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MINNESOTA DNR NEWS #43                                                                                                     June 6, 2013
DNR launches Legacy-funded website for kids to encourage getting outdoors this summer
DNR to offer state lands at public auction
DNR announces grants for water trail anniversary events


DNR launches Legacy-funded website
for kids to encourage getting outdoors this summer

With many schools letting out this week and with National Get Outdoors Day coming up on Saturday, June 8, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has launched “Get Out Minnesota,” a new Legacy-funded website for kids ages 5 through 11.

The site, which uses games and interactive tools to educate children about Minnesota’s natural outdoor world, can be found at www.mndnr.gov/gokids. The website will draw children to the Minnesota State Parks and Trails website, but it also encourages them to get away from computers and other electronic devices and to spend time outdoors by visiting Minnesota state parks and trails.

“We’re combining what kids already do – spend lots of time on computers and other electronic devices -- with incentive to unplug and discover the natural wonders of our state parks and trails,” said Courtland Nelson, director of the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division. “Ultimately, the Get Out Minnesota website is all about connecting the next generation to the outdoors.”

Key website features include:

  • Animalize Yourself: Build an animal avatar – an “anitar” that’s part kid and part animal – and then email it to a friend.
  • What’s for Dinner?: Games and educational information about Minnesota animals.
  • Xtreme Pix: Tips and tricks that introduce kids to nature photography, and a gallery for them to share their own shots with each other.
  • Kids on the Scene: Kid-hosted videos highlighting a few don’t-miss features at Fort Snelling State Park and Interstate State Park.
  • Celebrity Naturalist: Trivia and informal interviews with featured naturalists.
  • Links and printable downloads: Resources for parents and educators, with links to both DNR and non-DNR educational materials designed for children in this age group.

Kids accrue points by playing games on the site and then visiting select Minnesota state parks, state recreation areas and state trails, where they have to seek out unique “code words” printed on posters. When kids return from their outdoor adventures, they log into the “Get Out Minnesota” website and enter the code words, which are worth 50 points each. When they earn 500 points, a certificate is unlocked that they can print out, bring to a state park and redeem for a prize.

The DNR is offering free admission at all Minnesota state parks and recreation areas on Saturday, June 8, in conjunction with National Get Outdoors Day. Many special programs will also take place at parks that day.

Funding for the Get Out Minnesota website 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 three-eighths percent sales tax revenue that may only be spent to support parks and trails of regional or statewide significance.


DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                              June 6, 2013

DNR to offer state lands at public auction

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will offer for sale more than 20 parcels of state lands at two public auctions to be held July 23-24.  A third auction date has been scheduled on July 30 to offer any remaining parcels that did not sell at the initial two auctions.   

The majority of the parcels are school trust lands, some of which are lakeshore lots. Also included in the auction is the former St. Croix Boy’s Camp with 3,000 feet of river frontage along the Tamarack River in Pine County.

“We anticipate strong interest in this sale which includes platted lakeshore lots in northeastern Minnesota,” said Susan Damon, DNR’s lands transactions manager. These are the remaining lakeshore parcels that were not offered for sale in the 1990s during the lakeshore lease lot sale when school trust lots were sold to longtime leaseholders.
“The DNR manages school trust lands for the citizens of Minnesota,” said DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr. “The sale of school trust lands is one way the DNR helps generate income for the Permanent School Trust Fund. Interest and dividends from the Fund are distributed twice a year to all public school districts in Minnesota.”

Auction dates and locations:

  • Tuesday, July 23, 10 a.m., DNR Northeast Region office, 1201 E. Highway 2, Grand Rapids, Minn. - will include parcels located in Itasca County.
  • Wednesday, July 24, 10 a.m., Lake County Law Enforcement Center, 613 Main Ave., Two Harbors, Minn. - will feature lands located in Cook, Lake, Pine, and St. Louis counties.
  • Tuesday, July 30, 10 a.m., DNR Central office, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, Minn. - will offer any remaining unsold parcels.

