People who enjoy outdoor recreation across Minnesota will soon have their experiences enhanced, once recommendations are approved to fund a record $12.2 million in improvements at 20 regional parks and trails across Greater Minnesota.
The Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission (GMRPTC) just finished its application review process and will now ask the Minnesota Legislature to approve the recommendations through the Parks and Trails Legacy Fund, one of four funds created by the 2008 Minnesota Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment. The Legislature has annually approved GMRPTC requests, since Legacy Funds are already dedicated and may only be spent to support parks and trails of regional or statewide significance.
“The Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission received 20 eligible applications for Fiscal Year 2023 grants, and we’re pleased to recommend funding, in part or in whole, for their excellent approaches to improving parks and trails for users,” said GMRPTC Executive Director Renee Mattson. “We’re also going to allocate $212,053 of that amount to create new opportunities for underserved communities.”
Mattson said the commission is establishing a Connecting People with the Outdoors Small Grant Fund, which will be available to all 67 designated parks and trails in Greater Minnesota. Emphasis for grant criteria will be placed on increasing access for underserved and communities of color, enhancing handicap accessibility, transportation and programming. Grant fund applications will be available in early 2022.