Minnesota Outdoor Recreation Task Force Finalizes Recommendations

After a year of deliberations and public input, the 21-member Minnesota Outdoor Recreation Task Force – which includes Matt Gruhn, president of the Marine Retailers Association of the Americas – held their final meeting on March 24, 2021, where they finalized recommendations to enhance outdoor recreation in Minnesota.

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Commissioner Sarah Strommen and Explore Minnesota Executive Director John Edman charged the Task Force to consider (1) how to bring measured growth, increased and equitable access, and a higher quality of outdoor recreation opportunities to Minnesotans and visitors and (2) how to organize and implement this collaborative work going forward. The Task Force shared their recommendations with the Public in January 2021, and incorporated public input into their final product.

The Task Force identified three key action areas and recommended the creation of an Office of Outdoor Recreation to accomplish them. The key action areas are:

  • Increase participation by advancing equity, diversity, and inclusivity;
  • Unite Minnesota’s outdoor recreation community; and
  • Unify communications amongst Minnesota’s diverse outdoor recreation sector.

In addition to the recommendation of creating and funding an Office of Outdoor Recreation, the Task Force recognized that other government agencies, non-profit organizations, user-groups and industries also need to advance these recommendations in concert with the Office if Minnesota is to realize a more welcoming, inclusive, active and connected outdoor recreation community. The final set of recommendations is available on the Task Force Webpage.

“I want to thank all of the Task Force members for their time, dedication, and expertise to help advance outdoor recreation in Minnesota,” said DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen. “These recommendations represent a significant accomplishment.”

“We are excited to have these recommendations and explore the best ways to implement them going forward,” said Explore Minnesota Executive Director John Edman. “They will certainly require continued collaboration with partners in the public, private and non-profit sectors. We will all work together to maintain the momentum of the Task Force as we find the best ways to move these priorities forward.”

The DNR and Explore Minnesota plan to continue conversations on the details of the Task Force recommendations and ensuring all Minnesotans have access to the benefits outdoor recreation provides, including to health, well-being, and the state’s economy.

For more information, please contact NMMA manager of Great Lakes policy and engagement, Jill Sims at jsims@nmma.org.