prairie grass

State Park Friends

Dam washout
June 22, 2016
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DNR Release: DNR decides not to rebuild Blue Mounds State Park dam

The Department of Natural Resources has decided against rebuilding the dam and lake reservoir at Blue Mounds State Park near Luverne in southwestern Minnesota, citing concerns about water quality, endangered species and other factors.
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Minnesota State Capitol Dome
May 23, 2016
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Legislative Session Closes with Mixed Results for Parks & Trails

The 2016 Legislative Session came to a close late Sunday with a flurry of activity as legislators worked to pass bills before the mandatory midnight deadline. While legislators were able to strike deals on a supplemental budget and a tax bill, the two sides couldn’t …

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March 30, 2016
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Dave Lais

Lifelong park manager to the core

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Two people kneeling to install playground structure
February 19, 2016
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Friends of Itasca State Park

Friends of Itasca State Park Mission An all-volunteer group that raises money for projects that are needed at the park. For example, the group has raised money for playgrounds for various location around the park, and they restored the wicker furniture at the main lodge ...
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Dramatic sunset over a marsh at Lake Maria State Park
December 17, 2015
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Friends of Lake Maria State Park

Friends of Lake Maria State Park Mission The Friends of Lake Maria State Park work together to preserve the park’s environment and support park activities Friends Since 1996 Facebook Online Donation PageFriends on field trip at Lake Maria with Master Naturalist programSunset over ponds at ...
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Dramatic sunset over a marsh at Lake Maria State Park
May 24, 2015
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Friends bring programs to this wooded wonder

The Friends of Lake Maria was officially organized in 1996, but their actual work began in 1992. That’s when the inaugural “March for the Parks” event began to raise money for programming at Lake Maria State Park.
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bikers on trail through prairie with Glendalough Trail sign and Legacy sign
December 9, 2014
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Friends build a trail connecting Glendalough State Park to nearby Battle Lake

The small, northwestern Minnesota city of Battle Lake is undergoing a transformation. It is quickly becoming a bustling community with an abundance of people zipping along on two wheels. The impetus for this change: the Glendalough Trail. The new, hard-earned trail starts in downtown Battle …

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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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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

Friends of Minneopa State Park Mission Work with Minneopa State Park to preserve, manage, and promote the resources of the park. Friends Since 1998 WebsiteThe falls at Minneopa State Park by Randy Wood Friends of Minneopa State ParkEvents January 29, 2020Partnership restores patches of habitat ...
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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

Friends of Wild River State Park Mission A community organization devoted to preserving and enhancing the experience of Wild River State Park. Through various activities and efforts we seek to sustain the natural beauty and ecology of the park, support interpretive and environmental education programs ...
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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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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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