For immediate release
ST. PAUL—State Sen. Carrie Ruud was recognized by Greater Minnesota Parks & Trails (GMPT) on March 21 during the organization’s annual Legislative Action Day for her outstanding work on behalf of parks and trails.
Sen. Ruud, a Republican from Breezy Point, is serving her third term in the Minnesota Senate. The GMPT chose Sen. Ruud as the first-ever recipient of its “Legislator of the Year” award because of her key role in advancing the organization’s priorities during the 2017 legislative session.
Sen. Ruud was the chief author of legislation that passed last session that provided $1 million in funding for two vital grant programs: the Outdoor Recreation Grant Program and the Local Trail Connections Program. These programs are especially important because they are among the few state funding sources available to local parks and trails, the vast majority of which do not qualify for funding under the Legacy Amendment. Prior to 2017, funding for these popular grant programs had shrunk significantly and they had not received any general fund money for several years despite strong interest and a backlog of applicants.
As chair of the Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Legacy Finance Committee, Sen. Ruud was also instrumental in ensuring that Greater Minnesota parks and trails receive a fair share of funding under the Legacy bill and that there were no carve-outs or earmarks for specific projects. In addition, she pushed back against harmful bill language that would have made it more difficult to develop parks and trails.
“The 2017 session was one of the best in recent memory for parks and trails in Greater Minnesota, and most of our successes are due in large part to Sen. Ruud’s strong leadership and advocacy,” said GMPT President Ted Suss. “It’s clear that Sen. Ruud is passionate about parks and trails and understands the important role they play in making Minnesota such a wonderful place to live, work and play. Our organization is delighted to honor her with our Legislator of the Year award.”
GMPT is a nonprofit advocacy organization with more than 120 members including local governments, businesses, individuals and other parks and trails groups. Visit GMPT online at greatermnparksandtrails.org and follow us on Twitter @GreaterMNPT.