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Free outdoor event in Fergus celebrates parks, trails, Legacy Amendment

Looking to make some fun memories with dad on Fathers' Day weekend? Bring him to the Prairie Wetlands Environmental Learning Center in Fergus Falls between 1 and 4 p.m. on Saturday, June 16, for a variety of free activities celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy Amendment, which provides supplemental funding for state and regional parks and trails, the outdoors, and the arts.

Activities at Prairie Wetlands will include archery, taking a spin in a wheelchair adapted for outdoor recreation, trail rides, and guided hikes. The Fergus Falls Public Library will even be on site for a storybook walk on the trails at the Environmental Learning Center.

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. Organizers provide a Legacy trivia game card, which has proven to be a fun way to learn about the Amendment through the posters.

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 Department of Natural Resources' Parks and Trails Division. "At this 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."

The final Legacy celebration of 2018 will take place on Wednesday, June 27, 4-6:30 p.m. at Essentia Health Duluth Heritage Sports Center in Duluth.

For more information about the series of statewide events, visit www.legacy.mn.gov/ptlac. More about the Fergus Falls event can be found at www.facebook.com/events/194729238014146.

For accommodations to participate, please contact Paul Purman at the DNR, paul.purman@state.mn.us or 651-259-5643.

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