Tree with jagged form in a grassy landscape
View of grasslands at the former Upper Sioux Agency State Park. Photo by Amanda Baumann / P&TC photo contest.


State Park lands are vital to our state’s social, ecological, and physical health. Ensuring adequate access to these places of wellness is a responsibility we uphold, not just for today’s generation, but for those that come after us.

There are times when we, as a state, reckon with our past and take actions grounded in compassion and a growing awareness of past injustices. Last year, the Minnesota Legislature took action to return Upper Sioux Agency State Park to the Upper Sioux Community Pezihutazizi Oyate. Parks & Trails Council supports this transfer.

This year, another state park will close. Hill-Annex Mine State Park is being planned for abandonment by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, who had previously leased the land from the School Trust Fund in a one-of-a-kind arrangement that included a stipulation that lands could revert to mining uses in the future. That future date is now.

While very different circumstances, this net result is 1,900 acres of state park lands being removed from the state park system.

We have an opportunity to try to ensure that as these transfers occur, we as a state uphold the responsibility to set aside replacement lands and ensure all Minnesotans and our visitors have meaningful places to engage in nature.

Now it’s up to us to make sure legislators know how important state parks are to the people of Minnesota. Every voice counts.

We must seize this opportunity to invest in new state park land!

Please support our efforts to Replace State Park Lands and ensure that Minnesota has no net loss of state park lands by signing up below!