Education and interpretive services

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
Source: 
Parks & Trails Fund
Status: 
In Progress
Start Date: 
July 2009
Activity Type: 
Education/Outreach/Engagement
Counties Affected: 
Statewide
Project Details:
2017 Fiscal Year
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2015, First Special Session, Ch. 2, Art. 3, Sec. 3(a)(1)
Appropriation Language 
$17,237,000 the first year and $18,067,000 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.
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 reach a total of at least 250,000 people at state park and trail interpretive programs.
Measurable Outcome(s) 


Project Details:
2016 Fiscal Year
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2015, First Special Session, Ch. 2, Art. 3, Sec. 3(a)(1)
Appropriation Language 
$17,237,000 the first year and $18,067,000 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.
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 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.

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 meet our ambitious goal.
Project Details:
2015 Fiscal Year
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2013, Ch. 137, Art. 3, Sec. 3(a)(1)
Appropriation Language 
$16,821,000 the first year and $16,953,000 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.
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$1,363,693
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 
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.

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) 
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.

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.
Project Details:
2014 Fiscal Year
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2013, Ch. 137, Art. 3, Sec. 3(a)(1)
Appropriation Language 
$16,821,000 the first year and $16,953,000 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.
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$1,417,275
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.
Measurable Outcome(s) 
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.
Project Details:
2013 Fiscal Year
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)$14,262,000 the first year and $14,603,000 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
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$942,250
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, so the goal is 269,675.
Measurable Outcome(s) 
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.
Project Details:
2012 Fiscal Year
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)$14,262,000 the first year and $14,603,000 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
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$942,250
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 
The division's target for 2012 is to offer more than 5,000 interpretive programs statewide.
Measurable Outcome(s) 
In 2012, a total of 9,156 statewide interpretive programs were offered to the public. This far exceeded the 5,000 program goal.
Project Details:
2011 Fiscal Year
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2009, Ch. 172, Art. 3, Sec. 2 (1)
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$1,180,000
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 
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) 
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.
Project Details:
2010 Fiscal Year
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2009, Ch. 172, Art. 3, Sec. 2 (1)
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.
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.

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

Pat
Arndt
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN
55155
651-259-5578