GMRPTC Director’s Report: Connecting People with the Outdoors

Below is a message from GMRPTC Executive Director Renee Mattson. You can reach her at

During the recent Minnesota Legislative Session, a member of the House Legacy Finance Committee asked the question, “How do you address equipment lending for individuals and families who want to try a new sport but may not be able or willing to spend money for equipment they may only use once?” While I was able to provide an answer to the question, it occurred to me that we should try harder to make recreational equipment available at no cost to whoever wants to try out a new outdoor activity.

Connecting People with the Outdoors is an important pillar of the 25-Year Legacy Plan and a great way to gain more interest in the outdoors while supporting participation in a new activity.

We put out a call for participants on a committee to come up with ideas about how an equipment lending program might be possible. Thanks to Amber Moon Peterson, Tyler Luethje, Brad Harrington, Karlin Ziegler, and Celeste Lewis for volunteering to think creatively.

A survey has been developed and—after a “fail” on the initial send and some reworking—will be in members’ mailboxes shortly.

I urge you to complete the survey so we can get a baseline of information for what exists within the Greater Minnesota system and where it is located.

One thing I think we can all agree on is the importance of making the outdoors easily accessible for everyone. The health benefits of outdoor activity are well documented, and removing barriers to participation is crucial.

So, please complete the survey when you receive it, and if you have any suggestions, please share them!