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Parks and trails Legacy celebration is June 2

A series of events celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the passage of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment will take place throughout Minnesota in 2018, including Itasca State Park from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 2.

A variety of hands-on activities will be ongoing, including an ATV simulator, live raptors, Archery in the Park, I Can Fish, geocaching 101 and campfire cooking/ice cream in a bag.

Dive into Itasca's history on a variety of hikes celebrating the 127-year legacy of Itasca State Park, including a tour of Old Timers Cabin constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps, a tour of historic Douglas Lodge and walking tours of Itasca's forest.

The famous Itasca sugar cookies will be available for purchase on this day.

Activity stations around Forest Inn will celebrate the 10 years of accomplishments in Minnesota State Parks and parks across greater Minnesota and the metro area. Play games, share your thoughts and celebrate the future of Minnesota's Clean Water, Land and Legacy. The event is rain or shine.

From 1 to 3:30 p.m. enjoy "Music Under the Pines" performer Lori Goulet Reich. Bring a lawn chair or blanket and sit back and relax outside historic Forest Inn. Reich will sing a variety of acoustic folk and alt-country flavored music.

Learn about bird and mammal predators at an outdoor nature cart at Forest Inn from 1 to 3:30 p.m.. Can you identify the critters by looking at the pelts, skulls and live birds? Visitors will have the chance to learn more about Minnesota's predators and their important role in our forest's health through this come-and-go activity station. This presentation is part of the Parks and Trails Legacy Celebration.

Enjoy an evening of original music from Bill and Kate Isles from 6 to 7:45 p.m. Joined by special guest, Sarah Mae Birkeland on upright bass, the Isles are a nationally-touring singer/songwriter duo based in Duluth.

Mention that you are attending the Legacy celebration to get a free event pass when you arrive at the park, then proceed to the Forest Inn, where most of the activities will be based.

Posters will showcase some of the many Legacy-funded projects around the state for those interested in learning how Legacy funds have been invested for the betterment of regional and state trails and parks.

In 2008, Minnesotans passed the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment, which increased the state sales tax by 3/8 of 1 percent (from 6.5 percent to 6.875 percent) for 25 years, to provide new funding for outdoor preservation, water quality, arts and culture and parks and trails. The Parks and Trails Fund receives 14.25 percent of the Legacy Funds, or about $1.26 billion over 25 years, to support parks and trails of regional or statewide significance.

“The passage of the Legacy Amendment was a game-changer for organizations working to support Minnesota’s outstanding system of parks and trails,” said Erika Rivers, director of the DNR’s Parks and Trails Division. “At this Itasca event, and the events to follow, we will not only highlight what has been accomplished over the past decade with Legacy funding but, perhaps even more important, we will gather input from people throughout the state—adults and kids alike—to help shape priorities moving forward.”

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