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2023 community-driven trail projects: an update

For a period of time this spring, it was an open question as to whether the Minnesota Legislature would pass a bonding bill. After some political maneuvering from both sides of the aisle, however, the 2023 bonding bill was signed into law by Governor Walz, …

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Minnesota State Capitol

Restoring tree cover at Frontenac State Park

Emerald Ash Borer has devastated the tree canopy across Minnesota, and Frontenac State Park is no exception. Over the last few years, park staff have been forced to remove more than 250 ash trees from the area, with 30 more projected to be removed in …

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A group of Girl Scouts and Friends Group volunteers stand around a recently dug hole at the park. There is a sapling on the left that is ready to be planted.

The Friends of Lashbrook make space for the bees

Did you know Minnesota has a state bee? The Rusty Patched Bumblebee (B. affinis) is a charismatic little insect with a band of coppery fur on its abdomen. But it's facing some steep challenges due to habitat loss, and is currently listed as endangered in the United ...
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Three volunteers kneel in the foreground of the photo next to newly-planted forest species

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

Great River Ridge State Trail extension one step closer

Land Project Update Anyone who has traveled on the Great River Ridge State Trail in southern Minnesota has likely wondered why the trail abruptly ends at a cornfield along County Road 9. Across the road, a rusty railroad track reveals the corridor’s original use, but ...
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Great River Ridge State Trail passing by field

Webinar: Geology and Scenery of Minnesota’s North Shore

About this webinar What makes natural scenery beautiful? There are many answers to that question, but geology is often part of the answer. In this presentation on Minnesota’s scenic North Shore, Dr. Fitz will share ideas and photographs of how the geology of the region …

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Testifying for Trail Maintenance at Minnesota Capitol

We are grateful to have had the opportunity to testify at the Minnesota Senate Capital Investment Committee this week. Andrew Oftedal, P&TC’s research and policy manager, presented our State of the Trails Report, which categorized the condition of every mile of trail. Our analysis shows …

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Conference room with two people at table presenting to semi-circular table of legislators.

Four Friends Groups receive funding for habitat restoration in 2023

Parks & Trails Council is proud to announce the recipients of our 2023 Friends Group Partners Grants. P&TC works closely with these volunteer-based groups, who are important partners for the stewardship of our state's parks and trails. Each of this year's awardees put forward compelling ...
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group of volunteers stands next to buckthorn pile

2022 Friends Group Habitat Restoration Grants Recap

In 2022, Parks & Trails Council partnered with six Friends Groups to spearhead habitat restoration projects at state and regional parks and trails. See the recap below. 2022 by the Numbers $11,550 $8,174 6 413 717.5 Funds granted Local cash match Friends Group Partners Trees ...
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March 2, 2023

Webinar: Partnering with Youth Groups

Details Hear from Tony Manzara (Friends of Lake Elmo's Sunfish Lake Park) and Jill Beim (Friends of Tettegouche State Park) about their group's experiences partnering with youth groups. More Webinar Recordings
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Outdoor clubs: An antidote to loneliness, political divisions, and more

Solitude in nature is precious—just you, the birds, and the trees—there’s nothing else like it. But, sometimes, the fellowship that comes from sharing the outdoors brings another kind of benefit. Unfortunately, busy schedules and competing demands make it challenging to connect with others. Cue in ...
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Special Places Winter 2023

From the President | Land Update | Legislative Agenda | Outdoor Clubs | Research Project | Camden State Park highlight
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Newsletter cover features an eagle gliding over water

In memory of parks champion Dave Durenberger

Memorial service to be live streamed Feb. 7 at 10 am. As the tributes to Senator Dave Durenberger continue to pour in following his passing on Jan. 31 at the age of 88, there is a common thread that runs through all of them. Sen. …

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Former farm cleanup underway at future William O’Brien addition

February 1, 2023 Cleaning up a century-old farm takes time. They have a tendency to collect more than just memories. Stuff abounds, from the long-forgotten broken tractors to the more recent refrigerators--not to mention personal items in the house. So, when Parks & Trails Council ...
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