This year’s Outdoor Heritage Fund spending will fully finance the 2024 Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council recommendations, with 75% of the investment dedicated to ongoing programs. These activities include native prairie protection, wetland restoration, trout stream enhancement, public wildlife land improvements, shallow lake enhancement, forest fragmentation prevention, strategic land acquisition, conservation easements, invasive species removal, fish passage restoration, and pollinator habitat creation.

The appropriations within the bill total $192.711 million for 48 projects, with the inclusion of historic $12 million in funding for a project to block invasive carp from moving upstream in the Mississippi River.

The Clean Water Fund spending preserves the Clean Water Council’s (CWC) supplemental spending recommendations for this year, with a total CWF appropriation of $25.426 million. As part of this spending, the Legislature provided nearly $9.5 million for projects that will – in whole or in part – help tackle nitrate pollution in southeast Minnesota. Of those projects:

  • $1 million will be allocated for the Dept. of Agriculture to address nitrates in groundwater
  • $3.4 million will be allocated for the AgBMP Loan Program, with a focus on southeast Minnesota applicants
  • $2 million will be allocated for nitrate monitoring sensors
  • $2.79 million will be allocated specifically for testing and monitoring of private wells and other drinking water sources in southeast Minnesota

For additional information on funding to address nitrate pollution in southeast Minnesota, see Agriculture and Environment sections.

The Parks and Trails Fund spending distributes $9.108 million in supplemental funding using the standard 40:40:20 ratio: 40% of funding going to metro-area regional parks and trails, 40% of funding going to regional parks and trails of statewide significance, and 20% of the funding going to regional parks and trails outside of the 7-county metro.
This year’s P&TF spending also includes a requirement for metro-area regional parks and trails to provide expanded access to free or reduced equipment rentals for low-income Minnesotans.

The Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund spending provides $12.209 million in this fiscal year for a variety of legislatively named projects and competitive grant programs. With 47% of each A&CHF appropriation going to the State Arts Board under existing statute, nearly $6.5 million remained for various local and statewide projects, including projects to celebrate community events and community identity, projects to expand access to the arts for incarcerated Minnesotans, and numerous competitive grant opportunities for the growing number of Minnesota arts entities seeking state support. (HF 4124)

Senate DFL Media