Below is a message from Greater Minnesota Regional Parks & Trails Commission (GMRPTC) Executive Director Renee Mattson. You can reach her at email@example.com.
On October 26, Commissioners gathered in Mankato for a final review of the FY24 funding applications and made their recommendation to the Minnesota Legislature.
Of the 17 qualified applications, Commissioners recommended full funding for 14 applications. The recommendations represent projects in all six districts, from the very top of the state in Lake of the Woods, the Northwest Angle, the far southern part of Minnesota, and many cities and counties in between.
It’s important to note that since 2015, with Legacy grants, Greater Minnesota has funded more than $72 million in projects, with community investments of almost $26 million. This comes to a total of nearly $100 million for improvements in parks, trails, and programs connecting people with the outdoors! These numbers are simply staggering and, of course, would not be possible without the Clean Water Land and Legacy Amendment.
Fiscal Year 2024 Greater Minnesota Legacy Funding Recommendations
|Duluth Waabizheshikana/The Marten Trail||$1,493,434||1|
|Cook County Mountain Bike Trail System||$400,000||1|
|Northerly Park – Northwest Angle||$70,000||2|
|Detroit Mountain Recreation Area||$1,325,941||3|
|Otter Tail County Phelps Mill County Park||$366,000||3|
|Great River Park Complex||$797,555||4|
|Isanti County Springvale Park||$366,800||4|
|Stearns County Kraemer Lake Wildwood County Park||$1,175,846||4|
|Stearns County Quarry Park & Nature Preserve||$170,250||4|
|Redwood County Plum Creek Park||$818,539||5|
|Sibley County Henderson Scenic Byway Regional Trail||$1,394,400||5|
|Austin Jay C. Hormel Nature Center||$250,000||5|
|Olmsted County Oxbow Park and Zollman Zoo||$2,050,000||6|
Check out the highlights below for more information on each exciting project recommended for legacy grant funding:
- Duluth Waabizheshikana/The Marten Trail — A ten-mile trail tracing the shoreline of the St. Louis River Estuary, recently restored from a highly degraded state.
- Cook County Mountain Bike Trail System — Development of a bicycle skills park at the Cook County Community Center and the rehabilitation of 4.9 miles of the High Climber mountain bike trail.
- Mesabi Trail — Construction of the FINAL 2.4 miles of trail from the West Two River to connect to the existing Mesabi Trail in Tower.
- Northerly Park – Northwest Angle — A master plan update.
- Detroit Mountain Recreation Area — Land acquisition for an accessible trail loop, sculptures, an additional single-track biking trail, and a natural play area with a Tree House element.
- Otter Tail County Phelps Mill County Park — 1,400 feet of wetland boardwalks and viewing platforms within a restored wetlands area.
- Benton County Great River Park Complex — A large picnic shelter, overflow parking, canoe landing improvements, nature play area relocation, additional soft surface trails, and wayfinding and interpretive signage.
- Isanti County Springvale Park — Accessible nature play area, a three-mile single-track mountain bike expansion, repaving and enlarging the main parking area, a vault toilet, and trailhead and wayfinding signage throughout the park.
- Stearns County Kraemer Lake-Wildwood County Park — An enhanced park entry road, parking lot, picnic areas and shelters, restrooms, fishing pier, nature-based playground, non-motorized boat launch, and paved trail access to amenities.
- Stearns County Quarry Park & Nature Preserve — Erosion control at Quarry 2.
- Redwood County Plum Creek Park — Improved parking lot, beach enhancement through new retaining walls, and natural playground near the beach. Also included are a new bathroom, changing room, and ADA sidewalk.
- Sibley County Henderson Scenic Byway Regional Trail — Hummingbird Regional Trail construction to be done concurrently with the reconstruction of CSAH 6 between Henderson and Blakeley.
- Austin Jay C. Hormel Nature Center — Replacement bridges identified as Bridge 9 and Bridge 6.
- Oxbow Park and Zollman Zoo — Moving the existing campground from a flood zone to a safer location on higher ground. The project will increase the capacity from 30 to 42 sites, including three ADA-accessible sites. Additionally, four fully equipped camper cabins and upgraded electric and water hookups will be added.
The GMRPTC forwards its recommendations to the Minnesota Legislature for approval through the Parks and Trails Legacy Fund, which will be take place during the upcoming legislative session.
For more information on these projects and the Greater MN Regional Parks & Trails Commission, visit gmrptcommission.org.