Outdoor recreation is central to Minnesota's identity, fundamental to our economy, and essential for our health and quality of life.
The transformative Get Out MORE (Modernize Outdoor Recreation Experiences) investments, approved by the 2023 legislature and signed by Governor Tim Walz, will help ensure Minnesotans of all abilities and interests enjoy a world-class recreation system, whatever outdoor experience they choose.
The $149.9 million Get Out MORE investment centers on five key areas:
- Enhancing access and welcoming new users to public lands and outdoor recreation facilities
- Revitalizing camping and related infrastructure
- Enhancing fisheries and fishing infrastructure
- Modernizing boating access
- Restoring streams and modernizing water-related infrastructure to support outdoor recreation
Investing in Minnesota
Minnesota DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen talks about how Get Out MORE investments will improve Minnesotans' experiences on public lands and waters.
Read more about these investments below. An overview factsheet is also available here.
As we implement Get Out MORE investments over the next five-to-six years, we will update this page with videos and information on the progress of specific projects. #GetOutMORE
Enhancing access and welcoming new users to public lands and outdoor recreation facilities
What's the need: Minnesota's public lands should be accessible for everyone to enjoy. Improving accessibility at DNR-managed facilities and lands enhances the experience for people with disabilities and other visitors. Improved road access and signage and rehabilitated state trails further improve Minnesotans’ recreational experiences.
What's the investment: $34.5 million will support wide-ranging accessibility enhancements at state parks, recreation areas and wildlife management areas; provide accessible outdoor recreation equipment for use on state lands; improve parking lots, road access, and signage; and rehabilitate segments of the most used state trails.
What people are saying: Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan shares her excitement about critical investments in Minnesota state parks to ensure outdoor spaces are accessible to all Minnesotans.
Across Minnesota, we’re making critical investments in our state parks to ensure outdoor spaces are accessible to *all* Minnesotans year-round.— Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan (@LtGovFlanagan) July 30, 2023
Head to https://t.co/eHBuxaNSkA to find a state park near you! pic.twitter.com/WrVIewsEKX
Revitalizing camping and related infrastructure
What's the need: Campgrounds are like small cities with infrastructure needs from drinking water and wastewater to roads and Wi-Fi. Much of Minnesota's camping and related outdoor recreation infrastructure was developed in the 1930s and 1960s and is not designed to meet the needs of today's visitors. Further, many of the wastewater and drinking water systems that support state campgrounds have reached the end of their useful life and need renewal and replacement.
What's the investment: $5 million will fund a campground modernization pilot project and $4.5 million will fund the highest priority wastewater system replacement.
Enhancing fisheries and fishing infrastructure
What's the need: Minnesota is renowned for its fishing opportunities, but the places that produce fish and where people catch fish need investments so people can continue to have great fishing experiences.
A number of the state's fish hatcheries were constructed in the 1950s and are still operating with original equipment. The DNR also manages 360 shore fishing sites and fishing piers across the state. Many new anglers, families and children, and people with more limited economic resources rely on shore fishing facilities to access Minnesota's public waters.
What's the investment: $60 million will be invested to enhance fisheries and fishing infrastructure. Hatchery improvements will begin with Waterville, the state's largest cool-water hatchery. This hatchery currently operates in a converted garage built in the 1950s, but with new investment, Waterville will become a modern, state-of-the-art facility. The DNR will also revitalize dozens of shore-fishing sites and fishing piers, with a focus on improvements in underserved communities.
Modernizing boating access
What's the need: DNR-operated public water accesses need significant investment to make them accessible to all users, meet the needs of modern watercraft, improve protection of public waters from stormwater runoff and invasive species, and enhance climate resilience.
What's the investment: $35 million will allow DNR to renew and rehabilitate more than 100 public water accesses to serve anglers, boaters and paddlers across Minnesota.
What people are saying: Itasca State Park manager Aaron Wunrow talks about how the improvements at the public water access at the park are a good example of what those improvements will look like at locations across the state.
Restoring streams and modernizing water-related infrastructure to support outdoor recreation
What's the need: More intense rains combined with changes in land use cause more flooding and road washouts, degrade streambanks, and overwhelm water control structures. This impacts our fish, waterfowl and recreation opportunities.
What's the investment: $10 million will be used to replace culverts and bridges to improve stream ecology, remove or modify dams and restore habitat to enhance fish passage, and renovate other water control structures to address the impacts of climate change and support waterfowl production.
What people are saying: DNR area fisheries supervisor TJ DeBates shares the impact of climate change on Minnesota’s streams and the importance of restoration work.