News Archives

Legislative workshop and Day on the Hill give members opportunity to rally for parks and trails funding

As Minnesota legislators adjust to the dramatic turnover in their ranks -including new leadership at all levels - parks and trails advocates need to be ready to hit the ground running in 2007 if we want to make environment and natural resource funding a top priority.


Legislators say now is the time to invest in parks and trails

One week after park and trail supporters from around the state descended upon the Capitol to encourage legislators to invest in our state's prized systems of parks and trails, appropriations bills were introduced in the House and Senate calling for operation and maintenance investments of $5 million for state park and recreation areas and $4 million for state trails.


Supporters turn up in force at the Capitol to make the case for Minnesota's parks and trails

Park and Trail supporters from throughout the state converged on the Capitol yesterday to encourage legislators to invest in our state's prized systems of interconnected parks and trails. State lawmakers are just beginning the process of making critical budget decisions and parks and trails supporters showed up in force to make the case for their beloved parks and trails.


97-year-old outdoorsman to receive Parks & Trails Council's highest honor

ST. PAUL, MN - On Tuesday, March 27, the Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota will award its highest honor to 97-year-old outdoorsman, visionary and philanthropist Henry N. Somsen for his lifetime service and contributions to parks and trails throughout Minnesota.


Passport to adventure

By Melissa Cox, Hibbing Daily Tribune

CALUMET - Deep inside the scenic Hill Annex Mine State Park, Elaine Elnes and Charles Silverson completed more than just a tour.

They accomplished a feat.


Trail Builder Michael Prichard

Making a difference

Behind every successful park or trail effort you will find a Trail Builder, an individual that shepherded the dream into reality, giving time, money or both in pursuit of the goal. The following is a Q & A feature on one such Trail Builder -- Mike Prichard.


Trail Builder Steve Flagg

Giving back to the community one trail at a time

Behind every successful park or trail effort you will find a Trail Builder, an individual that shepherded the dream into reality, giving time, money or both in pursuit of the goal. The following is a Question & Answer feature on one such Trail Builder -- Steve Flagg. Flagg is the founder and co-owner of Quality Bicycle Products (QBP). He also serves on the boards of the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) and the Bikes Belong Coalition. Steve recently sat down with Minnesota Trails magazine to answer a few questions.


Friends of Lake Bemidji State Park

Volunteers with a vision

Friends groups play an important role in planning, developing, maintaining and advocating for Minnesota's parks and trails. Meet the Friends of Lake Bemidji State Park, a group that recently developed a strategic plan to help improve their park's amenities and services.


Friends of the Casey Jones Trail

Resurrecting a dream

Friends groups play an important role in planning, developing, maintaining and advocating for Minnesota's parks and trails. Meet the Friends of the Casey Jones Trail, an active and energized grassroots membership organization that works to identify and secure the trail alignment for the Casey Jones State Trail in southwest Minnesota.


Parks & Trails Council committed to state's newest park

(ST. PAUL, MN) - The Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota welcomes Gov. Tim Pawlenty's announcement today that a new state park on Lake Vermilion is currently in the works.


Meet the Friends of Glacial Lakes State Park

Labor of love

Friends groups play an important role in planning, developing, maintaining and advocating for Minnesota's parks and trails. The following is a Q & A feature of one such group - the Friends of Glacial Lakes State Park. Glacial Lakes State Park is located in Starbuck, Minnesota.


Labor Day Weekend Bike Expedition to shine spotlight on southwestern Minnesota treasures

Rain or shine, Minnesota Court of Appeals Judge David Minge and his band of adventure-seeking bicyclists are set to converge on southwestern Minnesota over the Labor Day weekend to explore some of the region’s greatest natural and cultural treasures.


New state park must not come at the expense of existing system

Viewpoint by Parks & Trails President Tim Farrell
Published in Grand Forks Herald July 29, 2007

The day after Gov. Tim Pawlenty unveiled a plan for a new state park on Lake Vermilion, the Herald’s Tom Dennis wrote an insightful editorial that made an important connection between the governor’s proposed new state park and its potential impact on the existing state park system


Minge on a roll when it comes to showing off region

By Robert Wolfington III, Marshall Independent

CURRIE — “This was a great surprise,” said Tim Farrell of St. Paul on Monday morning.

