All News

Newspaper clipping showing the owners of Smuda Zoo
April 5, 2021
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Where Gretchen the Lion once roared, park visitors will soon stroll

You wouldn’t guess it by strolling the grounds today, but the property Parks & Trails Council acquired for Charles A. Lindbergh State Park in 2020 was once famous for the menagerie of wild animals that lived there when it was the home of the Smuda Zoo.
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Man in biking outfit stands in tall grass
March 24, 2021
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Volunteers support bluebirds on Gateway State Trail

Bluebirds along the Gateway State Trail enjoy a helping hand from volunteers with the Gateway Brown’s Creek Trail Association (GBCTA). Since 2014, the friends group has maintained 16 houses each year, installing them in spring, monitoring the nests throughout summer, and cleaning and storing the ...
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three wooden cabins next to a field
March 15, 2021
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Redwood County announces new camper cabins

Redwood County’s one and only park, Plum Creek Park, is proud to announce the addition of camper cabins for the 2021 camping season.

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Parks & Trails Council's Research Bike
March 10, 2021
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House Legislative committee hears our case for state trail rehab

On Tuesday, our staff presented at the House Capital Investment Committee to share our State of the Trails report.
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March 8, 2021
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Parks & Trails Fun Quiz – March

START QUIZ
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Kids bike away from the park building
February 3, 2021
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2019-2020 Youth Engagement Grant Projects In Review

In 2019, Parks & Trails Council launched a grant program designed as a partnership with friends groups to engage youth in parks and trails. In this first year of the program we began working with eight friends groups who identified innovative ways to engage youth ...
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Cover of Newsletter
February 2, 2021
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Special Places Newsletter Winter 2021

From the president | Gov. proposes park permit increase | Lake Shetek State Park | Nature prescriptions | 5 ways nature makes us healthy | Adapting with friends groups | State Park project updates | Places & Friends: Chester Woods Park
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Wooden sign mounted between stone pillars
January 22, 2021
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History of Lake Shetek State Park

1862 Tensions escalate between the Dakota and white settlers leading to a group of Dakota attacking the Lake Shetek settlement in the early days of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. 1863 The bodies of the 15 white settlers who were killed in the attack are ...
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Aerial view of peninsula
January 22, 2021
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Saving a rare forested peninsula for Lake Shetek State Park

Parks & Trails Council secured a treasured landscape for Lake Shetek State Park during a live auction on Oct. 24, 2020. The sale is expected to be finalized by May. The 24.5-acre property, with 3,000 feet of lakeshore along Lake Shetek, was put up for ...
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Eight people standing outdoors with buckets around waist to collect seeds
January 21, 2021
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Meet the Friends of Chester Woods Park

This is a park that wholeheartedly welcomes volunteers. “There’s a whole culture of embracing volunteers within all Olmstead County Parks,” says Joel Dunette, one of the founding members of the friends group. In fact, the number of hours that volunteers contribute toward the park is equal to the staff hours.

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Two women with three children all on bicycles
January 19, 2021
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5 Ways Nature Time Makes Us Healthier

1 It helps us feel healthy and happy Spending at least two hours in nature (such as parks, woodlands and beaches) per week, has been associated with significantly more likelihood of reporting good health or high well-being. And just 20 minutes spent in urban parks, …

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Doctor's prescription to spend time at a park and image of people at Frontenac State park
January 19, 2021
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Movement growing for doctors’ to prescribe nature

The next time you’re at your doctors office you may end up leaving with a prescription not for pills, but for nature.

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Two cabins nestled between trees and plants
December 21, 2020
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New cabins to open at Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park

From MnDNR Reservations open Dec. 28; first lodging begins Dec. 31 The new camper cabins at Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park, in northeastern Minnesota, are ready for visitors! Campers can begin making reservations at 8 a.m. Monday, Dec. 28 for stays beginning on Dec. …

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Cover of newsletter
November 5, 2020
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Special Places Newsletter – Fall 2020

From the E.D | Outdoors news briefs | Land Protection for Sibley State Park | Legislative Session Recap | Research bike in St. Cloud | Photo Contest & Scavenger Hunts Recap | Swedish Immigrant Trail opens | Blue Mounds State Park
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Entrance sign to park
October 29, 2020
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Portion of Lake Vermilion State Park opens to OHVs

All-terrain vehicle (ATV) advocates have been pushing to open up state parks to ATVs for years, and in 2020 their focus was on Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park in northeast Minnesota.
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