Greater Minnesota Regional Parks & Trails Coalition members,
Please find review the draft minutes of the ITV membership meeting held on March 6th, 2014. As you review the minutes, you will note that the meeting featured a wealth of good discussion and information.
The meeting included a discussion regarding the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks & Trails Commission. One of the questions recently raised by a member is – “What is the difference, and the relationship between, the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks & Trails COALITION and the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks & Trails COMMISSION?” Below is a very brief overview of the two entities. More information can be found on the organization websites, which are hyperlinked below.
The Greater MN Regional Parks and Trails Coalition formed as an advocacy group to represent Greater MN regional parks and trails in 2010. The Coalition is a member-based organization which supports and advocates at the local and legislative level for funding for greater Minnesota parks and trails. The Coalition members are represented by an elected Board of Directors and a regional representative from each of six districts for the state. The Coalition’s work has been instrumental in the recognition of Greater Minnesota parks and trails as a “third leg” of the funding stool for Legacy dollars – which ultimately led to the development of the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission.
The Greater MN Regional Parks and Trails Commission was established during the last legislative session by the legislature. The Commission is charged with district and statewide planning for regional parks and trails, setting priorities for acquisition, development, and alignments, and reporting to the legislature on outcomes and needs. The Commission is established by statute, with its 13 members appointed by the Governor.
Legislative Note: It was noted during the ITV meeting that two park and trail-related bills had been introduced in the legislature in late February; these are House File 2497 and Senate File 2144. Visit the links included to find out more on the status of these two bills.
It was also noted during the ITV meeting that additional communication efforts are needed on all fronts to encourage and sustain the Coalition’s work. As such, the Coalition Board of Directors will be taking up that item for priority action at its next meeting and more information will be sent to members as soon as it is available.
In the interim, please do not hesitate to email or call Coalition Board members with questions or comments. Board member info is posted on the GMRPTC website at: http://gmrptc.webs.com/contactus.htm .
In 2014 it is more worthwhile than ever to support this Coalition of Minnesota cities, counties, and individuals, all with an interest in continuing the culture of outdoor life in Minnesota. The battle is far from over. We can expect another organized and well-funded effort to increase the amount of Legacy money allocated to the seven county metropolitan area led by the Minneapolis park board. We have received two direct challenges already in 2014 and we fully expect them to be repeated at the Legislature when it reconvenes in February.
The Metro will assert that a large percentage of sales tax (63%) is collected in the twin cities area and that they have the right to every penny of it. They steadfastly refuse to acknowledge the obvious; that is, since only one half of the residents of Minnesota live in the twin cities it should be evident that those of us who live in the rest of Minnesota are paying a fair amount of the sales taxes collected in the Metro.
We have demonstrated that over 70 million dollars in state funds have been allocated to Metro Parks in just the past three years while less than 26 million has been allocated to parks in the rest of Minnesota. If this gross inequity were reversed, we would certainly see opportunities all around this state being developed just like they are in the twin cities.
We have been successful in the past sessions for one reason; your support through memberships and contributions. These critically important funds are needed more than ever. There are over 15 lobbyists working on behalf of the metro park agencies. While we will never have that kind of coverage we will have enough with your help. Please ask your communities to help us.
The 8 million dollars a year that the Legacy Fund is scheduled to invest in our communities will grow to something on the order of 180 million dollars over the course of the Constitutional Amendment’s life. This unprecedented opportunity for our communities is worth the effort and worth the investment
In 2013 the Legislature passed a bill establishing a Commission for greater Minnesota communities to plan the statewide system of regional parks and regional trails that have been authorized by the Amendment. The Commission is working diligently to prepare materials for cities and counties to use for their own District-Wide Master Plans for parks and trails of regional or statewide significance.
The Coalition will continue to act on behalf of you to help ensure that the Legislature knows what the issues are and has the support to act on them for us. It is terribly important that you continue to fund the Coalitions activities. Without you we cannot succeed in St Paul.
The DNR announces a grant opportunity for funding regional park and trail projects across Minnesota. The Parks and Trails Legacy Grant Program is soliciting applications. All applications are due October 25, 2013.
Eligible projects include acquisition, development, improvement and restoration of park- or trail-related facilities of regional or statewide significance outside the metropolitan area as defined in Minnesota Statutes, Section 473.121. Counties, cities, and townships are eligible to apply.
The Parks and Trails Legacy Grant Program has $3.91 million available in funding for the grant program and $7.39 million available for specific legislatively designated project areas. Funding comes from the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, approved by voters in 2008.
