Goal 2: Outdoor Recreation

Minnesota's outdoor recreation opportunities meet the needs of new and existing participants so all benefit from nature.

Minnesota consistently ranks among one of the top states in which to live, and a key factor is our healthy natural environment with abundant parks, natural lands, and high-quality recreation opportunities. All Minnesotans should be able to access and enjoy the benefits of natural areas and outdoor time. We are challenged, however, to maintain basic operations at many state recreation facilities. Demand is increasing for new and enriched outdoor experiences. Innovative targeted strategies will provide support to help connect families with nature and active outdoor experiences.


The following strategies serve to guide targeted actions related to Goal 2:

  • Evaluate the effectiveness of DNR outreach and adjust programs and facilities accordingly.
  • Develop and promote outdoor programs and activities for people of all backgrounds and diverse interests. Especially work to provide services for families with children, ethnically and culturally diverse communities, women, youth, and young adults who have an interest in outdoor activities.
  • Expand our capacity to get more Minnesotans outdoors by working with our partners to use innovative strategies and tools, such as online programming, digital applications, and self-led activities.
  • Maintain and enhance Minnesota's outdoor recreation system. Ensure high-quality, easy-to-access and safe recreational opportunities for long-standing and new participants.
young girl moving doing a snowcover path in a track chair
father and two sons posting with the four pheasants they shot with their dog.

two people looking for birds. One person has binoculars and the other is pointing.

father and son getting ready to go fishing



Four key trends informing Goal 2 strategies:

  1. Participation in outdoor recreation is evolving, with changes in user demographics and some uses declining and others emerging or increasing.
  2. Use of public outdoor spaces has been increasing, with people seeking both mental and physical health benefits of nature.
  3. Demands on outdoor recreation infrastructure are increasing and changing, while funds for maintenance and upgrades are not keeping pace.
  4. Minnesotans enjoy the outdoors in a wide range of ways, some of which can be difficult to accommodate in close proximity to other users or sensitive resources.

Back to top