What would you do to improve Minnesota’s parks and trails?

The DNR has given the Legislature a 25-year plan for maintaining and improving the state system of parks and trails. Today’s Question: What would you do to improve Minnesota’s parks and trails?

  • Make them more handicap accessible, where possible. I was happy to see that the improvements to Grand Portage State Park kept that in mind, and I would like to see more of that. Our disabled residents and visitors should, within practicality, be able to enjoy all that our parks have to offer, too.

  • GaryF

    Put them in a “holding pattern” for a couple of years.


    Do spend money on parks or schools? Parks or nursing homes? Parks or government employee pensions?

    What really got me was last year we shorted the schools but had money to buy land up north. WHAT A JOKE!

    More fees for the people that use them for the time being.

    “Soaking the rich” will only make up for part of our 6.2 BILLION shortfall. AND YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE MONEY?! Are you nuts?

  • Wade

    Nothing. Keep them natural and rustic. If people want modern and technologically advanced. They should be at the Mall of America. Not in the woods.

    If money is really an issue, up the fees for the visitors.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Let’s make them into another divisive partisan issue to fight about. That way the extreme ideologues can have lots of practice making up lies and distortions to impugn each others’ motives, so that they can be in their best fighting trim for the next election season. Wouldn’t that be fun?

  • Matt

    I grew up in S. Mpls. during the time when the paved trails along Minnehaha creek and connecting the lakes were constructed. I remember the excitement of riding my bike to Lake Nokomis on, what seemed like, a super highway without cars. The paths offered access to everyone and improved the quality of life in the city. This is where our tax money should be spent because it provides a legacy of ammenities that will be enjoyed by generations far into the future.

  • Greg

    Like a lot of people, I just want some woods to go walk around in. Our State Parks are real treasures and continued maintenance and expansion is necessary so our kids can enjoy them, too.

    But as a non-hunter, I still want more Wildlife Management Areas, Scientific & Natural Areas, and other generally non-developed sites to wander around in the woods. A parking lot and a couple trails are great. It can be very hard to escape the crush of people in this state, even at the state parks. More public land is the answer.

  • Tony

    I think we could provide park jobs to people who need work. Why simply pay unemployment while there is work that needs doing?

  • Garyf

    Why not form a non-profit organization like Pheasants Forever or Ducks Unlimited for people that want to improve our parks and trails.

    PF raises its own money and works with the state to improve pheasant habitat on public lands.

    Why must it always be the government that has to do it?

  • Gordon near Two Harbors

    Encourage individuals and groups, and organizations to “adopt” parks and other public wildlands. Much maintenance could be done, and citizens might even become more invested in their public lands. Removing invasive species, repairing trails, bridges, etc. are only a small part of the potential tasks that could be ongoing.

    How about using more “Sentence to Serve” prisoners (non-violent) to do more of the grunt work? It would create job skills, and build confidence in individuals who would eventually be re-entering society anyway.

    All of this could be done at a minimal expense to the taxpayer.

  • Dan

    I think the more important issue is MPR fear mongering. I can understand the need to raise money, but why the constant claim that the sky is falling. The chances of the CPB being entirely eliminated this year are slim to none and MPR knows it.

    So why use fear? Republicans win by fear and fear alone. I expect better from MPR. Kaiser Bill put a fork in it, the tater is done! This fear mongering has killed any desire I had to contribute.

  • Kevin VC


    How do you improve nature? By letting it be alone and live its natural ‘nature’.

    Maybe ban humans from going into them.

    Litter, beer cans, ruined trails because morons use ATV’s… Seriously.

    I would say educate people, but that keeps getting cut in any budget. And I suspect people already know what they are SUPPOSE to do and NOT to do… They just act like morons and do it anyway.

    And considering the budget is being hacked to death spending money on it is not a viable solution.

    Since this is a local issue to where ever there is a trail, park, or natural resource you could ‘try’ and get the local to know and respect and maybe watch out for trouble. I know many who already are, but remember people need to live their lives to…

    The options I would put on the table I know would not be straight faced believed as something do-able. And considering the current politic I would say its not likely going to be fixed any time soon. TO many mis-informed people in general.


  • Lawrence

    Here lies the problem. Parks and trails are no different than streets and neighborhoods. When the state or city doesn’t maintain streets and neighborhoods, people are prone to wear those things out. Pretty soon, the criminals enter into the now poor neighborhood and bad streets because they feel no one cares about the area. The same thing happens to parks and trails. When they are left alone to go wild by themselves, people come by and abuse the area. The most common abuse to nature is littering, i.e. broken booze bottles, marijuana butts, oil leaks from autos, and rambling grass that hide mice and other vermin. We’re about to find out the hard way that if you choose not to tax people to keep these areas neat, then you have to give the areas up altogether and not worry about eyesores.

  • JD

    Privatize them. If you owned a stretch of trail or park wouldn’t you see fit to keep it up? Perhaps charge a nominal fee for users? Or perhaps view it as an investment and buy low/sell high, thereby accomplishing the goal of improving the park/trail. “Public” ownership means we all own it, but in a sense it also means that none of us own it, not in a private ownership sense, and therefore said property falls into disrepair and neglect.

  • Fern

    Parks already have admission fees. Raise the fee by a buck?

    Bike trails are not free. Cyclists who use them should have to buy a bicycle license to pay for bike trails. Or perhaps pay a toll.

  • Tom

    Either give the land to private corporations on condition that they maintain the property, or simply let it go and let Mother Nature take care of it. State employees who work for the DNR don’t actually work for the money they “earn.” Also, parks and trails do not serve an essential service or vital function. Moreover, few if any people visit the parks anymore. Liburals want to keep taxing and spending on all this use less stuff. I’m going to retire and commit my life to advancing the tea party cause, just as our four fathers would have. God bless America.

  • Steve the Cynic

    Privatize them? You’e got to be kidding! Anything that’s privatized ultimately gets sold to the highest bidder and then used for whatever purpose rakes in the most money the fastest. Privatize the parks, and in no time they’ll be logged bare and then turned into strip mines.

  • Soldier in Iraq (MIN Resident)

    Stop Goverment funding to Public Radio and encourage the radio to advertise( like every other radio station) to generate its own income in order to pay its employees tripple figures. Use money to improve parks instead. NOT FAIR: Tax payers pay your salaries, and you turn around and beg them “AGAIN”. Double-deeping on the Taxpayer. Is that even legal?

    I love MPR and Listen everyday.. just be more self-sustaining.

  • Patrick

    Keep all motorized vehicles off trails. Parks are for nature, not NASCAR enthusiasts.