All News

May 31, 2022

DNR Update – Flooding, volunteer requirements update, and a thank you

Arielle Courtney, DNR Parks & Trails Partnership Development Consultant, shares an update on the latest recission of the COVID-19 volunteer requirements and talks about what’s next for improving the volunteer experience.
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Big Bog SRA boardwalk
May 25, 2022

Lawmakers stall on bonding bill, special session debated

The Minnesota Legislature adjourned on Monday, May 23rd without an agreement to pass a number of major supplemental finance bills, a tax bill, or a bonding bill. While House Speaker Melissa Hortman, Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller, and Governor Tim Walz struck a deal the ...
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Minnesota State Capitol
May 24, 2022

Scavenger hunt adventures return to most Minnesota parks this summer

Let the scavenger hunting begin! Parks & Trails Council is bringing back the popular scavenger hunts to most Minnesota State Parks, plus four local parks this summer. These hunts are a great way for park-goers to hone their observation skills and learn to identify some of the diversity of species in the parks. 
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May 23, 2022

New trail at Sibley made possible with P&TC land

A long-awaited 3-mile, paved, multi-use trail has been completed at Sibley State Park. This scenic trail meanders through the prairie for a uniquely peaceful experience. Plus, its current endpoint— a tunnel under Hwy. 71—foreshadows an exciting next phase.
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Person in pink jacket walking on paved trail

Minnesota bids farewell to lifelong environmental activist, Grant Merritt dies at 88

Grant Merritt served on Parks & Trails Council’s board of directors for 11 years, including as president from 2004-2006. His commitment to the organization remained steadfast as he continued to serve on P&TC committees through this year. Grant’s lifetime of hard work, innovation and results on behalf of the Great Outdoors earned him Parks & Trails Council’s prestigious Reuel Harmon Award in 2018.
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April 28, 2022

Digging in at three mountain bike trails

Research conducted last summer is shedding light on this situation through the use of detailed trail counts and visitor intercept surveys from three Minnesota destinations.
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April 15, 2022

Updated Land Plan upholds our commitment to parks and trails

This year, we worked to uphold our commitment to this work by completing an update to our Land Acquisition Plan. This document lays out the principles that form the bedrock of this program, as well as the criteria we apply in evaluating potential projects.
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March 15, 2022

Eight friends groups receive grants from P&TC in 2022

Parks & Trails Council continued its popular Friends Group grant program in 2022 by issuing grants ranging from $350-$3,450 to eight friends groups. As a stewardship partner to specific parks and trails, Friends Groups can play a significant role in supporting habitat restoration efforts, trail ...
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kids filling a hole of a newly planted tree
March 11, 2022

Ashley’s departure from P&TC

Dear friends group leaders, With bittersweet energy I am sharing that I will be leaving Parks & Trails Council. I have truly enjoyed cultivating lasting relationships with friends group leaders, DNR representatives, and colleagues alike, all in an effort to support Minnesota's great parks and ...
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February 17, 2022

New era as farm turns to parkland for William O’Brien

Bit by bit, P&TC has been acquiring the remaining private lands within this park, including our latest acquisition of 60 acres from Myron Lindgren last December (see map).
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Snowy landscape with old barn and tractor
February 16, 2022

Special Places Newsletter – Winter 2022

From the President | 2022 Legislative Priorities | Land Project for William O'Brien State Park | Earth Day event | Lake Shetek State Park and its friends
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Image of newsletter cover
February 15, 2022

Parks & Trails Fun Quiz: February 2022

What happens with Minnesota's wildlife in winter? Test your knowledge of how animals survive in Minnesota parks and trails during winter.
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February 14, 2022

Priorities for 2022 legislative session

Letter from Parks & Trails Council President. If we've learned anything during the pandemic it is how important parks and trails are to all of our lives. And while the explosion in their use has been especially pronounced over the past two years, the truth of the matter is that growth in visitation is well evidenced over the past decade.
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December 17, 2021

Welcome along on a forest bath

Forest bathing: what an intriguing term. Have you heard about this idea? If you’re like me, you’ve seen the idea popping up here and there, but have never come across a satisfying explanation of what it is, exactly. So, when I saw an opportunity to participate in a 2-hour, guided forest-bathing session at a nearby park, I jumped at the chance to finally figure out this mystery.
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Five people waking in the woods
November 30, 2021

Meet Friends of Sunfish Lake Park

A small, but mighty, group of volunteers banded together five years ago to stand as a symbol of stewardship for Lake Elmo's Sunfish Lake Park. One of their primary activities has been creating and operating the nature center in the park. In addition, they host ...
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nature center with garden and bench