The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is now accepting applications for the 2022 Noxious Weed and Invasive Plant Grant. Counties, municipalities, tribal governments, and weed management entities (including weed management areas) may apply for grants to mitigate noxious weeds around the state. Grants for fiscal year 2022 will be funded up to $5,000. The awards are intended to support local projects.
Learn more HERE.
Congratulations to the City of Rochester Parks and Recreation Department on the opening of the new Driftless Disc Golf Course at Gamehaven Park! Gamehaven Park has received two Legacy grants from the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission and is a beautiful example of how important Legacy is for parks and trails in Greater Minnesota.
Link to Article HERE.
Congratulations to Lake County on the fabulous Split Rock Wilds Mountain Bike Trails! Trail construction on both phases was partially funded by Legacy grants from the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission.
LINK TO ARTICLE HERE
The US Economic Development Administration (EDA) has announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity to support economic development through outdoor recreation.
The announcement includes $750 million in funds to support gateway communities' economies. The funds are a part of the American Rescue Plan Act in support of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Follow this LINK to an announcement from the Outdoor Recreation Roundtable about the opportunity.
The US Department of Transportation has released a "Lessons Learned" report updating its experience supporting rail to trail conversion projects over the past 20+ years. The report attempts to capture best practices by addressing common concerns, challenges and factors to consider before, during, and after rail to trail projects.
A summary and full report can be found at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/publications/rwt2021/.
The Rails to Trails Conservancy also has provided a summary article at https://www.railstotrails.org/trailblog/2021/june/25/new-usdot-report-provides-25-years-of-lessons-learned-for-rails-with-trails/?utm_source=linkedin&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=trailblog.
The Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission was on hand for the grand opening celebration of the expanded city campground in Big Falls. System Plan Coordinator Joe Czapiewski was joined by former District 2 GMRPTC Commissioner Rita Albrecht at the event, which drew visitors from across north central Minnesota to celebrate improvements to the regional park along the Big Fork River.
The project saw the completion of riverside property acquisition, additional and renovated campsites, infrastructure, a new bath/shower facility and visitor center improvements. Parks and Trails Legacy Fund investments in the project through the GMRPTC totaled $1,278,030.
Learn more at this local TV news report: External Lakeland PTV Link HERE
Want to see more of the fun side of the Greater Minnesota Parks and Trails Commission? Follow our Instagram page! We look for fun and interesting sights that represent Greater Minnesota while traveling across our state. Here's our latest video from Central Minnesota: https://www.instagram.com/p/CQgfUAKndFx/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
The Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission (GMRPTC) will be holding District-level FREE virtual workshops in June. Each workshop will provide information and training about the new 2021 GMRPTC Strategic Plan and answer questions from partners and the general public.
Park and trail managers, city/county administrators, land commissioners, planning consultants and others responsible for regional-level parks and trails in Greater Minnesota are encouraged to attend.
A virtual workshop will be held in each of Greater Minnesota’s six districts, plus one at-large evening session. Attendees are encouraged to register for the workshop in their area but may choose another session if the time is more convenient. Register online for any of the following workshops at https://www.gmrptcommission.org/2021-district-workshops.html.
Wednesday, June 2, 10:00AM – 12:00 Noon, District 5 (Southwest)
Wednesday, June 2, 1:00 – 3:00PM, District 4 (Central)
Tuesday, June 8, 1:00 – 3:00PM, District 2 (Northwest)
Thursday, June 10, 6:30 – 8:30PM, At-Large (Statewide)
Tuesday, June 15, 10:00AM – 12:00 Noon, District 3 (West Central)
Tuesday, June 15, 1:00 – 3:00PM, District 1 (Northeast)
Tuesday, June 22, 1:00 – 3:00PM, District 6 (Southeast)
The purpose of the workshops is to help agencies understand the contents of the Commission’s new Strategic Plan. This 86-page plan is designed to help managers and volunteers develop effective proposals for regional designation and funding. As more agencies prepare their initial and updated Master Plans, they can look to this strategic plan for clearer standards and tools that will help tell their regional story.
More information, including the 2021 Strategic Plan, is available at the workshop registration website listed above. For additional information, contact System Plan Coordinator Joe Czapiewski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated Strategic Plan Now Available to Guide Future Development of Greater Minnesota's Regional Parks and Trails
For additional information, contact System Plan Coordinator Joe Czapiewski at email@example.com or Executive Director Renee Mattson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(May 13, 2021 – DULUTH, Minn.) – An updated strategic plan for guiding future development of Greater Minnesota’s regional parks and trails, including ensuring those areas are inviting and accessible to underserved communities, is now available to the public from the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission (GMRPTC).
Established in 2013, the Commission identifies regionally significant parks and trails in Minnesota’s 80 counties outside the seven-county metropolitan area and provides grant recommendations to the State Legislature. Funding comes from the Parks and Trails Legacy Fund, part of the Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment approved by state voters in 2008.
“Many people have worked hard to build a system of regional parks and trails that all Minnesotans can be proud of,” said GMRPTC Board Chair Thomas Ryan, adding that to date the organization has designated 64 parks and trails as regionally significant. “This updated strategic plan ensures we have consistent, detailed criteria for creating a seamless outdoor recreation system that integrates with those of our partners at the Department of Natural Resources and Metropolitan Council Regional Parks.”
This 86-page plan, filled with photos, maps and graphs, is designed to help local parks and trails agencies around Greater Minnesota develop effective proposals for regional designation and funding. As more agencies prepare their initial or updated Master Plans, they can look to this strategic plan for clearer standards and tools that will help tell their regional story. The plan includes criteria for making parks and trails inviting and accessible to underserved communities and people with mobility or other challenges, identifies new ways of monitoring and measuring success, and more.
The entire strategic plan may be found at www.gmrptcommission.org. Citizens may also ask to have a printed version mailed to them by contacting GMRPTC Executive Director Renee Mattson at email@example.com.
“Achieving designation requires an applicant to work through a detailed process that ensures each park or trail is of the quality Minnesotans and visitors expect when enjoying regionally significant facilities. The strategic plan provides guidance to help applicants think broadly and boldly about not only what the facility is now, but what it could be,” said Mattson.
She added that the GMRPTC will hold a series of online workshops in June to help agencies understand the new plan’s contents. Information about workshop times and dates is at https://www.gmrptcommission.org/2021-district-workshops.html.
Since its inception, the GMRPTC has awarded more than $52 million in grants to regional parks and trails across Greater Minnesota. Combined with $20 million in community investments, grants are used to fund infrastructure improvements, land acquisitions, new facilities, trail rehabilitation and more.
Otter Tail County is seeking a full-time Parks and Trails Director.
More information at www.governmentjobs.com/careers/ottertail/jobs/3068836/parks-trails-director
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