Program and application information is available on the Park and Trail Legacy Grant Program webpage. For additional information or questions, contact the grants staff listed on the program webpage.
Selection today (8-26-13) of the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks & Trails Commission signifies the beginning of another new and exciting chapter in Minnesota’s long history of leadership and appreciation for outdoor recreation. Over the course of the next two decades the commission will set criteria and provide advice to the Governor and Legislative leaders for projects seeking financial investment from the Parks & Trail Legacy Fund, initiated by the Clean Water, Land & Legacy Amendment.
Al Lieffort, chair of the Greater Minnesota Regional Park & Trail Coalition, stated today that “This unprecedented opportunity, provided by the voters of Minnesota, will result in a world class regional park and trail system throughout Minnesota that complements and links communities with a State Park & Trail system attracting people from around at the world. People living in cities and towns across this State will have access to the “Best of the Best” as we plan and build this park & trail system.”
During the 2014/15 legislative session the Coalition secured funding for Greater Minnesota Parks & Trails equal to 20 years of funding from previous years.
“We look forward to getting organized and moving forward as quickly as possible” says Lieffort , who was selected as a member of the commission. “Today is a great day for Minnesota. I believe in 25 years we will look back on this day a momentous day.”
Donald ‘Al’ Lieffort, Park Superintendent
GMRPTC ITV Meeting on Thursday June 6th from 10am until noon.
A list of locations is posted on the upcoming events tab. Some of the site locations have changed due to availability and some new locations have been added.
Please RSVP by emailing mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org%20email letting him know which site you plan on attending.
Any site that does not have a participant will be taken off of the viewing list.
Our meeting agenda will be sent out prior to the meeting. Items will include, Legislative update, next steps for Greater MN, Grants, Legacy Funding.
Senate Legacy Bill passed the floor on a vote of 55-10 on Wednesday 5-15-2013.
The House Legacy Bill passed the floor on a vote of 70-55 on Friday May 10, 2013. Below is a link to the House Bill HF1183, Articel 3 lines 66.17 - 84.10 deals with Parks and Trails.
Expect conference committee to begin Thursday (5-16-13).
Good work everyone. We are in great shape entering conference.
Important Message Regarding
MEMBERS ACT NOW -
Click below for links: http://gmrptc.webs.com/newsplansdocuments.htm
County and City Leaders throughout Greater Minnesota, The Greater MN Regional Parks & Trails Coalition (GMRP&TC) is dedicated to providing parks and trails across greater Minnesota. The GMRP&TC is asking every community that currently manages regional parks and trails or, would like to see regional parks and trails within their area in the future, to join our membership. Membership fees are used to provide a much needed voice at the state capitol during each legislative session. Without your membership, Greater MN Regional Parks & Trails would not have been allocated over $20 million dollars in grants from the Park & Trail Legacy Fund over the past four years. This funding is available for any local government agency in greater Minnesota that applies in order to acquire or develop a natural resource based park or trail of regional or statewide significance. The GMRP&TC made great strides in securing funding for regional parks and trails in greater MN in recent sessions. The work is not over. The funding formula which allocates 20% of the Park & Trail Legacy Fund exclusively to Greater Minnesota Cities and Counties, 7.4 million dollars for 2013, is under attack at the Legislature this session.
The Greater MN Regional Parks & Trails Coalition (GMRP&TC) is dedicated to providing parks and trails across greater Minnesota. The GMRP&TC is asking every community that currently manages regional parks and trails or, would like to see regional parks and trails within their area in the future, to join our membership.
Membership fees are used to provide a much needed voice at the state capitol during each legislative session. Without your membership, Greater MN Regional Parks & Trails would not have been allocated over $20 million dollars in grants from the Park & Trail Legacy Fund over the past four years. This funding is available for any local government agency in greater Minnesota that applies in order to acquire or develop a natural resource based park or trail of regional or statewide significance. The GMRP&TC made great strides in securing funding for regional parks and trails in greater MN in recent sessions. The work is not over. The funding formula which allocates 20% of the Park & Trail Legacy Fund exclusively to Greater Minnesota Cities and Counties, 7.4 million dollars for 2013, is under attack at the Legislature this session.
The GMRP&TC made great strides in securing funding for regional parks and trails in greater MN in recent sessions. The work is not over. The funding formula which allocates 20% of the Park & Trail Legacy Fund exclusively to Greater Minnesota Cities and Counties, 7.4 million dollars for 2013, is under attack at the Legislature this session.
