In 2008, Minnesota voters took a bold and historic action by imposing a three-eighths of one percent tax on themselves for 25 years, until 2034, in the name of cleaner water, healthier habitat, better parks and trails and sustaining our arts and cultural heritage. Today, five years later, that tax has generated more than a billion dollars for Legacy projects.

Celebrating the improvement of Minnesota's lands, waters, parks and trails

The Minnesota DNR has been allocated about one-fifth of Legacy dollars, roughly $215 million, and has used them to make Minnesota a better place for its citizens by upgrading parks and trails; restoring, enhancing and protecting habitat for fish, game and wildlife; and restoring and protecting the quality of our lakes, rivers and streams.

DNR understands how important the Legacy funds are to Minnesota, and we take this work seriously. Legacy funds support programs and projects that go beyond the results achieved by other state funds, to build a long-term conservation legacy for the citizens of Minnesota. Because Minnesotans passed this constitutional amendment, the DNR is able to deliver strong conservation successes, while other states have suffered losses of conservation lands, parks, and trails.

Where the money goes chart. DNR programs recieve roughly 21 percent of total Legacy dollars.

Legacy Funding 2009 - 2012

Since 2009, The Legacy Amendment has generated more than $1 billion to make Minnesota better. The Minnesota Legislature appropriated 21 percent ($215 million) for DNR programs. An additional 18 percent ($187 million) went to DNR for spending by local units of government and non-profit organizations. The remainder of Legacy funds ($614 million) went to non-DNR entities such as other state and local government and non-profit organizations.

While the bulk of Legacy funds allocated to DNR come from the Outdoor Heritage, Parks and Trails, and Clean Water funds, DNR received a grant from the Art and Cultural Heritage Fund to digitize all issues of the Minnesota Conservation Volunteer magazine.

Legacy Funds Are Working for Minnesotans

DNR has accomplished hundreds of individual projects since Legacy funds became available on July 1, 2009. Here, we'd like to showcase a few of these projects.

DNR accomplishments. Click icons on the map to right to learn more
Habitat icon

Protecting, enhancing, and restoring fish and wildlife habitat

parks icon

Supporting parks and trails


water icon

Protecting and restoring lakes, rivers, and groundwater


Your Legacy Amendment dollars are hard at work to protect, maintain, and enhance natural landscapes, healthy watersheds, and the public places that make it possible to experience them to the fullest. Legacy funds are also providing opportunities like never before to "open doors" to outdoor recreation, particularly for young people.

Thank you for leaving Minnesota a better place for future generations.

Learn about all Legacy Amendment projects »

Supporting Grants for Each Fund

State agencies, local governmental units, non-profit organizations, and others can apply to receive Legacy funds for projects that support the intentions of the Legacy Amendment. Ultimately, the State Legislature decides how and where these funds should be spent.

DNR administers Legacy-funded grants to our wide range of partners. Together we are committed to achieving significant conservation results for Minnesota Citizens.

Find out how to apply for grants »

DNR News

01/29/2015: DNR announces new appointments to committee on natural heritage Full story

09/25/2014: DNR acquires new forest lands for wildlife habitat and public use Full story

08/18/2014: Legacy funds enhancing wildlife habitat near Orr Full story

04/28/2014: Legacy Amendment making a big difference at Whitewater WMA Full story

01/17/2014: Legacy Amendment helps clean up Crow River in St. Michael Full story

12/30/2013: Legacy funds boost effort to restore 150 years of degradation in the St. Louis River estuary Full story

12/19/2013: Legacy Amendment helps support DNR native prairie restoration in northwestern Minnesota state parks Full story