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Legislative Action Day 2024 Recap

On March 14, GMPT hosted our Annual Legislative Action Day at the State Capitol, which featured an agenda packed with interesting and informative programming. Thank you to all who attended in person and virtually!

The morning kicked off with a great discussion with Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Parks and Trails Director Ann Pierce and Assistant Commissioner Bob Meier, who provided a glimpse into the legislative priorities we share and how our collective advocacy efforts support funding and good policy for parks facilities and trail connectivity in Greater Minnesota.

We further discussed GMPT’s priority of overcoming the disparity in the distribution of Legacy funds, as only 20% of funding for Parks and Trails is allocated to Greater Minnesota. A significant objective for GMPT and the GMRPTC is to see the administrative costs for the Commission paid out of a different source to allow the entire portion of Legacy funds to go out in grants for designated facilities. 

Sen. Grant Hauschild (DFL-Hermantown) was presented with GMPT’s Legislative Champion Award for his dedication and success in ensuring that—for the first time ever—Greater Minnesota will receive a portion of Lottery in Lieu funding for Parks and Trails. Sen. Hauschild also helped ease matching requirements on LCCMR grants and fiercely advocated to get funding for the Commission, setting us up well for this session.

In addition to these important achievements for our communities, he pushed back on detrimental legislation that would have hampered our ability to build parks and trails. GMPT Lobbyist Elizabeth Wefel provided an overview of Sen. Hauschild’s work, and GMPT Chair Gina Hugo presented the award.

Following the award ceremony, GMRPTC Executive Director Renee Mattson and System Plan Coordinator Joe Czapiewski provided a Commission Update. Highlights from the Commission focused on the new sign for designated facilities that have received funding through the Commission, the upcoming grant funding cycle, and expanded grant opportunities for environmental/archaeological surveys and to connect people to the outdoors. 

The morning wrapped up with GMPT Lobbyist Elizabeth Wefel covering the GMPT Legislative Priorities:

  • Fund the DNR Local Parks and Trails Grants Programs — SF 3941 (Bolden) / HF 4112 (Brand)
  • Fund Legacy Projects and Extend Funding for Delayed Projects — SF 3911 (Hauschild) / HF 4434 (Cha)
  • Stop the Capital Project Replacement Bill — SF 3782 (Pappas) / HF 3582 (Lee)

After a presentation on helpful tips and tricks for lobbying, in-person attendees ventured off to visit their legislators.

If you have any questions about upcoming events, visit the Calendar page of the GMPT website or contact us at