Through continued support and a growing membership our coalition will be able to realize the vision of a complete statewide regional park and trail network and work to secure funds with potential to reach over $180 million dollars during the next 20 years of Legacy Funding.
The GMRP&TC offers a variety of different membership options. These can be seen on the attached Newsletter.
To become a member, please fill out the membership form by writing in your name / address, checking the appropriate membership line, and sending it in to the provided address with your check.
Feel free to reproduce the membership form. Give it to your local Friends of Park/Trail Groups, Park & Trail User Groups, or area businesses that support parks & trails in your community.
By joining the GMRP&TC you will be helping other greater MN cities and counties in the commitment to develop regional parks and trails in our communities.
Thank you for your support,
Greater MN Regional Parks and Trails Strategic Plan UPDATE
January 8, 2013
You can find the updated final plan by clicking here:
Nothing really major has changed, please note the following:
· Removed references to draft plan throughout document.
· On page 5 added some additional language under the state map of regions reinforcing that the regional boundaries will evolve
· On page 6 changed makeup of the board to reflect the legislation that is shaping up (by Al and Dan)
· On page 10 updated the metro regional parks and trails section with input from Arne S. at Met Council. Mostly numbers!
· On page 21 revised a bit to reflect some additional discussion. on past investments in regional parks and trails in Greater MN
GMRPTC Membership and Friends,
Our January meeting has been rescheduled for Thursday January 17th from 10am until noon.
The ITV sites will be sent out once finalized, make sure to double check your locations address and building as some sites have changed from previous meeting locations.
Thank you for your time and commitment to the coalition
December 3, 2012 Greater MN Regional Parks & Trails have a bright future because of our coalitions accomplishments. You will find the latest newsletter for the coalition including a 2013 membership form by clicking here.
Greater MN Regional Parks & Trails have a bright future because of our coalitions accomplishments.
You will find the latest newsletter for the coalition including a 2013 membership form by clicking here.
November 27, 2012 Schoenbauer Consulting has provided a power point presentation which over views the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Strategic Planning process. This power point will assist coalition members when communicating with their commissioners, council members, and others. To download the document click here: You can also find this and other documents under the News/Plans/Grants tab.
Schoenbauer Consulting has provided a power point presentation which over views the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Strategic Planning process. This power point will assist coalition members when communicating with their commissioners, council members, and others.
To download the document click here:
You can also find this and other documents under the News/Plans/Grants tab.
October 22, 2012
Fellow GMRPTC Members:
Thank you to everyone who made the trip to Little Falls for our annual meeting. It is encouraging that our membership is growing and that park and planning professionals from around Minnesota see the value in this project.
Thank you most especially to Marcia Larson of Bemidji and Chuck Wocken of Stearns County. Marcia served as chair for the past two years and Chuck as vice-chair. They both worked diligently and enthusiastically to achieve the success that our organization has. Tom Ryan and I have big shoes to fill (no offense, Marcia, your feet aren’t THAT big!)
We have had great success asserting the need for; and the right to, a bigger piece of the Park & Trails Legacy Fund. Some stability could be forthcoming as a result of the work by Chuck, Tom Schmitz, Tom Ryan, and Wright County Commissioner Pat Swatzke on the Legacy Funding Committee this summer. These folks deserve a huge pat on the back for that effort.
There is still much to do in the coming year. The 175 Study requires us to:
Beyond that, we have a critical need to:
Sounds simple but, as all of you know, defining who we are and what we really want for the future is a task of many facets.
For me, finding a way to make this success relevant to all the regions and communities of Minnesota is the most daunting problem we face. How do we make sure that the legitimate needs of communities like Albert Lea, Pipestone, Baudette, Sandstone, and many others are not overlooked as we invest the Park & Trail Legacy Fund? Keeping everyone engaged as we try to solve this riddle is going to require persistence and commitment.
As I said at the end of the Little Falls meeting, “stay with us”. We need all of you as we work to solve these tricky questions. The website that Secretary/Treasurer Marc Mattice operates is a good way to keep informed. Please visit it often and don’t be shy when it comes to offering feedback.
Al Lieffort, Park Superintendent
Douglas County Public Works Department
2012 Chair, GMRPTC
October 12, 2012
(Greater MN Regional Parks and Trails Strategic Plan and Summary Report)
Please find TheGreater MN Regional Parks and Trails Strategic Plan and Executive summery under by click here.
During the Oct. 11th meeting, members adopted the plan. Please remember that the plan is still dynamic and that fine tuning will continue.