Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota

People saving special places

St. Paul, MN   |  www.parksandtrails.org

Mission

Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota acquires, protects and enhances critical land for the public's use and benefit.

Ruling year info

1983

Executive Director

Brett Feldman

Main address

275 4th St E Suite 250

St. Paul, MN 55101 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

41-1450303

NTEE code info

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (C01)

Land Resources Conservation (C34)

Environmental Quality, Protection, and Beautification N.E.C. (C99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

With the growing urgency in protecting land for the preservation of species as well as for the growing population in Minnesota, we address this need by acquiring land with outstanding natural and cultural resources for parks and trails. We also work to keep these places protected by advocating at the state capitol and building the capacity of volunteer-based friends groups who help care for them.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Land Acquisition

Our land protection work saves special places for parks and trails that are most vulnerable to being lost to incompatible development. We acquire the land and protect it for eventual use for a park or trail. Since 1954 we have helped to acquire 11,000 acres of land for Minnesota's state and regional parks and trails.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Our ability to effectively communicate the needs of Minnesota's park and trail system to legislators and government officials has made Parks & Trails Council the preeminent voice for parks and trails throughout Minnesota and at the state capitol.

Population(s) Served
Adults

We work to enhance the efforts of volunteer groups working on behalf of specific parks and trails.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Goal # 1 – Expand the impact of Parks & Trails Council's land acquisition expertise.
Acquiring land for the public's use and benefit is the cornerstone of our work, and state and local governments count on us to secure park and trail lands that are under imminent threat of sale or development. Our Samuel H. Morgan Land Acquisition Fund, which is now valued at $5 million, puts us in the position to move quickly to purchase priority trail and park lands using the strategic land acquisition plan approved by the board in 2011.

Goal #2 – Build an ever stronger base of supporters and mobilize stakeholders to affect legislative decisions.
Over the past 60 years, the P&TC has developed a reputation for being a powerful voice for parks and trails at the Minnesota Capitol thanks to our expanding membership and working relationships with grassroots community groups, industry groups, legislators and local governments from throughout the state.

Goal # 3 – Strengthen the membership base to build the people-power needed to further Parks & Trails Council's mission. Members constitute our largest segment of revenue support. We must continue to grow our membership to enable the organization to fulfill its mission. In addition, members offer not only revenue support, but credibility to our efforts. We can call on our members when a project needs extra support or when we are advocating at the capitol.

Goal # 4 – Elevate the capacity of friends' groups to be partners in achieving Parks & Trails Council's vision. By increasing the capacity of friends groups, Parks & Trails Council grows an important base of support amongst individuals who have a demonstrated commitment to our mission. Friends groups may be engaged in support of P&TC's statewide agenda because that agenda advances their goals as well as a strong statewide system. There is mutual benefit in their participation with P&TC's advocacy on specific issues. Such an investment represents a grassroots approach to our mission, in which we strengthen all Minnesota parks and trails by systematically strengthening individual parks and trails.

Goal #5 – Align organizational capacity to ensure accomplishment of the strategic goals and organizational vision and mission. Parks & Trails Council is a very lean, well-run organization that makes excellent use of the resources the community has entrusted in us. As the organization continues to evolve and take on new challenges, however, it becomes increasingly important to ensure that our staff/contractor capacity can meet organizational goals and that people and organizations that have an inclination to support our work are aware of our existence.

1. Continue to integrate our land acquisition program with our legislative advocacy.
2. Increase awareness and use of our land program among key stakeholders.
3. Assess the capacity for land acquisition among key stakeholders.
4. Become proficient on existing land acquisition grant programs so we can be a resource for entities seeking land acquisition help and resources.
5. Work with key stakeholders to ensure that public land management practices are more equitable and transparent, including the administration of grant programs.

