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June 27, 2018
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Volunteers install 400 tree cages at Itasca State Park

Itasca is well-known for its old-growth trees. But growing the next generation has been a challenge as deer have been eating and destroying the young trees. In 2009, park staff planted a 65-acre region known as the Bear Paw Restoration.
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Four volunteers in woods with fencing
June 25, 2018
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DNR upgrades outdoor recreation maps for mobile devices

From MnDNR – Navigating Minnesota’s woods and waters with a mobile device is now easier than ever with new digital maps available from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Cartographers in the Parks and Trails Division have recently upgraded nearly all of the maps for Minnesota …

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Looking at GeoPDF Map on mobile device
June 18, 2018
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Friends respond to emerald ash borer by planting maples at Maplewood State Park

In a project coordinated by the Friends of Maplewood State Park and DNR staff, 15 sugar maple trees have been planted in the park. The newly planted trees, which are between six to ten feet tall, are a proactive response to the threat posed by the invasive insect known as emerald ash borer (EAB)
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Tree Planting at Maplewood State Park
June 11, 2018
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BSA Scouts Join Friends of Wild River to Protect Young Oak Trees

On National Get Outdoors Day, youth with a troop of Boy Scouts of America put on their sunscreen and bug spray and “got outdoors” at Wild River State Park. They joined the Friends of Wild River and a DNR naturalist to tackle a conservation project …

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June 8, 2018
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Vermilion Ridge Campground Grand Opening

Cutting the ribbon on the new campground for Lake Vermilion State ParkState Parks director Erika Rivers talks to crowd celebrating the campground openingSen. Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook) has supported the continued development of this parkDNR commissioner Tom Landwehr Campers settling in at new campgroundShelter in the ...
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Cutting the ribbon on the new campground for Lake Vermilion State Park
June 5, 2018
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Frontenac to celebrate National Get Outdoors Day on June 9

From Frontenac State Park Association — Volunteers from Frontenac State Park Association are partnering with park staff to celebrate National Get Outdoors Day on Saturday, June 9 from 1 – 3 pm. The park will offer guided nature walks, information about the park’s bluebird nesting …

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woman resting on bench
June 3, 2018
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Photos from the June 2 planting party

On June 2, volunteers from the Frontenac State Park Association along with park staff, planted several oak trees and native forbes in the park. The event was funded in part by a grant from Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota.
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Oak savanna restoration project tree planting on June 2, 2018
May 31, 2018
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Nineteen projects receive funding during 2018 legislative session

Overall, the 2018 legislative session was a fairly good one for parks and trails. On May 30, Gov. Dayton signed the bonding bill, which included funding for 19 of the 25 projects we were advocating for in our legislative agenda this year. Projects receiving full …

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screenshot of webpage with 2018 investment projects
May 31, 2018
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2018 Legislative Recap

The 2018 legislative session closed with a flurry of activity over its final weekend, and a host of bills were passed in the final hours of session that impact Minnesota’s parks and trails. Now that the legislature is adjourned until next year and all the …

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May 18, 2018
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Legislative Briefing for May 14-18

Last week we issued yet another call-to-action for our supporters to tell lawmakers that all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) don’t belong in Minnesota State Parks. Your voices were heard! On Monday of this week, the conference committee tasked with reconciling the Omnibus Supplemental Budget Bill (HF 4099 / SF 3656) decided against a controversial provision that would have allowed ATVs to use the campground and access routes at Hayes Lake State Park.

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MN Capitol
May 18, 2018
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Op-Ed in Duluth News Tribune: Speak up on bill to open state parks to ATVs

On May 15 the Duluth News Tribune published an opinion written by Steve Thorne who is is a former deputy commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and a past president of the Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota. We fully concur with Thorne’s …

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May 18, 2018
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Nerstrand Big Woods State Park being enhanced with two volunteer projects this summer

Volunteers from the Friends of Nerstrand Big Woods are rolling up their sleeves and getting their hands dirty as they partner with park staff on two exciting projects this summer. The first project is a habitat restoration project on half an acre near the main ...
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May 11, 2018
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Legislative Briefing for May 7-11

With just over a week left until adjournment, lawmakers are racing to complete a long list of legislative priorities, including a tax bill, a bonding bill, a supplemental budget, and numerous policy changes. A number of key pieces of legislation affecting parks and trails continue …

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May 9, 2018
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Lawmakers need to approve urgent funding for DNR facilities

From MnDNR By Tom Landwehr Let’s imagine if you didn’t do routine maintenance on your house. The furnace tune up you missed turns into a broken heating system. The damp spot in your basement becomes a moldy, unhealthy mess. The small leak in your roof …

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May 8, 2018
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DNR’s big vision: a weekend full of accessible outdoor adventures

From MnDNR Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr has a big vision for capital investment this year: to create a whole weekend of accessible infrastructure at one of Minnesota’s most visited state’s parks. The target of his ambition is William O’Brien State Park, located …

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William O'Brien State Park. Debbie Kippen/P&TC Photo Contest