You don‘t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone…

TIMELY ISSUE: Show your support for A Legacy of Nature campaign on or before March 29, 2019

  1. Contact your elected legislators and ask them to support Nature, not construction, with parks and trails Legacy funds. Contact Info for your Elected Legislator
  2. Submit a comment to the Legacy committee chairs:
    Rep. Leon Lillie: 651-296-1188
    Sen. Carrie Ruud, sen. 651-296-4913
    Suggested comment for you to use or edit:

Representative Leon Lillie, Chair, House Legacy Finance Division
Senator Carrie Ruud, Chair, Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Legacy Finance

RE: Parks and Trails Legacy Fund, Metropolitan Regional Parks
Changes to Project process and Dedicated Spending

I urge you to support legislation which will help to ensure that citizen expectations of the 2008 Legacy Amendment are met. Currently, for the metropolitan portion of the Parks and Trails fund, that is not happening.

The Legacy amendment is a conservation amendment, and the metro regional parks were set aside due to their unique and increasingly rare natural features. Citizens called for “protecting Nature and creating a next generation of stewards” in the 25-year Parks and Trails Legacy Plan. Yet, since inception, the vast majority of metro area parks and trails funds have been spent on the built environment, at the expense of natural resources. This has resulted in diminished nature-based opportunities for people, degraded habitats for wildlife, and increasing unfunded expenses for maintenance.

Revising the project approval process for the metro region’s share is critical. To improve transparency, accountability, and most importantly, help to ensure we leave A Legacy of Nature, I request:

• The establishment of an oversight body for technical review and recommendation of proposed projects,
• Requiring a minimum of 50% of P&T spending for natural resources to improve water and habitat,
• Expanded review of final projects by the DNR Restoration Evaluation committee.

Thank you for your support.




Lebanon Hills Regional Park

Meaningful public involvement as the controversial 2015 Master Plan is implemented in years ahead will be vital to preserving the unique wilderness character of this special place. We will keep you informed when decisions are pending and how you can take action.

Learn more about Dakota County, the implementing agency for Lebanon Hills and other Forever Wild Parks.

A Legacy of Nature

A campaign to ensure high-quality natural areas are preserved for future generations of people and wildlife.

To assure the natural resources within these unique parks are preserved for future generations, ask your elected legislators to oppose Parks and Trails Legacy Funding for the metropolitan region unless changes are made to better reflect funding priorities and the original intent of the law.  See who represents you.

Contrary to what most people intended, these Legacy dollars are not being invested in restoring our degrading natural resources.  Since inception spending of these funds has disproportionately gone to constructing new and expanding existing infrastructure in Regional Parks, resulting in diminished natural resources…and more stuff to take care of, including potential projects such as the controversial paved Connector Trail through Lebanon Hills. 

Most people who voted for the Legacy Amendment cited reason such as clean water and preserving nature as their reason for voting “yes”.  A portion of the Legacy monies trickles through the Metropolitan Council to support the regional parks system. 

Our metropolitan regional parks represent some of the last remaining refuges in the metropolitan region for habitats including prairies, savannas, woodlands, forests and wetlands.  Throughout our parks system, these valuable natural resources are degraded, and unless restored and actively managed, we risk losing them.  

What will be our Legacy?  

Wilderness in the City

Support our efforts to preserve urban natural areas.


See below for the many ways you can help support our efforts to preserve urban natural areas, or let us know if you have another talent or expertise area that you can share. 

Become a Supporting Member

As a supporting member, you are playing a significant role in helping us to continue our work advocating for preservation and enhancement of urban natural areas, especially Lebanon Hills Regional Park.  You will receive our quarterly newsletters by email (or regular mail if you prefer) and other timely notices.  You will also be eligible to vote on issues at our annual meeting.

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