Mission: The parks & trails council of minnesota exists to acquire, protect and enhance critical lands for the public's use and benefit.
Programs: Outreach and community engagement: the parks & trails council is a valued source of information about important projects and opportunities. Our multi-faceted website (www. Parksandtrails. Org) and our social media presence are primary ways in which we maintain a 24-hour-a-day presence. In addition, our unique partnership with minnesota trails magazine has enabled parks & trails council to publish our own section in the quarterly magazine that reaches 30,000 people. We also organize three annual events to engage citizens, generate press coverage and foster partnerships with local friends groups, governments and area chambers of commerce. The parks & trail council supports and partners with 47 park and trail friends groups and other organizations. Many of these groups are volunteer-driven and depend on us to help them connect to larger efforts, gain publicity and build skills. In 2013, we hosted a total of seven events drawing more than 700 people.
research and public policy: for the past 59 years the parks & trails council of minnesota has developed a reputation for being the most powerful voice for parks and trails at the state capitol thanks to our expanding membership and working relationships with grassroots community groups, industry groups, legislators and local governments from throughout the state. As the political and environmental landscape continue to shift and evolve, the parks & trails councils many constituencies are increasingly looking to us to provide leadership on a variety of policy matters. In 2013, we continued to develop and refine our research and public policy program to increase our effectiveness at advancing our policy goals and mobilizing our supporters. During the 2013 legislative session we worked to reverse a negative trend in the state parks and trails general fund budget.
membership: the parks & trails council has long valued the creative ideas and energy that individual members and local groups bring to park and trail efforts. A statewide organization, the parks & trails council serves as a hub for all of this energy. We are the coordinator that links individual efforts together and the conduit that brings knowledge gained on a project in one region to a developing idea in another one. Our organizational newsletter, special places, offers regular updates to our members. In 2013 our dedicated membership increased its support for our work by 8 percent despite the fact that are overall membership shrunk by that same percentage going from 3,125 members to 2,884 members.