Minnesota State Parks Chief Touts Legacy Funding

Created: 04/07/2014 7:43 AM

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - The man who has run Minnesota state parks for the past decade says he's fortunate that voters gave him some extra money to spend.

Courtland Nelson retires next week as director of the Parks and Trails Division of the Department of Natural Resources.

The 62-year-old Forest Lake native says the state's parks and trails system are in better shape than when he took the job in 2004. He credits the extra sales tax money made available under the 2008 Legacy Amendment.

He says the money paid for new construction, land acquisition and updates to aging facilities. It also funded family-oriented programs, which he said became a priority after research showed that mothers make most family vacation decisions, and they prefer sites with activities to keep kids occupied.

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