Legacy Fund grants to enhance 14 regional parks and trails in Greater Minnesota
Minnesotans from the Northwest Angle to Olmsted County and many places in between will soon benefit from nearly $11.4 million in enhancements to 14 regional parks and trails.
Each year, the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission (GMRPTC) reviews applications for upgrades to designated parks and trails across the state, then forwards its recommendation to the Minnesota Legislature for approval through the Parks and Trails Legacy Fund. The Legislature has annually approved GMRPTC requests, since Legacy Funds are part of the 2008 Minnesota Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment and may only be spent to support parks and trails of regional or statewide significance.
“We were impressed with the many thoughtful and creative approaches we reviewed for broadening Minnesotans’ enjoyment of their beautiful parks and trails, which is why we’re recommending fully funding each of the 14 selected requests,” said GMRPTC Executive Director Renee Mattson.
Since its creation in 2014, the GMRPTC has awarded more than $72 million in grants to 109 projects in the state’s 74 designated parks and trails. Combined with $25.6 million in community matches to date, grants are used to fund infrastructure improvements, land acquisitions, new facilities, trail rehabilitation, connecting people with the outdoors and more.
The 14 parks and trails recommended for $11,398,765 in Fiscal Year 2024 funding are below. District numbers in the grid refer to these geographic areas of Minnesota: 1-Northeast; 2-Northwest; 3-West Central; 4-East Central; 5-Southwest; 6-Southeast.
Grant Recipient – Award Amount – District
Cook County Mountain Bike Trail System – $400,000
Duluth Waabizheshikana/Marten Trail – $1,493,434
Mesabi Trail – $750,000
Northerly Park-Northwest Angle – $70,000
Detroit Lakes Detroit Mountain Recreation Area – $1,325,941
Otter Tail County Phelps Mill County Park – $366,000
Benton County Great River Park Complex – $797,555
Isanti County Springvale County Park – $336,800
Stearns County Kraemer Lake-Wildwood County Park – $1,175,846
Stearns County Quarry Park & Nature Preserve – $170,250
Redwood County Plum Creek Park – $818,539
Sibley County Henderson Scenic Byway Regional Trail – $1,394,400
Austin Jay C. Hormel Nature Center – $250,000
Olmsted County Oxbow Park and Zollman Zoo – $2,050,000
“Legacy Funding is a far-reaching gift that Minnesotans had the foresight to create to enhance their enjoyment of the outdoors,” said Mattson. “Without Legacy dollars, many of these projects simply would not happen or would take many years before coming to fruition.”
The GMRPTC provides recommendations to the Minnesota Legislature for grants to parks and trails of regional significance in the 80 counties outside the seven-county metropolitan area.
For additional information: Renee Mattson, Executive Director of the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission, at 218-310-2627 or email@example.com.
The Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission is looking to fill vacancies as well as to appoint or reappoint directors for open seats in each of the six districts. District 5 and District 6 currently have vacancies due to early resignations and by a move out of the district.
Anyone interested in serving on the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Council may apply on the Secretary of State website, Boards and Commissions link:
At the conclusion of the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission (GMRPTC) CPO Small Grant Fund application and awards for 2022 there remains a balance of $14,280 in the CPO fund.
The Commission has made the fund balance available for designated Greater Minnesota facilities to apply for a grant specifically for a track wheelchair.
A successful applicant must demonstrate the ability to store the chair in an enclosed facility, agree to perform maintenance on the chair as recommended by the manufacturer and make the chair available for loan to other designated facilities to test for a period of two years. (Not to exceed 45 days per year, transportation to and from the loaning facility is the responsibility of the testing facility)
A successful applicant must also agree the chair is made available for use at no cost to users.
This project is intended to serve as a prototype, thus the necessity of loaning the chair to other facilities.
Liability release waivers for use of the chair are the responsibility of the grantee.
The Commission has worked with Action Manufacturing/Midwest Trackchair to provide a discounted price for the chair, $14,780 + tax, making the purchase more affordable. The chair will come equipped with the most requested options; attendant control, attendant control relocation mount, cup holder and rod holder. Project costs beyond the available grant funds are the responsibility of the applicant and must be detailed in the application.
Applicants must complete the application and submit by December 9, 2022
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