Voyageurs National Park Association partnered with the seven National Park Service units in Minnesota to produce the educational film “Minnesota’s National Park Legacy.” More than 12,000 households viewed the premiere on Twin Cities Public Television in fall 2009. VNPA is now providing 3,000 copies of the DVD and companion resource guides to schools and libraries to engage the next generation in becoming environmental stewards of Minnesota’s National Parks.
VNPA formed the Coalition to Protect the Namakan with partner organizations, working to preserve the pristine Namakan River from a proposed hydroelectric development that would impact at least two threatened species: Lake Sturgeon and Pygmy Snaketail Dragonfly.
We organized nearly 20 volunteers for the annual Volunteer Rendezvous weekend in Voyageurs National Park. Together, we planted more than 1,000 trees and wildflowers at sensitive shoreline sites on Namakan Lake, in order to restore wildlife habitat and improve the scenic experience in the Park.
VNPA began working with landowners to help Voyageurs National Park purchase private properties within its boundaries from willing sellers through the Land Preservation Initiative. We also worked with the National Park Service and the congressional delegation to elevate Voyageurs National Park land acquisition priorities and secure federal appropriations. The Initiative’s long term goal is to complete public ownership of Voyageurs National Park, in order to prevent development, restore wildlife habitat, and open the land for public use and enjoyment.
We are working toward achieving our long-term goals in each of our core programs, including the Land Preservation Initiative, the Coalition to Protect the Namakan, the Clean Air Campaign, and the Volunteer Rendezvous.
Our Land Preservation Initiative’s goal is to complete public ownership of Voyageurs National Park by helping the Park purchase the 54 remaining private properties within its boundaries from willing sellers. As part of the Coalition to Protect the Namakan, VNPA will educate the public and media about the environmental impacts to the Namakan River region, and work to elevate the issue to higher status in Canada’s hydroelectric projects review process. Our Clean Air Campaign seeks to reduce human-caused air pollution in Voyageurs National Park. VNPA is advocating for a stronger Minnesota state plan to reduce particulate haze, and will continue to monitor power plants and taconite facilities to ensure that they follow appropriate procedures for emissions permits.
The Volunteer Rendezvous seeks to help Voyageurs National Park meet its conservation and maintenance needs that might not be otherwise met due to budget shortfalls. This year, volunteers helped to build an Ojibwe encampment and native plant garden for educational visitor programs.
VNPA began a new program in 2010, the Youth Engagement Program, to better connect young people with environmental education opportunities at Voyageurs National Park. We will provide field trip travel grants for nearly 275 students annually, and will help the Park permanently fund the position of Environmental Education Interpreter.
Community or Constituency Served
Voyageurs National Park Association serves all Voyageurs National Park visitors, supporters, stewards, and partners, including the gateway communities and businesses dependant on the Park for their economic livelihood, as well as preserving the natural wildlife and ecosystem of the Park for future generations
Geographic Area Served
Our programs serve to protect and promote Voyageurs National Park, located in northeastern Minnesota along the border with Ontario. Our members and constituents represent a wide geographic region that includes 22 states and Canada, with the majority residing in Minnesota.
Impact and Programs