Education and interpretive services

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2019 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,405,892
2018 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,229,912
2017 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,375,158
2016 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,326,894
2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,363,693
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,417,275
2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$942,250
2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$942,250
2011 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,180,000
2010 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$573,000
Fund Source
Parks & Trails Fund
Status
In Progress
Start Date
July 2009
Activity Type
Education/Outreach/Engagement
Counties Affected
Statewide
Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2017 Regular Session Ch. 91 Art. 3 Sec. 3(a)(1)
Appropriation Language

$16584000 the first year and $18891000 the second year are for state parks recreation areas and trails to:

(1) connect people to the outdoors;
(2) acquire land and create opportunities;
(3) maintain existing holdings; and
(4) improve cooperation by coordinating with partners to implement the 25-year long-range parks and trails legacy plan.

2019 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,405,892
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

The division's target for 2019 is to reach a total of 2 000 000 people at state park visitor centers., The division's target is to offer approximately 8 000 parks and trails interpretive programs during 2019., The division's target for 2019 is to reach a total of at least 250 000 people at state park and trail interpretive programs.

Measurable Outcome(s)

Visitor center attendance is reported on a calendar year cycle and will be updated in mid-January., Program statistics are reported on a calendar year cycle and will be updated in mid-January., Program attendance is reported on a calendar year cycle and will be updated in mid-January.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2017 Regular Session Ch. 91 Art. 3 Sec. 3(a)(1)
Appropriation Language

$16584000 the first year and $18891000 the second year are for state parks recreation areas and trails to:

(1) connect people to the outdoors;
(2) acquire land and create opportunities;
(3) maintain existing holdings; and
(4) improve cooperation by coordinating with partners to implement the 25-year long-range parks and trails legacy plan.

2018 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,229,912
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

The division's target for 2018 is to reach a total of 2 000 000 people at state park visitor centers., The division's target for 2018 is to reach a total of at least 250 000 people at state park and trail interpretive programs., The division's target for 2018 is to offer more than 8 000 interpretive programs statewide.

Measurable Outcome(s)

The division reached 1 873 478 members of the public at state park visitor centers in 2018., Through the efforts of Legacy-funded Naturalist Corps seasonal and permanent interpretive naturalists overall program attendance reached 238 258 in 2018., Parks and Trails offered 8275 interpretive programs and events at state parks and trails in 2018.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2015 First Special Session Ch. 2 Art. 3 Sec. 3(a)(1)
Appropriation Language

$17237000 the first year and $18067000 the second year are for state parks recreation areas and trails to:
(1) connect people to the outdoors;
(2) acquire land and create opportunities;
(3) maintain existing holdings; and
(4) improve cooperation by coordinating with partners to implement the 25-year long-range parks and trails legacy plan.

2017 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,375,158
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

The division's target for 2017 is to reach a total of 2 000 000 people at state park visitor centers., The division's target for 2017 is to offer more than 8 000 interpretive programs statewide. , The division's target for 2017 is to reach a total of at least 250 000 people at state park and trail interpretive programs.

Measurable Outcome(s)

The division reached 2 134 844 members of the public at state park visitor centers in 2017., Parks and Trails offered 8793 interpretive programs and events at state parks and trails in 2017., Through the efforts of Legacy-funded Naturalist Corps seasonal and permanent interpretive naturalists overall program attendance reached 257 733 in 2017.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2015 First Special Session Ch. 2 Art. 3 Sec. 3(a)(1)
Appropriation Language

$17237000 the first year and $18067000 the second year are for state parks recreation areas and trails to:
(1) connect people to the outdoors;
(2) acquire land and create opportunities;
(3) maintain existing holdings; and
(4) improve cooperation by coordinating with partners to implement the 25-year long-range parks and trails legacy plan.

2016 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,326,894
Direct expenses
$1,326,894
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

The division's target for 2016 is to reach a total of at least 200 000 people at state park and trail interpretive programs., The division's target for 2016 is to reach a total of 2 000 000 people at state park visitor centers., The division's target for 2016 is to offer more than 9 000 interpretive programs statewide.

