The Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission (GMRPTC) announces the availability of its funding application for Fiscal Year (FY) 2022. All designated park and trail facilities in the GMRPTC System may begin online applications on April 1, 2020. The application portal will close on July 31, 2020.
“Cities and counties across Greater Minnesota have sought funding for a variety of park and trail projects the past several application cycles,” said Renee Mattson, Executive Director of the GMRPTC. “Park and trail infrastructure projects funded by the Commission are making a difference in all areas of the state and we expect similar success this year. We are also excited to be offering a new, designated target of $250,000 for programming and accessibility projects that fall under the Connecting People to the Outdoors category.”
Funding has been available for projects in that category in the past, as a part of the larger fund that typically distributes $8 – 10 million annually in Greater Minnesota. This is the first year a specific set-aside has been created to encourage applicants to pursue well-designed projects that bring new users to the park or trail and promote life-long use.
Last year the Commission received 22 applications and selected nine of them for funding, totaling $9,984,067. Funded by the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, the 13-member GMRPTC facilitates a subset of the Parks and Trails fund dedicated to city and county parks and trails of regional significance.
Applicants should review the Funding Criteria and Guidelines as well as Application Instructions carefully to make sure they understand this year’s requirements. The online-only application portal is located on the Commission’s website HERE. Guidelines, instructions, tutorials and sample documents can be found in the Application Toolbox HERE.
Any questions can be directed to System Plan Coordinator Joe Czapiewski at email@example.com.
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.
LeSeuer County's Lake Washington Regional Park, a part of the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails system, was recently placed on the GMRPTC's recommendation list for Fiscal Year 2021 Legacy Funds.
A number of improvements are planned for the increasingly popular park. Local TV station KEYC in Mankato covered the story. See HERE for more details.
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
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