Outreach, public affairs and web

2015 Fiscal Year Funding Amount:
$742,255
2014 Fiscal Year Funding Amount:
$760,000
2013 Fiscal Year Funding Amount:
$545,000
2012 Fiscal Year Funding Amount:
$545,000
2011 Fiscal Year Funding Amount:
$775,000
2010 Fiscal Year Funding Amount:
$600,000
Source: 
Parks & Trails Fund
Status: 
In Progress
Start Date: 
July 2009
Counties Affected: 
Statewide
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: 
$742,255
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 
The Minnesota State Parks Research Report 2012 shows that Minnesotans want and need vital information so they can better use and enjoy Minnesota state parks (and trails). Connection plans proactively reach people to provide this information. This is especially important in reaching people who are not yet familiar with Minnesota State Parks and Trails.
Measurable Outcome(s) 
Two connection plans were executed during this time period, resulting in Minnesota State Parks and Trails' messages being seen/hear 4,732,855 times (4,732,855 gross impressions). The Minnesota State Parks and Trails Feel the Wow of Fall campaign was highly successful, resulting in an increase in visitors as measured by sales of the Minnesota State Parks one-day and year-round permits and occupancy rates during September/October (combined). The Minnesota State Parks Gift Card - Holidays Campaigns 2014 promoted outdoor recreation through increased sales of the Minnesota State Parks gift card for the holiday season.
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: 
$760,000
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 
Minnesota State Parks and Trails is currently in the early implementation stage for connections plans for 2014.
Measurable Outcome(s) 
10.5 million total advertising impressions have been made in the first half of FY14
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: 
$545,000
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 
New kiosk locations in FY 2013 included 3M and Hennepin County Service Center, while kiosks remained in place at the Minnesota Zoo, Midtown Global Market, Brookdale Library and Rosedale. Based on traffic patterns the previous year, we stuck with our goal of logging 3,000 unique visits per month or a total of 36,000 unique visits for the year.
Measurable Outcome(s) 
Kiosk use at 3M and Hennepin County Service Center was less than anticipated (double digits rather than triple digits each month), and the kiosks logged 29,061 unique visits during the year, short of the 36,000 goal. We will continue to move the kiosks around in an effort to reach new people in new locations.
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: 
$545,000
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 
Based on the popularity of the kiosks the first year, we set a goal of reaching 3,000 new people (or logging at least 3,000 “unique visits”) per month in year two. Locations for the kiosks between July 2011 and June 2012 included the Minnesota Zoo, the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (baggage claim area), the Mall of America (near the north entrance to the amusement park), Rosedale Center (food court area), Midtown Global Market—and, new in FY 2012—Maple Grove Community Center, Shoreview Community Center, Brookdale Library and the Hartford.
Measurable Outcome(s) 
In FY 2012 alone, there were 42,820 unique visits to the kiosks, surpassing the goal by 12,820. From August 2010 through June 2012, the kiosks cumulatively logged 69,122 “unique visits” and more than a million page views.
Project Details:
2011 Fiscal Year
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2009, Ch. 172, Art. 3, Sec. 2 (1)
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$775,000
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 
The first kiosk was installed in August 2010 at the IDS Crystal Court. Subsequently, kiosks were also installed at the Minnesota Zoo, the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (baggage claim area), the Mall of America (near the north entrance to the amusement park), Rosedale Center (food court area), Midtown Global Market. A "traveling" kiosk made its debut at the 2010 Minnesota State Fair and then traveled to the Great Hall at the State Capitol. Our target the first year (FY 11) was to reach at least 10,000 new people that we were not currently reaching through existing communication channels.
Measurable Outcome(s) 
Through June 15, 2011, the kiosks logged 30,064 “unique visits” (our proxy for “new people”), including more than 10,000 views of the pages in other languages (Spanish, Hmong, Somali, Vietnamese, and Russian).
Project Details:
2010 Fiscal Year
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2009, Ch. 172, Art. 3, Sec. 2 (1)
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$600,000
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 
One hundred fourteen panoramic virtual tours. Each year an RFP will go to vendors to shoot and package a virtual tour for a specific state park, state water trail or state trail. Because a virtual tour may convey multiple seasons and must include peak summer scenes, each virtual tour contract typically spans two fiscal years with the contract finalized in one and the final product submitted in the next.

Our goal is to create six accessible, multi-lingual, touch-screen kiosks that can reach visitors with information about Minnesota state parks and trails.
Measurable Outcome(s) 
Twenty seven state parks have standardized virtual tours either posted or ready to post to the division’s website.
Eight state parks have virtual tours currently under contract.

We contracted with a Minnesota company to design and build the six touch-screen kiosks according to our specifications. None were installed yet by June 30, 2010 (thus, the quantity of 0 people reached).

Project Overview

The Division of Parks and Trails is engaged in critical work to connect people to the outdoors. As part of the work in this project area, the new touch-screen kiosk project will increase awareness about outdoor recreation opportunities at Minnesota state parks and trails among underrepresented groups by creating and installing accessible, touch-screen kiosks with information in multiple languages, in high-traffic, family-oriented locations.
Connection plans deliver Minnesota State Parks and Trails' messages to new audiences. The Division of Parks and Trails establishes partnerships to maximize resources in building participation in outdoor recreation.

The kids' interactive website creates interactive, age-appropriate content for children 5-11 years old, motivating children to get outdoors.

The virtual tours project provides web visitors with an immersive experience, allowing them to view and hear park, trail, and water trail scenes from 360 degrees or video snippets...the next best thing to actually being there.

About the Issue

The Division of Parks and Trails is working to increase awareness about outdoor recreation opportunities among groups currently underrepresented at state parks and trails (families with young children, people with disabilities, people whose primary language is not English). Instead of waiting for them to come to us for information (by visiting, calling or going to our website), we are going to them by placing eye-catching kiosks in high-traffic locations that they frequent.

By enhancing our children's programming on the website, we are encouraging youth to develop a lifelong interest in and stewardship for state parks and state trails. (It's hard to say no to a child who asks to go to a park or to go camping.)

People who are new to state parks or state trails often have a difficult time selecting which to visit and may not be aware of the features that make each park unique. Online virtual tours of each location act as trip planning visual aids, helping people select which park or trail they want to visit and establishing what to expect once they arrive.

Project Manager

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