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DNR convenes first park and trail meeting

As directed by the Minnesota Legislature, the commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) convened the first meeting of the Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission on October 28.

The fiscal year 2013 Legislature established the commission, which is responsible for developing a system plan for parks and trails in Greater Minnesota.

Commission members also will provide recommendations to the Legislature for grants funded by the Parks and Trails Fund to counties and cities outside the seven-county metropolitan area.

Members of the commission, appointed by Governor Mark Dayton in August, include:

• Keith Nelson of Virginia and LuAnn Wilcox of Finlayson, representing District 1.

• Rita Albrecht of Bemidji and Bryan Pike of Brainerd, representing District 2.

• Michael Hulett of Moorhead and Al Lieffort of Alexandria, representing District 3.

• Marc Mattice of Eden Valley and Barry Wendorf of Cambridge, representing District 4.

• Rick Anderson of Balaton and Tom Schmitz of New Ulm, representing District 5.

• O. William Bruins of Rochester and Thomas Ryan of Rochester, representing District 6.

• Anita Rasmussen of Sartell, member at large.

“This unprecedented opportunity, provided by the voters of Minnesota, will result in a world-class regional park and trail system throughout Minnesota,” said Al Lieffort, park superintendent of Douglas County and chair of the Greater Minnesota Regional Park and Trail Coalition. “This system complements and links communities with a state park and trail system, attracting people from around the world. People living in cities and towns across this state will have access to the ‘best of the best’ as we plan and build this park and trail system.”