At the May 25, 2016 Commission meeting, outgoing Chair Al Lieffort received warm recognition from the GMRPTC for his leadership as the founding chair of the Commission. Chair Lieffort was recognized by current Chair Mike Hulett, who presented Lieffort with a commemorative plaque.
In his farewell speech, Lieffort emphasized and thanked the many people who came together several yeas ago to advocate on behalf of Greater Minnesota parks and trails. By working together, the original group created "The Coalition," currently known as Greater Minnesota Parks and Trails. Their vision of a system of regionally-significant but locally owned and managed parks and trails led to the current 40/40/20 funding allocation for Legacy Amendment Parks and Trails funding, with 40% going to DNR, 40% to Met Council, and 20% to the newly created GMRPTC. Without years of work by this group of visionary leaders, this new pot of funding for regional outdoor recreation facilities would likely never have happened.
Before departing the meeting, Commissioner Lieffort, a well known regional musician, performed an original composition on his mandolin. Based on the story of the Cuyuna Range's Milford Mine disaster, it paid tribute to an historical site that has been turned into an important Crow Wing County park. Thank you, Chair Lieffort, for all your work to create this hard working but fun group of Greater Minnesota advocates!
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