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From the Chair: GMPT’s goals for 2024

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

This past month was marked with many things: President’s Day, Black History Month, Valentine’s Day, and the start of the 2024 Legislative Session.

As things get underway, we have seen and heard some indications that this session will be less packed with new legislation. As House Speaker Melissa Hortman (DFL-Brooklyn Park) commented, “Like a snake eating a hedgehog, for a while that snake doesn’t eat.” It will take a while for all the 2023 investments to get into and impact the system. It will also take time to determine how these impacts translate into future investment needs. Lawmakers anticipate a much less active session this year and are optimistic about a more bipartisan session.

The state’s bonding bill will be the biggest order of business to take care of, with many hoping to address issues related to infrastructure, wastewater, stormwater, roads, and bridges. But where do parks fit into that focus?

One of GMPT’s top legislative goals this year is advocating for a bonding appropriation to the DNR’s Local Parks and Trails grant programs. These programs allow cities and counties of all sizes to upgrade infrastructure at their parks or build connector trails, and many of our members have benefited from these programs.

To assist with that push and make more projects possible, we encourage you to participate in our Legislative Action Day on March 14! Please join us in St. Paul to learn more about our goals and other legislative activities supporting our business: PARKS and TRAILS! This event is also an excellent opportunity to engage with fellow parks professionals and to help advocate for parks and trails. Click here to register.