Helping Local Communities Protect Open Space

Performance Area: Natural Lands

Number of communities receiving funding support for acquisition, development, and/or redevelopment of local parks and trails


Why Is This Important?

Many local governments have increasing demands on local budgets and there are limited funding opportunities to support parks and trails. State funding assistance helps communities provide important close to home outdoor recreation opportunities.


What Is DNR Doing?

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Canoeing on Pike Lake. The City of Prior Lake received a Natural and Scenic Area grant to purchase 30 acres of land with almost 2,800 feet of shoreline. It will be used for close-to-home nature-related outdoor recreation.   Image 1 of 1 (use left/right arrows to navigate previous/next)

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The DNR manages several grant programs to help local governments complete land acquisition and improvements for local parks and trails across Minnesota. These programs reimburse local governments for 50 to 75 percent of the project costs. Projects include renovation of existing facilities to improve safety and accessibility, acquisition of locally significant areas, completion of local trails to safely connect where people live to desirable locations within the community, including regional or state parks and trails. These programs are at the front line of the DNR's effort to partner with local communities in providing access to outdoor recreation opportunities. Since 2010, the DNR has assisted local communities in completing 193 local park and trail projects.


Target: Provide funding support to 25-30 local communities per year to acquire, develop and/or redevelop local parks and trails.

This target is an estimate based on the level of federal and state grant dollars available each year. To reach this target, we periodically request funding for local park and trail grant programs through DNR’s bonding requests and the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources request for proposal process. In addition, we are seeking continued funding through the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LAWCON) program.