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
This week, officials from the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission met with local representatives to tour potential project sites along the regionally-designated Red Lake River Water Trail. Several cities, counties, and a watershed district have spent over ten years developing the original concept and master plan. The tour was an opportunity to see priority river access, camping and recreation sites for future improvement. District 2 Commissioner Bryan Pike, Executive Director Renee Mattson, and System Plan Coordinator Joe Czapiewski participated in the tour.
Connecting People to the Outdoors Greater Minnesota Parks and Trails Commission Pilot Project Update
On November 22, 2016, Wright and Stearns counties entered into a contract with Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center (PWELC) to provide Outdoor Recreation and Environmental Education Programs throughout their park systems. Once the contract was signed by all parties, PWELC began to develop “Schools in the Park” as the first pilot program for the contract. The pilot program was funded through the GMRPTC with a Legacy grant that will enable the program to operate for two years.
Upon conclusion of the program, full documentation and instructions for creating similar programs will be available for entities wanting to host this type of activity in their parks.
The Concept of Schools in the Parks
Schools in the Park is meant to provide the “seed” for future stewards of our park systems by exposing students to various regional parks through recreational activities and environmental education. This program will potentially provide the foundation for lifelong park users and enthusiast by exposing them to activities such as cross country skiing, snowshoeing, wildlife identification, wilderness survival, hiking and paddling.
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