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From the Chair: Making a difference in people’s lives

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

Early summer is in full swing! As parks and trails professionals who passionately work to ensure equitable access to outdoor recreation for Greater Minnesota, you may find yourself disheartened by all the problem-solving that comes with this work. From dogs not being leashed to garbage dumping to vandalism—none of us are exempt from frustrations.

At the end of May, we took a few minutes as a Board to reflect on testimonials we had heard or witnessed in our parks that encouraged us and reminded us how valuable our work is in improving the quality of life for people living in and visiting our communities.

So many uplifting stories were shared: a nature-deprived youth so in awe of a natural setting they felt they were in a jungle; a daily park visitor who maintained sobriety by making nature walks part of their daily routine; a family experiencing camping for the first time and making their Christmas about outfitting the kids with camping gear to prepare for their new tradition!

GMPT members—whether you plan, install, maintain, advocate for, or teach in these beautiful natural settings, you are undoubtedly improving the lives of Minnesotans and visitors to this incredible Land of 10,000 Lakes!

In less than 2 months, we will host the Joint Summer Meeting with the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission (GMRPTC) and encourage you all to come celebrate all the good work you do! Check out the agenda and registration information below and register today—we hope to see you there!