Interested parties are encouraged to review the terms and conditions of sale prior to attending the auctions. Property data sheets are posted on the DNR’s land sale website at www.mndnr.gov/landsale one month prior to the auction dates.

The property data sheets will provide the sale price, legal and site descriptions, acreage and zoning information for each of the parcels.

                                                                                       - 30 -

DNR NEWS – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                     June 6, 2013

DNR announces grants for water trail anniversary events

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Minnesota’s state water trails system, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has awarded a total of $15,000 in grants to user groups, communities and outfitters that will plan and implement 50-year anniversary events around the state, throughout the open-water season.

Minnesota has the oldest and largest water trail system in the nation. State water trails are recreational routes on waterways that are managed by the DNR for canoeing, kayaking, boating and camping.

“State water trails thrive on the support of local units of government, paddling clubs, nonprofits and outfitters,” said Erik Wrede, DNR water trail coordinator. “This anniversary year is an ideal opportunity to engage our partners in marketing efforts, designed with the ultimate goal of increasing public awareness and participation.”

The following organizations will receive 50-year anniversary promotional event grants:

  • Crow River Organization of Water ($3,500) for their 10th annual “Crow River Clean-up Day.” This Sept. 21 event will engage more than 50 partners throughout the Crow River Watershed and provide an opportunity for citizens to improve water quality while creating community pride and an enduring sense of stewardship for their local waters.  Some 300 participants are expected.  See www.crowriver.org for more information.
  • Friends of the Mississippi River ($3,500) for their 10th annual “Mississippi River Challenge.” This July 27-28 paddling event on the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers will cover 43.5 river miles, connect 275 to 350 participants to their local waterways in an enjoyable and meaningful way and raise awareness of issues facing the Mississippi River and its watershed. See http://mississippiriverchallenge.org for more information.
  • St. Croix River Association ($1,400) for their July 13-21 “Ramping up River Awareness Week” event. This event will engage about 1,500 people in intergenerational service and educational projects that build a strong community of watershed stewards to restore the health and beauty of the St. Croix River and its watershed. See http://stcroixriverassociation.org for more information.
  • Stearns County Soil and Water Conservation District ($2,600) for their Aug. 10 “Take a Day OFF (Outdoor Family Fun) on the Mississippi River” event. This event offers families free hands-on instruction in a variety of outdoor recreational activities, and more than 1,300 participants are expected. Grant funds will be utilized to increase on-water recreational activities such as canoeing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. See www.stearnscountyswcd.net/pages/TakeaDayOFF for more information.
  • Two Harbors Kayak Festival ($4,000) for their 16th annual festival that runs Aug. 2-4, with more than 450 participants expected. This sea-kayaking event will give people of varying ages and experience levels a chance to participate in races, clinics, tours and youth activities. See www.kayakfestival.org for more information.

A working group of the DNR’s citizen Water Trails Advisory Committee reviewed grant proposals and made funding recommendations to the DNR. Proposals were rated on clarity of program description and goals, experience coordinating similar events, number and diversity of partners and participants, safety plan, promotion plan, in-kind contributions and cost-effectiveness.

In 1963, the Minnesota Legislature designated the Big Fork, Little Fork, St. Croix and Minnesota rivers as the state’s first “canoe and boating routes” (now known as Minnesota state water trails). Since then, the system has grown to include 33 state water trails, with more than 4,500 miles of mapped routes and more than 1,400 facilities (public water accesses, campsites and rest areas).

There is a state water trail within an hour of most homes in Minnesota, and the popularity of paddling is growing, as indicated by increasing canoe and kayak registrations. Kayak registrations in Minnesota have increased 56 percent in the last five years.

The DNR provides free maps, camping, river-level reporting and trip-planning resources – all of which can be found at www.mndnr.gov/watertrails. To request printed maps and a free 44-page Guide to Minnesota Water Trails, call the DNR Information Center, 651-296-6157 or toll-free 888-646-6367 between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.


This email was sent to editor@woodsnews.com on behalf of: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources · 500 Lafayette Road · Saint Paul, MN 55155 · 1-888-MINNDNR  

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