Minnesota State Parks and Trails:
Directions for the Future

In November 2008, Minnesota voters passed the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, which established four dedicated funds from an increase in the state sales tax, including a Parks and Trails Fund to support parks and trails of regional or statewide significance.

As part of the legislation that allocated the first two years of Legacy funding, the Minnesota State Legislature directed the Department of Natural Resources to develop a ten-year strategic state parks and trails plan.

The commissioner shall develop a ten-year strategic state parks and trails plan considering traditional funding and the funding available under the Minnesota Constitution, article XI, section 15. The plan shall incorporate the 25-year framework developed by the University of Minnesota Center for Changing Landscapes.

Directions for the Future lays out the direction for the DNR Division of Parks and Trails from 2011 to 2020, and focuses on the division's state park, state trail, and state water recreation responsibilities.

Broadly, Directions for the Future focuses on three strategic directions:

  1. Connecting people to the outdoors
  2. Accelerating management of our natural, cultural, and recreational environments
  3. Investing in our partnerships, processes, and people

The strategic directions will guide how the division allocates its funding to fulfill its vision; to create unforgettable park, trail, and water recreation experiences that inspire people to pass along the love for the outdoors to current and future generations.

The draft plan was available for a 30-day public review from Friday, Oct. 22 through Sunday Nov. 21. The final version of the plan is posted here:

Minnesota State Parks and Trails: Direction for the Future This is a PDF file. You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to download it. (06/09/11; 99 pages, 12.5 MB)

More Information

Questions about Directions for the Future can be directed to Colin Kelly, Principal Planner, at colin.kelly@state.mn.us.