Farrell was part of a bike trip that brought participants from around the state to see what southwest Minnesota has to offer.


Bike Minnesota group cycles through region

By Justine Wettschreck, Worthington Daily Globe

PIPESTONE — Minnesota Court of Appeals Judge David Minge spent the holiday weekend on his bicycle — along with 50 or so other cyclists — as they toured southwest Minnesota, exploring some of the region’s natural and cultural treasures, during Minge’s third annual Bike Minnesota with Parks & Trails ride.


Voyageurs National Park's top priority parcel in good hands

Parks & Trails Council partners with Voyageurs National Park Association to secure privately owned land within park boundaries, ensuring it will remain forever publicly accessible

(ST. PAUL, MN) – It is no secret that there is more privately owned land being put on the market within authorized park boundaries than there is available state and federal funding to purchase that land for our public park systems.


In memorium: Roy W. Meyer, 82, professor and author of Everyone’s Country Estate: A History of Minnesota’s state parks

Roy W. Meyer, author of Minnesota’s most authoritative state park history book and longtime Parks & Trails Council member died on July 6, 2007 at the age of 82 in his hometown of Mankato.


Minnesota Zephyr Dinner Train to continue operations in 2008

Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota still hopes to negotiate deal to convert railway to trailway

Minnesota Zephyr Dinner Train owner Dave Paradeau today informed the Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota that the popular restaurant on rails would continue operating for a 23rd year – perhaps under new ownership and management. Paradeau had originally announced that he and the Zephyr would be retiring at the end of 2007.


Nominations for 2008 Parks & Trails Council Awards now being accepted

The Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota invites the public to submit nominations for the 2008 Parks & Trails Council Awards. This is the inaugural year for the awards, which will honor the volunteer contributions of individuals and organizations who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the excellence, health, conservation, and open access of the state's public parkland and trails.


Parks & Trails Council purchases 386 acres for state's newest recreation area at Greenleaf Lake

(ST. PAUL, MN) – The state’s newest recreation area at Greenleaf Lake halfway between Litchfield and Hutchinson is one step closer to reality thanks to the nonprofit Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota, which today purchased core land for the outdoor adventure haven.


Trail Builder Peggy Lynch

Energy and determination

Behind every successful park or trail effort you will find a Trail Builder, an individual who shepherded that dream into reality, giving time, money or both. The following Question & Answer features one such Trail Builder – Peggy Lynch. Lynch is the executive director for the Friends of the Parks & Trails of St. Paul and Ramsey County. She has been instrumental in helping to create the Lilydale and Samuel H. Morgan trails and she helped lead a successful effort to protect Crosby Farm/ Hidden Falls Regional Park from a housing development in the early 1980s.


Voyageurs National Park Association

Promoting Minnesota’s Best Kept Secret

Friends groups play an important role in planning, developing, maintaining and advocating for Minnesota’s parks and trails. The following Question and Answer features one such organization – Voyageurs National Park Association. Voyageurs National Park is located about 15 miles east of International Falls on Minnesota's Canadian border.


Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota partners with VNPA to secure privately owned land within park boundaries

By International Falls Daily Journal staff

The Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota and Voyageurs National Park Association joined efforts to acquire private property this week within the boundaries of Voyageurs National Park.


Henry Somsen: A great love of outdoors

By Doug Smith, Star Tribune

ROCHESTER -- At 97, Henry Somsen still has a firm handshake, sharp mind, wry sense of humor and a solid memory.

Over the decades, he has put his money where his heart is -- in the outdoors.


Trail Builders Charlie Silverson and Elaine Elnes

Visit every park

Behind every successful park or trail effort you will find a Trail Builder, an individual that shepherded the dream into reality, giving time, money or both in pursuit of the goal. The following is a Question & Answer feature with a dynamic pair of Trail Builders – Elaine Elnes and Charlie Silverson.


House and Senate Bonding Bills move ahead

March 5, 2007 – The
House Capital Investment Committee passed its bonding bill (HF380) out of committee on Monday, March 3. The $1 billion bill contains $960 million in General Obligation bonds (GO bonds), with the remaining amounts user financed or general fund spending. The House bill includes more than $82 million for Minnesota's parks and trails systems.