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Now is the time to reach out to your legislators!

The Minnesota Legislature is on Easter/Passover break until April 18. Many legislators will be back in their home districts during this break, which makes it an ideal time to reach out to them and gain their support for funding for two important parks and trails grants programs: the Outdoor Recreation Grant Program and the Local Trails Connection Program.

The Senate omnibus environment bill, SF 723, includes $1 million ($500,000 each) spread over two years to these programs. However, the House bill does NOT include this funding. When the legislators come back to the Capitol after the break, they will meet in conference committee and negotiate their differences. We need your help to persuade legislators to support including the Senate funding for these programs in the final environment bill.

Please reach out to your Legislators over the Easter/Passover break. It’s best if you can talk to them in person by attending an open house, town hall or scheduling a private meeting. If you can’t meet in person, please call or email them.

Here are some points to convey to your legislators:

  • Please support $1 million in funding for the Outdoor Recreation Grant Program and Local Trails Connection Program in the final environmental bill. This is the amount included in the Senate’s bill
  • Parks and trails are vital to Minnesota and to {name your county or city}, contributing to our economy and the health and well-being of our citizens. Local parks and trails provide opportunities for all citizens, many of whom do not have access to state or regional parks and trails on a regular basis. {Mentioning a local park or tail can be helpful}
  • The Outdoor Recreation and Local Trail Connection grant programs provide matching funds to cities and counties across the state that aren’t covered by Legacy funding. It is the only state grant program available for many Greater Minnesota projects.
  • Funding for these grant programs is running low and demand is high.
  • [Provide specific examples of how these programs have benefited or could benefit your community by mentioning past funding you have received or a project you’d like to propose]
  • Ask your legislator to speak with members of the Environment Conference Committee to urge them to support $1 million in funding for Outdoor Recreation Grant Program and Local Trails Connection Program.

If you have any questions, please contact Greater Minnesota Parks and Trails lobbyist Elizabeth Wefel at eawefel@flaherty-hood.com.