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.
The Disabled Veterans Rest Camp (DVRC), located on Big Marine Lake in Washington County, is open to all military veterans and military families. Founded in 1926 to help disabled veterans recover from World War I, the non-profit, campground relies on donations and volunteers to host most activities that provide relief and recreation. With so many more Guard and Reserve deployments, more veterans and their families are turning to the camp for family fund and recreation while their loved one is deployed and during the transition back to civilian life.
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.
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.
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.