial Picnic Shelter, in honor of the son of long-time park ranger Bob Hanson, a project that cost $130,000.
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Boy walking on pond boardwalk at Sibley State Park
December 1, 2011
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Friends help shape the park’s management plan

The last park plan for Sibley State Park, the 2,059-acre state park in Kandiyohi County, was put together in the 1970s. Work on an updated plan began in October, when an open house was held to gain public input. “We’re excited it’s going to happen because the current plan is out of date,” said Ron Erpelding, chair of the Sibley State Park Improvement Association [SSPIA]. “This will give park users and other folks who have an interest in the park, to be a part of this process.”
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November 5, 2009
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New Organization with Big Plans

Scandia, 25 miles northeast of St. Paul, is a relatively new city—incorporated in January 2007—with an even newer Friends organization. Friends of Scandia Parks and Trails elected its first board of directors just this past January. “I happened to be on the city’s park and ...
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