Minnesota is known for many things: Prince, walleye, and distinct accents all make the list. But what perhaps does not get as much attention is our longstanding commitment to conservation and preserving Minnesota’s best outdoor spaces for all to enjoy.
Minnesota boasts four national parks, 13 national wildlife refuges, and 72 state parks, plus countless other regional, city, and neighborhood green spaces. With a renewed interest in outdoor recreation across Minnesota, you might be finding that some of your favorite places are a lot more crowded than you’ve grown accustomed to. That’s why The Nature Conservancy is here to help!
If you’re near the Twin Cities, you can start by checking out our recommendations for family-friendly natural areas. Farther afield and off the beaten path, you’ll find an expansive network of nature preserves ready to be explored. With more than 50 preserves across the state, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) is one of the largest private landowners that you’ve probably never heard of. We’ve protected more than 700,000 acres in Minnesota since 1958, including in places like Tettegouche State Park, Voyageurs National Park, and the Superior National Forest.
Today, The Nature Conservancy’s priorities include tackling climate change, providing food and water sustainably and protecting land and water, including the Mississippi River’s headwaters area which provides drinking water for 2.5 million Minnesotans. We’re protecting native prairie, one of the most threatened, least protected habitat types on Earth. And we’re restoring Minnesota’s Northwoods by planting more than a million trees every year.
All of this work embodies TNC’s mission, which is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. We use a collaborative, science-based approach and seek lasting results that will help both nature and people thrive.
And whether or not you self-identify as an environmentalist, it’s hard to discount the value that nature brings into our lives—particularly Minnesotans’ lives. Ask anyone who’s gone fishing on one of our 11,000-plus lakes, hiked alongside a North Shore stream, or enjoyed the thrill of duck hunting in a prairie pothole. Beyond the anecdotal, our great outdoors contributes to a tourism industry valued at more than $16 billion per year. Plus, nature drives other big businesses in Minnesota, like forestry and agriculture. Put plainly: Nature is at the center of just about all aspects of our lives.
So, take your next adventure off the beaten path with The Nature Conservancy! Explore a new place, learn about great conservation work happening near you, and join us in building a world in which people and nature thrive. Learn more and get involved at nature.org/Minnesota.