Parks and Trails Legacy Fund

Voters dedicate additional resources to parks

A person riding a bike.In 2008, Minnesota voters passed the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment to the State Constitution. The amendment created a new 3/8th-cent state sales tax to be collected from July 2009 to June 2034 to fund:

  • Restoring, protecting, and enhancing Minnesota wildlife populations
  • Restoring and protecting clean water
  • Supporting parks and trails
  • Preserving Minnesota’s history and cultural heritage through arts and cultural programs.

The Parks and Trails Legacy Fund, one of four Legacy Amendment Funds, supports parks and trails of statewide or regional significance.

The Minnesota Constitution, Article XI, Section 15 established the Parks and Trails Legacy Fund to support parks and trails. Per Minn. Stat. § 85.53, this fund supports only parks and trails of regional or statewide significance. The Council receives a portion of these appropriations for the regional parks system.

Parks and Trails Legacy projects must be consistent with the Parks and Trails Legacy Plan, the foundational document for the use of these funds in the state. The plan specifies four strategic directions for fund use:

  • Connect people and the outdoors: Develop stewards of tomorrow through efforts to increase life-long participation in parks and trails.
  • Acquire land, create opportunities: Create new and expanded opportunities to serve current and future users.
  • Take care of what we have: Provide safe, high-quality experiences through regular re-investment in infrastructure and natural resource management.
  • Coordinate among partners: Enhance coordination among the network of public, private, and nonprofit park and trail partners.
The Met Council distributes Parks and Trails Legacy Fund money to the 10 regional park implementing agencies according to a formula defined in Minn. Stat. § 85.53:
  • 45% based on each agency’s share of operation and maintenance funding according to the allocation formula in Minn. Stat. § 473.351, subdivision 3
  • 31.5% based on each agency’s relative share of the most recent estimate of the population of the metropolitan area
  • 13.5% based on each agency’s relative share of nonlocal visits based on the most recent user visitation survey conducted by the Metropolitan Council
  • 10% set aside for Park Acquisition Opportunity Fund
Legacy website.More about the Legacy Amendment