The Metropolitan Council Regional Parks agency undertook a research study to better understand and provide for the outdoor recreational needs and preferences of young people. After noting that youth engagement has been dropping since the 1990's, the Agency understood that connecting youth to the outdoors is essential to achieve the equitable outcomes required in the Met Council's 2040 Regional Parks Policy Plan.
This report includes an overview of how they collaborated to engage youth, what engagement techniques worked and what didn't, and the key findings of their research. The GMRPTC encourages effective public engagement that builds equitable use among all Minnesotans.
Youth & Parks: Getting Outdoors Close to Home
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
now Rochester's Quarry Hill Park and Nature Center is building on its Legacy supported investments.
Over the last few years Quarry Hill Park completed an extensive renovation of its Nature Center and built a new Prairie House classroom building in part with GMRPTC-awarded Legacy funds. At the time, they were able to put most of the infrastructure in place to make the Prairie House a carbon neutral facility.
Leveraging additional funding sources, Quarry Hill has put additional equipment in place to make that goal a reality. LEARN MORE HERE.
There is no doubt that volunteer organizations are helping to make many Greater Minnesota parks and trails a reality. Whether helping raise funds for construction or organizing clean up work crews, many of our facilities wouldn't be what they are without dedicated local volunteer support.
Minnesota Public Radio has shared this fantastic look at how volunteers are making a difference at several parks and trails statewide, including many regionally significant partners of the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission. A shout out as well to our Executive Director, Renee Mattson, who was interviewed for this article.
MPR: In Duluth, skiers (and bikers, hikers, climbers and others) step up to build trails
Greater Minnesota is filled with opportunities to get outside and enjoy nature - even in the winter!
Here's a great article on how and where you can find mountain biking opportunities all year long - including a few of our Greater Minnesota regional facilities!
How Minnesotans Bike All Year Long - Even in Winter
Are you interested in mountain biking, but aren't sure where to start? Do you need a way to explain the basics of mountain biking to new riders?
Here's a great primer on the sport of mountain biking from Nature Sport Central. We hope you'll find it useful!
How to Start Mountain Biking
The Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission loves to help kids play! Natural Playscapes, the kind depicted in this Explore Minnesota Tourism article, are the type of playgrounds specifically targeted in our regional park system. Want to know more? Contact us! Article Here
Photos: GMRPTC Commissioners and staff tour the natural playscape at Olmsted County's Oxbow Park in 2016.
The Bike+Walk Minnesota Conference is a multidisciplinary conversation about the intersection of active transportation, community development, inequities, and advocacy. Professionals and advocates from across Minnesota will come together and go beyond breakout sessions to explore connections between biking and walking, discuss how communities are creating better public spaces for all users, and address the open-ended question of what comes next for transportation and recreation options in the North Star State.
"With a team of others from across the Rochester community, she is working to ensure that everyone, regardless of ability level, can experience the joy of biking."
Read More Here
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