snapshots of people in the parks

2016 Annual Dinner

125 Years of Memories in Minnesota State Parks and Trails

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

at Town & Country Club
300 Mississippi River Blvd N, St. Paul, MN 55104
5:30 PM  silent auction & cash bar
6:30 PM  dinner & program

Slideshow from the 2016 Annual Dinner

125 Years of Memories

We asked people to share their memories from Minnesota’s State Parks and Trails as a way to celebrate the 125th birthday since the creation of Itasca State Park. Listen to one of them here that we heard during our Annual Dinner.

Swiss Miss Mishap at Nerstrand Big Woods State Park by Dick Elliott

Erika River headshot

Keynote Speaker ~ Erika Rivers

This year marks the 125th birthday of Minnesota State Parks and Trails with the establishment of Itasca State Park in 1891. Join us in celebrating this momentous occasion with Erika Rivers, director of state parks and trails, who will share the stunning stories of the creation of these special places with personal stories from you and other members on the memories we’ve made here.

From the iconic vision of Mary Gibbs standing toe-to-toe with the powerful lumber thieves to protect Itasca’s old-growth pine trees, to the unique and visionary partnership with a Native American tribe to create a state park, we will hear stunning stories to inspire us today.

Reuel Harmon Awardee ~ Dave Lais

Dave Lais will receive the Reuel Harmon Award, which recognizes exemplary service and outstanding achievements on behalf of Minnesota’s parks and trails. Dave Lais epitomizes the role of dedicated park advocate. He served for 38 years as one of Minnesota State Parks’ most highly respected park managers. Since his retirement, he has served nearly 15 years as a leader in the community through active participation in the Sibley State Park Improvement Association.

About Reuel Harmon Award
Dave Lais - 2016 Reuel Harmon Awardee
2015 Annual Dinner table


Enjoy a seated dinner includes a garden salad with citrus-shallot vinaigrette, warm rolls and butter, fresh seasonal vegetable, coffee service, and sorbet dessert. Dinner choices:

  • CRISPY BREADED WALLEYE  – served with roasted red pepper sauce
  • PESTO GRILLED CHICKEN – rubbed with basil pesto and grilled, served with lemon basil cream
  • ROASTED BUTTERNUT SQUASH RAVIOLI – sautéed wild mushrooms and roasted shallot cream (vegetarian)

Silent Auction & Raffle

Our silent auction and raffle features items not to be missed, including

  • high quality outdoor gear from top producers
  • lodging from top rated resorts
  • unique experiences you’ll only see here.
See full list of items
Silent Auction display
Story collector form

Share a State Park or Trail Memory

Help celebrate 125 years of memories in Minnesota’s State Parks and Trails by sharing a memory you have from these special places.

$250 at Arc'teryx

When you share, you’ll be entered in a drawing for $250 to Arc’teryx

Arc'teryx logo

Share Now! Read the Memories

Photo Gallery of last year's annual dinner

Event Sponsors

Thank you to our event sponsors for helping to support our work

Pincushion Trails Inn

968 Gunflint Trail
Grand Marais, Minnesota 55604

Erik’s Bike, Board and Ski Shop

15 Minnesota Locations
8 Wisconsin Locations