Measurable Outcome(s)

Through the efforts of Legacy-funded Naturalist Corps seasonal and permanent interpretive naturalists overall program attendance reached 278 880 in 2016. This exceeds the goal of reaching 200 000 people., 2 168 511 people attended an event or visited an exhibit at a DNR Park visitor center. This is well in excess of the goal., Parks and Trails offered 8 912 interpretive programs at state parks and trails in 2016. Despite having fewer Naturalist Corps positions in 2016 we still nearly met our ambitious goal.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2013 Ch. 137 Art. 3 Sec. 3(a)(1)
Appropriation Language

$16821000 the first year and $16953000 the second year are for state parks recreation areas and trails to:

(1) connect people to the outdoors;

(2) acquire land and create opportunities;

(3) maintain existing holdings; and

(4) improve cooperation by coordinating with partners to implement the 25-year long-range parks and trails legacy plan.

2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,363,693
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

Increase participation in interpretive programs by 50 000 people with the added support of Naturalist Corps year-round naturalists and seasonal naturalists., In calendar year 2008 attendance at visitor center exhibits was 1 123 534 people. The division's target for 2015 is to increase that number by 100 000 people. , The division's target for 2015 is to offer more than 9 000 interpretive programs statewide.

Measurable Outcome(s)

Through the efforts of Legacy-funded Naturalist Corps and seasonal and permanent interpretive naturalists overall program attendance has increased by more than 37% from 219 675 in 2009 to 302 154 in 2015. This exceeds the goal of reaching an additional 50 000 people with increased interpretive staffing., 2 152 917 people attended an event or visited an exhibit at a DNR Park visitor center. This is well in excess of the goal., Parks and Trails offered 9 550 interpretive programs at state parks and trails in 2015 in excess of the goal.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2013 Ch. 137 Art. 3 Sec. 3(a)(1)
Appropriation Language

$16821000 the first year and $16953000 the second year are for state parks recreation areas and trails to:

(1) connect people to the outdoors;

(2) acquire land and create opportunities;

(3) maintain existing holdings; and

(4) improve cooperation by coordinating with partners to implement the 25-year long-range parks and trails legacy plan.

2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,417,275
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

In calendar year 2008 attendance at visitor center exhibits was 1 123 534 people. The division's target for 2014 is to increase that number by 100 000 people. , The division's target for 2014 is to offer more than 5 000 interpretive programs statewide. , Increase participation in interpretive programs by 50 000 people with the added support of Naturalist Corps year-round naturalists and seasonal naturalists.

Measurable Outcome(s)

With a 297 978 increase since 2008 2014 visitor center attendance exceeded the goal., In 2014 a total of 9083 scheduled and requested state parks and trail interpretive programs were presented statewide. This far exceeded the 5 000 program goal., With the addition of Legacy-funded Naturalist Corps and seasonal and permanent interpretive naturalists in the spring of 2010 overall program attendance rates have increased by 31% from 219 675 in 2009 to 288 221 in 2014. This exceeds the goal of reaching an additional 50 000 people with increased interpretive staffing.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2011 First Special Session Ch. 6 Art. 3 Sec. 3(a)(1)
Appropriation Language

Sec. 3. Department of Natural Resources
(a)$14262000 the first year and $14603000 the second year are for state parks recreation areas and trails to:
(1)Connect people to the outdoors;
(2)Acquire land and create opportunities;
(3)Maintain existing holdings; and
(4)Improve cooperation by coordinating with partners to implement the 25-year long-range parks and trails legacy plan

2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$942,250
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

The division's target for 2013 is to offer more than 5 000 interpretive programs statewide. , Increase participation in interpretive programs by 50 000 people with the added support of Naturalist Corps year-round naturalists and seasonal naturalists so the goal is 269 675., In calendar year 2008 attendance at visitor center exhibits was 1 123 534 people. The division's target for 2013 is to increase that number by 100 000 people.