1 Ensure the legislative committee is structured to bring together the best minds, data and science to identify issues, ideas and solutions to key issues facing Minnesota's parks and trails.
2 Develop a proactive and objective process for defining legislative priorities in a way that engages key stakeholders.
3 Broaden and deepen our strategic partnerships with legislative leadership, tourism, health care and economic development entities.
4 Develop and implement systematic plan for educating, engaging and mobilizing our base of supporters.
5 Establish Parks & Trails Council as a resource for policy research and analysis on key parks and trails issues.
6 Strengthen relationships with Greater Minnesota Parks and Trails Commission and Metropolitan Council while continuing to work closely with the DNR.

Develop and implement a membership plan that:

A) identifies tactics to move members along our engagement continuum

B) expands our recruitment efforts to an audience that reflects the growing diversity of the state's population

1 Work with friends groups to develop a systematic method for gathering and maintaining data on friends groups working to bolster parks and trails in Minnesota.
2 Establish Parks & Trails Council as a valued resource for Friends Groups in the state.
3 Develop clear, strong and mutually beneficial relationships with key friends groups in Minnesota.
4 Initiate opportunities for friends groups to unify their efforts and learn from each other.

The Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota works in a complex and ever-changing environment where our commitment to land conservation and outdoor recreation often collides with funding shortages and political forces opposed to public land. Moving forward, the organization will adeptly navigate these challenges to build on our strong legacy of sustaining, stewarding, and conserving outdoor spaces in Minnesota.

To date, P&TC has effectively cultivated a solid base of membership support and strong partnerships with state and local leaders, while being influential at the state Capitol. With the passage of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in 2008 the funding and policy decision landscape changed significantly. The growth of public resources to support parks and trails of regional and statewide significance has increased opportunities for a robust, interconnected system. Yet, at the same time it has also increased competition for these resources and given rise to a false dichotomy that pits investments in new park and trail opportunities against investments in current parks and trails. As an independent organization with a statewide perspective, P&TC is positioned as an important link among a variety of partners and stakeholders.

In the coming years, P&TC has the unique opportunity to be even more visible and influential. The organization is already recognized for its expertise and accomplishment in land acquisition, as well as for being the public voice for state parks and trails. One component of the strategic planning process was an extensive environmental scan with key stakeholders who identified ample opportunities for partnerships to advance the vision of an interconnected system of natural areas. The strategic direction set forth below builds on these opportunities while ensuring P&TC invests in its organizational assets to achieve its mission of acquiring, protecting and enhancing critical land for the public's use and benefit.

We created and hired a new staff position of Friends Group Coordinator to develop and refine our ability to enhance the capacity of volunteer groups working on behalf of Minnesota's parks and trails.

We continue to acquire critical land as it becomes available. In 2018 we acquired a total of 44.2 acres of land for Tettegouche State Park, Temperance River State Park, and Great River Ridge State Trail.

Our Research and Public Policy department conducted a comprehensive assessment of the condition of all Minnesota's paved trails. Such research will be critical in our efforts to ensure the necessary public investment in continued maintenance and development of these trails. In addition, our efforts to educate and advocate for the continued protection of state parks by keeping them free of off-highway vehicles prevented the passage of unwanted legislation.

Financials

Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
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  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota

Board of directors
as of 11/20/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Julie Gugin

David Durenberger

Parks & Trails Council of MN

Thomas Dwight

Parks & Trails Council of MN

Rollis Bishop

Parks & Trails Council of MN

Peter Seed

Parks & Trails Council of MN

David Minge

Parks & Trails Council of MN

Robert Erickson

Parks & Trails Council of MN

Martin Kellogg

Parks & Trails Council of MN

Julie Gugin

Parks & Trails Council of MN

Dorothy Anderson

Parks & Trails Council of MN

Bob Bierscheid

Parks & Trails Council of MN

Bruce Johnson

Parks & Trails Council of MN

Dick Brainerd

Parks & Trails Council of MN

Anne Flueckiger

Parks & Trails Council of MN

Paul Karazija

Parks & Trails Council of MN

Kellie Lowman

Parks & Trails Council of MN

Ed Murphy

Parks & Trails Council of MN

Emily Nesvold

Parks & Trails Council of MN

Tom Stoa

Parks & Trails Council of MN

Jane Harper

Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota

Maureen Reed

Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota

Steve Cook

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No