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A Message from the Chair: Hello, 2024!

Below is a message from GMPT Chair Gina Hugo. You can reach her at

I hope the New Year has greeted you kindly! As your new Chair, I am honored to serve in this role and look forward to achieving more milestones with my fellow Board members. In addition to working with GMPT, I also serve as the Parks Director for Sherburne County. Prior to joining the team at the County in 2019, I worked as a conservationist and forest Health Specialist for the Sherburne Soil & Water Conservation District—where I developed a passion for ecological restoration and enhancement of oak savanna and native prairie. Our nature-based park system is largely characterized by these plant communities, and it is such a privilege to lead the stewardship and protection of these landscapes and see park visitors enjoy the opportunity to experience these imperiled habitats and learn about sustainable management. So—that’s a little about me, your new Chair!

As we gear up for all that 2024 has in store, it is worth reflecting on the challenges overcome, the lessons learned, and the great successes of the past year, both professionally and personally. I encourage you to take a moment and embrace the growth you experienced!

As an organization, GMPT had several successes to celebrate in 2023:

  • NEW & RETURNING Members
  • Timely virtual forums—all archived for your reference!
  • Legislative achievements:
    • Legislative Action Day
    • Secured the FIRST DEDICATED source of funding for designated parks and trails outside of Legacy!
    • Supported a record amount of funding for local parks and trails grant programs
    • Effectively pushed back on measures to limit eminent domain power

With that, we are harnessing the positive energy to maintain the momentum we have built up through you, our amazing members! With 147 members—11 being business members—we recognize and value the talented member contributions. If you haven’t seized an opportunity to become more involved through serving on a committee, submitting ideas for forums, or sending us one of your success stories, please consider doing so!

Thank you for all you do to make local parks and trails such a great treasure of Minnesota!