Measurable Outcome(s)

As reported in previous years this measure includes the number of scheduled and requested programs plus the number of special events., With the addition of Legacy-funded Naturalist Corps and seasonal and permanent interpretive naturalists in the spring of 2010 overall program attendance rates have increased by 30% from 219 675 in 2009 to 285 723 in 2013. This exceeds the goal of reaching an additional 50 000 people with increased interpretive staffing., In 2013 reported visitor center attendance was 1 222 992. This number nearly reaches the division's goal fo 100 000 over the 2008 attendance number.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2011 First Special Session Ch. 6 Art. 3 Sec. 3(a)(1)
Appropriation Language

Sec. 3. Department of Natural Resources
(a)$14262000 the first year and $14603000 the second year are for state parks recreation areas and trails to:
(1)Connect people to the outdoors;
(2)Acquire land and create opportunities;
(3)Maintain existing holdings; and
(4)Improve cooperation by coordinating with partners to implement the 25-year long-range parks and trails legacy plan

2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$942,250
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

In calendar year 2008 attendance at visitor center exhibits was 1 123 534 people. The division's target for 2012 is to increase that number by 100 000 people., The division's target for 2012 is to offer more than 5 000 interpretive programs statewide. , Increase participation in interpretive programs by 50 000 people with the added support of Naturalist Corps year-round naturalists and seasonal naturalists., Geoaching is a popular activity that attracts new outdoor users. Providing gps units on loan or through introductory programs provides visitors with the opportunity to explore and develop new outdoor skills. , The Digital Bridge to Nature Project in collaboration with the Non-game Wildlife Section uses digital cameras as an opportunity for students and families to view nature with a different perspective.

Measurable Outcome(s)

In 2012 visitor centers at parks throughout the state saw 1 206 742 visitors. This number came close to the 1 223 534 visitor goal. , In 2012 a total of 9 156 statewide interpretive programs were offered to the public. This far exceeded the 5 000 program goal. , With the addition of Legacy-funded Naturalist Corps and seasonal and permanent interpretive naturalists in the spring of 2010 overall program attendance rates have increased by 23% from 219 675 in 2009 to 285 620 in 2012. This exceeds the goal of reaching an additional 50 000 people with increased interpretive staffing., Provide gps units for free visitor use at new park and trail locations and for interpretive programs like the I Can Camp series., Provide state park naturalists with Digital Bridge to Nature Kits for workshops and programs. Each kit or unit includes 12 digital cameras.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2009 Ch. 172 Art. 3 Sec. 2 (1)
2011 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$1,180,000
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

In calendar year 2008 attendance at visitor center exhibits was 1 123 534 people. The division's target for this year is to increase that number by 100 000 people., 125 non-personal interpretive signs and "you are here" (wayfinding) signs will be placed in state parks by the end of the biennium., The division's target for this year is to offer more than 5 000 interpretive programs statewide. , Deliver rental fishing equipment to 30 state parks. Deliver "kids discovery kits" available for free check-out to 20 state parks., Develop interactive programs that will be delivered through touch-screen computers located in 20 state park visitor centers and contact stations statewide., Increase participation in interpretive programs by 50 000 people with the added support from our Naturalist Corps the 80% year-round naturalists and seasonal naturalists.

