The Division of Parks and Trails (as directed by Chapter 172, Art. 3, Sec. 2, Subd. 3(c)) utilizes Conservation Corps of Minnesota services for restoration, maintenance, and other activities that supplement the ability to reach Legacy Fund goals. Budget associated with this program area capture an accounting of dollars that support CCM Summer Youth, Individual Placements, and special projects for park and trail renewal and development. Other dollars not accounted for in this program area are part of other PAT program areas and included as part of those budgets.
An estimated 200 acres of lands acquired through this phase of the Habitat Corridors Partnership are expected to be transferred to the state for designation as Wildlife Management Areas (WMA). The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is using these funds to conduct habitat restoration on these new WMA lands, as well as develop the infrastructure necessary for public access to them.
Historic Fort Snelling is an MNHS historic site targeted for revitalization. This revitalization is one of MNHS's current strategic priorities. The Historic Fort Snelling revitalization project completed a master plan in June 2015. The predesign phase kicked off in September 2015 and continues through FY16. The project manager position, which coordinates various MNHS educational programs and building activities, was partially supported with Legacy funds.
Historic Fort Snelling is an MNHS historic site and the state's first National Historic Landmark. A major project at the site prioritizes the adaptive reuse of two historic buildings concentrating on opportunities for public use, education, engagement and reflection. This project supports an MNHS strategic priority and speaks to the mission by returning historic facilities to public use while fostering new dialogues. A master plan was done in 2015, and predesign was completed in June 2016.
Northern Bedrock Historic Preservation Corps and MNHS began implementing lessons learned from the past two years to increase the viability of a historic preservation activity built on a conservation corps model. The first year focused on building the capacity of the corps through further expansion of service projects, skills training and networks.
The Northern Bedrock Historic Preservation Corps and MNHS are refining the lessons learned from the fall 2014 demonstration project to increase the viability of a historic preservation activity built on a conservation corps model. The pilot phase focused on building
the capacity of the corps through diversification of revenue and expansion of service projects, skills training, and networks.
The Minnesota Historical Society continued to work on revitalizing some of the state's most important and prominent historic sites. Program planners developed new programs at Historic Fort Snelling, Mille Lacs Indian Museum and Trading Post and the Charles A. Lindbergh Historic Site. Evaluation results showed that 81% of program guests surveyed felt that these programs increased their knowledge of Minnesota history, places and culture. 71% of guests responded that these programs increased their personal connection to history.
There are 67 Minnesota State Parks and 7 Minnesota State Recreation areas that each have facilities to serve outdoor recreation users. Funds in this category are used for developing new facilities and include visitor centers, trail centers, roads, parking lots, bridges, campgrounds, and so on.
The Minnesota Main Street program is a proven, comprehensive strategy that helps communities create new jobs and businesses while revitalizing buildings and preserving their historic downtowns. MNHS's Heritage Preservation department works with the partners
listed above to implement Minnesota Main Street,
which provides the tools, training, information, and networking that communities need to revitalize their business districts.
There are currently seven Minnesota Main Street designated communities: Faribault, New Ulm, Owatonna, Red Wing, Shakopee, Willmar, and Winona.
Provide expanded state trail safety and efforts to protect the integrity of the paved surfaces. This included erecting larger stop and stop ahead signing to be consistent with national standards. Also included additional crack sealing efforts in a more timely manner, increase effort in mowing to increase user safety, reduce woody vegetation close to the trail and reduce the damage to trail surface caused by root suckering. More mowing and timely mowing also reduces the threat of invasives be spread by seeds by mowing prior to that.
This program focuses on the rehabilitation or replacement of existing state trail bridges, including structural engineering inspections of all trail bridges . Of the more than 300 existing bridges on State Trails, the majority are wood or masonry former railroad structures of which more than 1/3 exceed 100 years old. Starting in fiscal year 2014, future PAT reporting will not separate bridges from trails outcomes reporting, as they are part of the same system of recreational use.
Renewal of existing State Trail surfaces, parking areas, and trail wayside areas, improving accessibility, enhancing user safety and implementing current best management practices. MNDNR Parks and Trails Division has a identified approximately 85 miles of existing state trail in need of rehabilitation and upgrading. This program also focuses on the rehabilitation or replacement of existing state trail bridges, including structural engineering inspections of all trail bridges .
This program funds unpredictable maintenance expenditures in State Parks such as storm damage, waterline repair, electrical system repair, erosion repair, utility system repair, and small site improvements.
Group camps provide an opportunity for groups to camp together outside the traditional campground. Group camps are used by scout groups, church groups, social groups, and families. A need has been identified to add amenities to rustic group camps, such as electrical hookups, a picnic shelter, and in some instances, modern sanitation facilities.
Minnesota's Scientific and Natural Area (SNA) Program is an effort to preserve and perpetuate the state's ecological diversity and ensure that no single rare feature is lost from any region of the state. This includes unique landforms, fossil remains, plant and animal communities, rare and endangered species, or other unique biotic or geological features. These sites play an important role in scientific study, public education, and outdoor recreation.
MNHS continues to strive for environmental, economic, and social sustainability in the fifth year of its sustainability program. Staff and visitors are engaged with sustainability through the project's "More for the Mission" campaign. Recent energy-efficiency projects within our facilities have allowed us to achieve the five-year goal of 15 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
MNHS continues to strive for environmental, economic and social sustainability in its sustainability program. To pinpoint opportunities for ongoing progress, the sustainability program will harmonize a broader range of institutional needs and objectives. The program will establish integrated, continuous, electronic reporting that unites environmental, social and economic risk analysis. This reporting will be used to further reduce our environmental impact and improve the sustainability of our operations as a whole.
MNHS continues to focus on broadening access to many of its Legacy-funded programs through the Internet. This funding supports the web development professionals who plan, build, and implement digital components that are part of many Legacy-funded history projects and helps pay for Web hosting to make these projects accessible to people in Minnesota and beyond. MNHS also uses the web to report on its use of Legacy funds at legacy.mnhs.org and for the public to apply for Legacy grant funds at legacy.mnhs.org/grants.