Life is a circle. I find myself reliving some of my earliest memories but in new, unexpected ways. Growing up in the freeway-free 50’s I can recall day-long family car trips from Minneapolis to Stillwater. These were fun excursions but it was a tediously long drive. Now it takes less than an hour to drive there—at least when it’s not rush hour. But the memory of those earlier trips came back to me recently on another trip to Stillwater.
This time I was on my bike. It is amazing that I can now bike a few miles from my home to the Minnehaha Bike Trail and then basically go to Stillwater on dedicated bike trails: East River Road Trail; Samuel H. Morgan Trail (named after one of the founders of Parks & Trails Council); Bruce Vento Regional Trail; Gateway Trail and finally the last 6 miles on the newly opened and splendid Brown’s Creek Trail. The trip did not take any longer than those earlier car trips and it was so much more pleasant. Now the journey means at least as much as the destination.
At Parks & Trails Council this is known as connectivity, connecting parks and trails with communities and people. Year by year these connections are happening. And they happen because dedicated people like Sam Morgan and Bruce Vento and so many, many more have given their energy to the effort.
Earlier in the year our office at P&TC was abuzz with many dedicated volunteers from Trails Friends Groups. They were sharing their hopes for future projects to our staff, board and legislative committee members so we could advocate together at the state capitol during the 2016 bonding session of the state legislature. Such early planning is essential to get these plans off the ground—or rather on the ground.
Working with friends groups, the dedicated DNR staff and people like those who appreciate Minnesota Trails Magazine, Parks & Trails Council is dedicated to making these vital connections.