Friends Groups

October 1, 2013

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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waterfalls with sun beams
August 20, 2013

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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June 1, 2013

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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Old, brick mill with wildflowers
March 26, 2013

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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Group of volunteers by St. Croix River and garbage they cleaned up
December 1, 2012

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

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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August 26, 2012

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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Crafting station in the park
December 1, 2011

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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Boy walking on pond boardwalk at Sibley State Park
November 5, 2009

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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