February 14, 2011
It is our pleasure to introduce the
Parks and Trails Legacy Plan.
Funding created by the Legacy Amendment gives us a unique opportunity to improve and expand Minnesota’s parks and trails
of state and regional signicance. This allows us to look out 25 years to envision a future in which parks and trails play a signicant role in the lives of
Our extensive 18-month public engagement effort
allows us to condently state that this is a parks and
Minnesotans. This planning effort established an open, transparent, and interactive dialogue with a wide variety of participants. It resulted in high‑quality recommendations that are grounded in what Minnesotans expressed as their priorities.
Discussions and planning have taken place during a
time of economic hardship. This sometimes made it difcult to look beyond the considerable immediate nancial challenges facing the state. Yet, in the end, we succeeded in hosting conversations that looked forward at what could be, rather than focusing solely on today’s limitations. We believe this plan will create something big and enduring. It will enable people to attain the full range of benets that parks and trails provide: individual, community, environmental and economic. Our hope is that 25 years from now, Minnesotans will look back and say the Parks and Trails Legacy Amendment accomplished what they hoped for—and more.The plan recognizes the world‑class network of parks and trails Minnesota currently has in place. It proposes to build on this foundation, making user experiences even better. It is based on four strategic
directions that together ensure a great future for parks
and trails:• Connect people and the outdoors.• Acquire land and create opportunities.• Take care of what we have.• Coordinate among providers.Our top priorities are identied throughout this document with a “priority stamp.” These are recommendations for where work should begin during the rst ve years of plan implementation.
We strongly recommend continuing regular dialogue
with Minnesotans as the Parks and Trails Legacy plan is implemented. This part of the planning effort has been signicant and valuable. Continued conversation will ensure that implementation results in a network of
parks and trails in Minnesota that truly deserves to be
called “a legacy.”Sincerely, The Parks and Trails Legacy Steering Committee