The Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission has published its annual Policy and Planning report to the Legislature.
This annual report highlights the growth and impact of Greater Minnesota's regional system of parks and trails. Supported by the Clean Water and Legacy Amendment, sixty-two facilities across 80 counties provide a wide variety of outdoor recreation opportunities for residents and visitors.
Learn more about how the Commission is working with cities and counties in all six Greater Minnesota districts to fulfill the 25-year Legacy Plan.
The Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission has announced grant recommendations for the FY2021 funding cycle.
Of the 62 regionally designated parks and trails in the Greater Minnesota system, the Commission received 22 applications totaling nearly $28 million dollars; nine projects were selected to receive $9,984,067 in funding.
See the full press release and recommendation list below.
The Greater Minnesota Parks and Trails Commission (GMRPTC) has compiled an inventory of designated mountain bike trails in Districts 1 and 2, comprising twenty-four northern Minnesota counties. The inventory is a snapshot of current and planned facilities that are officially designated for mountain bike use.
As the sport of mountain biking increases in popularity, the demand for purpose-built, sustainable trails continues to grow. The GMRPTC undertook this system inventory to better understand the current and ongoing level of investment in the areas of highest growth in Greater Minnesota.
Land managers, funding agencies and trail advocates can use this information to understand the distribution of trails of varying function and difficulty levels. While not designed as a tool for riders to locate their next riding experience, the inventory may be helpful to marketers who are incorporating that information into their messaging and recreation packages.
The GMRPTC was established in 2013 conduct system planning and provide recommendations to the legislature for grants funded by the Legacy Parks and Trails fund to counties and cities outside the seven-county metropolitan area for parks and trails of regional significance. A total of 62 parks and trails are currently included in the Greater Minnesota regional system statewide. More information about the Commission can be found at gmrptcommission.org.
Below are links to the report and associated maps.
REPORT: Mountain Bike Trail Inventory in Districts 1 and 2
MAP: District 1 Overview
MAP: Aitken Mille Lacs Pine County Area Systems
MAP: Cook County Area Systems
MAP: Lake County Area Systems
MAP: Upper St. Louis County Area Systems
MAP: Lower St. Louis County Area Systems
MAP: District 2 Overview
MAP: Beltrami Crow Wing County Area Systems
MAP: Itasca County Area Systems
MAP: Roseau Polk County Area Systems
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
The Minnesota Secretary of State's Office has announced hundreds of open seats on a wide ranging set of State boards, councils, and commissions. A full list of the available positions can be found HERE.
Included in that list are several positions on the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission. Potential applicants may apply for a position to represent their District, or apply for the At-Large position. Learn more about the available positions and applications HERE. The list of current Commission members can be found on the Commission's website.
For more information, please contact GMRPTC Executive Director Renee Mattson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
From the MN DNR, September 30, 2019
Apply starting Oct. 23 for funding aimed to increase outdoor experience, education and stewardship
Lifelong lessons and care for Minnesota’s tremendous outdoor heritage start with quality time outdoors. The Department of Natural Resources is offering a new grant program called “No Child Left Inside” to help more children cast a fishing line, study animal tracks, hike or bike, or simply learn more about nature.
“We’re excited to be putting some funding toward getting kids outdoors. The time is now,” said Jeff Ledermann, DNR’s education and skills team supervisor. “Minnesotans care deeply about the outdoors. Kids in past decades were outdoors early and often, but that’s not a given anymore so these grants are here to boost outdoor programs and initiatives all around the state.”
Public entities and nonprofit organizations serving youth under age 18 are eligible to apply for this first phase of the grant program, which features a simple application and a quick review. In the first phase, $182,000 is available for programs all around Minnesota. The minimum request is $500 and the maximum is $5,000. Future phases of the grant program will have larger grant awards with more extensive application and review processes.
Applications can be submitted starting at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 23, and awards will be made on a rolling basis. Matching dollars are encouraged but not required. The application period will close once all the money is awarded. The earliest date to start reimbursable project work is Sunday, Dec. 1, and the reimbursable grant project work must be completed by Monday, June 1, 2020.
“We’re urging folks to be creative in how they approach getting youth outdoors and if in doubt, please apply for these grants,” Ledermann said. “We’re anticipating a strong response from people who work with youth every day—we know they have great ideas.”
The 2019 Minnesota Legislature authorized the No Child Left Inside grant program. Funding can be used for outdoor recreation equipment, transportation and related natural resource education expenses. Factors the DNR will consider in determining awards include whether the project:
GMRPTC District 2 Commissioner Bryan Pike recently visited Ramsey Park in Redwood Falls. Ramsey Park is one of 61 regionally-significant parks or trails designated by the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission.
Which regional parks or trails have you visited recently?
Explore Minnesota's system of regional and state parks at https://mn.gov/greatoutdoors/
The National Park Service announces that it is now taking applications for community assistance in planning park, trail and conservation projects through its Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program. Apply by June 30th to receive technical assistance with project elements, such as: park & trail planning, visioning & goal setting, partnership building, organizational development, resource analysis, community outreach, facilitation, priority setting, consensus building, and developing funding strategies.
If accepted, your project team will receive a year or more of assistance from an experienced Outdoor Recreation Planner at no cost. Local, regional & state governments and non profit organizations as well as informal community groups are welcome to apply. More information is available on the attached video and on the links to our website, or contact Holly Larson at: email@example.com or 651-293-8444.
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