Week 1: Milestones & Markers
Confidence would come from seeing trails completed, still being built and being maintained! I believe we have our road systems for work that bring us to anywhere we need to go, and we also need Minnesotan "road systems" for when we want to play. I believe there is much more potential for outdoor recreation in this state, I would like to see some serious and notable trails, be it hiking, ATV, or whatever; crisscross this state, and join the ranks of other states that are recognized for their recreational opportunities. Not trails that start in one county and do not continue to and through the next!
I'd like to see milestones and markers for each region, with some fundamental categories:
Acquisition (parks; greenways/trail corridors; blueways)
Infrastructure (new trail miles, new campsites, new interpretive centers, etc.)
Education (school groups, adults, by theme - conservation skills, environmental ed, sustainability ed, etc)
Visitation - raw and by activity, and by demographics; also tourism estimates
Integration - measures of how Legacy projects work in coordination with other community, regional and/or state initiatives
I agree with Mike in that trails that connect within and among communities would be a great goal to be working toward. We have a lot of open spaces in our community, but only 3/4 mile of trail! Something big and lasting could be an amazing trail system with funds set aside for maintenance. In three to five years there could be a master plan and regionals planin place with land and right-of-way acquisition underway or completed. Depending on the situation, somef of the trails could even be in place.
These are all great ideas. It sounds like overall, making progress on some specific, major needs is a good benchmark to judge success by. Is that right? What other milestones - other projects or ideas - do you have?
Completion of the Minnesota Valley State Trail, including a river crossing at Old Cedar Avenue, would be a big and lasting accomplishment in the metro area.
I believe that education does not stop in the classroom and healthy living does not end on a treadmill. It would be most useful to have these opportunities on an everyday basis.
As part of the Linwood Park and Recreation Committee we have found that there is a need to link fragmented lands via trails since we have thousands of acres of protected land that goes mostly unused!! Additionally, we have seen the most progress when town, county, state, and federal agencies work together for the greater good. I hope the Legacy Act can break these barriers down.
In our city trails that conect within our comunity and to other communities is the number one request.
We have a few relatively short trails in this corner of the state. Our trails are not that far from major state trails like Central Lakes and Glacial Lakes, so it makes sense to look at linking up.
Starbuck was a railroad town. Part of the old rail bed is now a trail between Starbuck and Glenwood, but the line could go west to Morris, and east to Sauk Centre.
Another very wild and scenic route would follow the glacial ridge/ble mounds from Glacial Lakes state park to Sibley state park. There are many small and medium sized lakes along the route, as well as land held by the Nature Conservancy. The cost could be minimal because of this, plus many state and federal wildlife areas along the way. An unpaved trail could cross private land with permission, simular to the snowmobile trails in the area. The trail could be multi-use, hiking, mountain biking, horse back riding, and skiing. If this could be done, I believe the trail could rival the Superior Hiking Trail. Once a few people experience the scenery from these hills, the word would spread quickly. We are not that far fro the Twin Cities, and the local economy would benefit greatly.