Many miles of new hiking and biking trails and the acquisition of nearly 300 acres to expand regional parks across the state are among the projects to be funded with the $7.49 million in recently awarded Parks and Trails Legacy grants, said the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The Parks and Trails Legacy Grant program helps local governments acquire, develop and restore parks and trails of regional or statewide significance.
Award recipients include:
- City of Walker, $425,000. Construction of a tunnel/underpass under state Highway 200/371 to complete the Shingobee Connection Trail, which connects the Paul Bunyan and Heartland state trails to Walker.
- St. Louis and Lake counties Regional Rail Authority (RRA), $512,000. Development of the Mesabi Trail at the eastern edge of Vermilion State Park.
- Lyon County, $1,409,925. Construction of a new paved off-road bicycle and pedestrian trail that will connect Camden State Park to Marshall.
- Freeborn County, $950,000. Acquisition of more than 12 miles of abandoned rail line for a new bicycle and pedestrian thoroughfare that will link to the Blazing Star State Trail in Albert Lea.
- Itasca County, $200,000. Improvement of more than six miles of the Mesabi Trail, parking and signage.
- City of Rochester, $250,000. Development of a multi-use path that connects to Quarry Hill Nature Center and Rochester’s existing trail system.
- County of Benton, $280,000. Creation of a river overlook and other facilities in Bend in the River Regional Park.
- City of Detroit Lakes, $495,000. Acquisition of more than 50 acres and development of a bog walk, trails and other facilities at Sucker Creek Preserve.
Funding for this grant program is from the Parks and Trails Fund, created after voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in November 2008. The Parks and Trails Fund receives 14.25 percent of the sales tax revenue and may only be spent to support parks and trails of regional or statewide significance.
Image courtesy Minnesota DNR