Measurable Outcome(s)

In 2011 due to a 3 week state government shutdown that closed parks from July 1-21 attendance at visitor centers dropped to 985 811 visitors and did not surpass the 1 223 534 visitor goal. , In addition to the 303 signs installed in 2010 an additional 27 interpretive kiosks were completed and installed by Conservation Corps Minnesota in 2011., The division has significantly exceeded the original goal for the number of interpretive programs programs. In calendar years 2009 and 2010 5 374 and 8 571 programs were held respectively. In 2011 a total of 6 172 interpretive programs were delivered. This lower number reflects a three-week state shutdown., In 2011 an additional 44 kids discovery kits were given to parks for check-out. A total of 66 state parks now have kids discovery kits and 30 have rental fishing equipment., Several interactive programs were developed and installed on 20 touch-screen computers statewide in 2010. The touch-screen computers proved to be a huge hit attracting primarily young audiences. In 2011 state parks received 20 updated replacement computers for touchscreens that better displayed interactive programming., Interpretive programs reached 219 675 in 2009 before the addition of new Legacy-funded interpretive staff. In 2011 interpretive programs reached 216 840. These lower numbers were due to a state government shutdown that closed parks from July 1-21 typically the busiest weeks for interpretation. Legacy-funded Naturalist Corps seasonal and permanent interpretive naturalist positions reached 98 272 of the total program participants in 2011.

Legal Citation / Subdivision
M.L. 2009 Ch. 172 Art. 3 Sec. 2 (1)
2010 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
$573,000
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

In calendar year 2008 attendance at visitor center exhibits was 1 123 534 people. The division's target for the biennium is to increase that number by 200 000 people., 125 non-personal interpretive signs and "you are here" (wayfinding) signs will be placed in state parks by the end of the biennium., The division's target for the biennium is to double interpretive program numbers to offer 5 000 interpretive programs statewide. , Deliver rental fishing equipment to 30 state parks. Deliver "kids discovery kits" available for free check-out to 20 state parks., Develop interactive programs that will be delivered through touch-screen computers located in 20 state park visitor centers and contact stations statewide., Increase participation in interpretive programs by 50 000 people with the added support from our Naturalist Corps the 80% year-round naturalists and seasonal naturalists., The Digital Bridge to Nature Project in collaboration with the Non-game Wildlife Section uses digital cameras as an opportunity for students and families to view nature with a different perspective.

Measurable Outcome(s)

The Division of Parks and Trails has significantly exceeded the original attendance goal by steadily increasing attendance at visitor center exhibits since 2008 by 276 000 people. This was accomplished by increasing staffing at visitor centers updating exhibits and extending hours of operation., In 2010 303 non-personal interpretive signs and "you are here" (wayfinding) signs were installed in state parks.

, The division has significantly exceeded the original goal for the number of programs. In calendar years 2009 and 2010 5 374 and 8 571 programs were held respectively. , Rental fishing equipment was placed in 30 state parks and "kids discovery kits" were made available for free check-out at 20 state parks., Several interactive programs were developed and installed on 20 touch-screen computers statewide in 2010. The touch-screen computers proved to be a huge hit attracting primarily young audiences. , Since the addition of the Naturalist Corps 80% year-round naturalists and seasonal naturalists in spring 2010 overall program attendance rates have increased by 21% from 219 675 in 2009 to 266 403 in 2010. , Provide state park naturalists with Digital Bridge to Nature Kits for workshops and programs. Each kit or unit includes 12 digital cameras.

Project Overview

The Division of Parks and Trails is creating innovative programs to attract new audiences, particularly young families, to Minnesota state parks and trails. Skill-building programs, such as "I Can Camp!," provide a trial opportunity by eliminating the barriers of needing to have pre-existing knowledge or gear for the activity. Special events, such as National Get Outdoors Day, generate enthusiasm and a sense of urgency to visit. Gateway programs introduce visitors to a host of outdoor pursuits, including those offered by other divisions of the Minnesota DNR. Interactive touch-screen displays, videocasts and podcasts keep the Division of Parks and Trails current with the ways the target audience wants to receive information, while engaging interpretive exhibits can't help but catch the attention of visitors. The addition of the new Minnesota Naturalist Corps allows the division to interact with more people.

Project Manager
First Name
Jennifer
Last Name
Conrad
Organization Name
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Street Address
500 Lafayette Road
City
Saint PAul
State
MN
Zip Code
55155
Phone
(651) 259-5597
Email
jennifer.conrad@state.mn.us