Connecting people to Minnesota's great outdoors
Why is this important
Outdoor recreation enriches our lives in many ways, from boosting physical and mental health to strengthening family ties. Outdoor recreation also benefits communities, the state, and society by stimulating the economy and building enduring support for natural resources.
We seek to increase the connections Minnesotans have with the outdoors, particularly families, young adults, and children. In addition, we want to continue to engage our longstanding constituents, as well as increase participation among those who have not traditionally used our facilities and resources. This includes members of communities of color, individuals who experience language or cultural barriers, and single parents.
Opportunities: We are working to provide something for everyone, including winter candlelight events in the parks, educational programs that build fishing and hunting skills, and high quality OHV opportunities in our state forests. We're strengthening partnerships with others, including our connection to schools, and we're expanding our support for after-school programming.
Awareness: We are building awareness of DNR outdoor recreation opportunities through a spectrum of communication efforts. We are expanding the amount of information available online and in a variety of languages—particularly Spanish. We are developing a more user-driven Web site to better engage customers and provide an improved online experience that compels people to get outdoors.
Research: We are conducting research to understand how families, children, and others would like to interact with Minnesota's natural resources. We are also evaluating the effectiveness of DNR outreach efforts. We will use this information to adapt our programs and facilities.
Foundation: We are maintaining the foundation on which outdoor recreation depends—lakes, rivers, wetlands, grasslands, and forests. We embrace green building approaches as well as sustainable and universally accessible DNR facilities.
Learn how DNR is successfully connecting people to the outdoors:
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DNR outdoor programs
DNR outdoor programs: DNR is committed to reaching out to new participants, sharing our passion for the great outdoors. DNR's variety of innovative outdoor programming encourages Minnesotans to have fun outdoors. Programs include park naturalist talks, School Forest assistance, and MinnAqua. Our Becoming an Outdoors Woman program provides opportunities for women and families to learn hands-on skills in hunting, fishing, and outdoor sports.
Technology-based educational programming
Technology-based educational programming helps attract younger participants to our DNR facilities. Whether it's a fascination with geocaching, digital photography, or podcasts for self-guided trails, DNR is developing programs to serve the burgeoning interest in technology-based educational programming.
Fishing in the Neighborhood
DNR's Fishing in the Neighborhood program is a great example of a collaborative effort with local communities, schools, and others to get children outdoors, teach them about fish and aquatic ecology, and provide them with quality fishing in neighborhood lakes.
Long term desired outcomes
- Minnesotans' outdoor recreation needs are met.
- Increased participation in nature-based outdoor recreation, particularly among young adults and their children.
- Minnesota's children become the natural resource stewards of tomorrow through positive experiences in the outdoors.
- Increased understanding of user needs, particularly interests of families, youth, minorities, and new participants.
- Healthy, functioning watersheds and landscapes support high-quality outdoor recreation opportunities.