Legacy fund has helped 10,000 projects in Minnesota, often serving as seed money

Minnesota’s Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment has helped fund nearly 10,000 projects in the state since it was approved by voters in 2008, the Forum newspapers report.

With $300 million coming in each year — from the extra three-eighths of one percent that voters agreed to add to the state sales tax — projects are funded in four categories: 33 percent to the clean water fund; 33 percent to the outdoor heritage fund; 19.75 percent to the arts and cultural heritage fund; and 14.25 percent to the parks and trails fund.

The reporting found that the funds are often used as seed money to raise additional funding from other sources.

And the story notes that Hennepin County had the most projects in the first five years, with 2,081, and Mahnomen County had the fewest, 82.

The story offered some examples of projects funded, at least partially, with Legacy money:

  • Goodhue Soil and Water Conservation District, $105,450, to construct seven grade stabilization structures in Minneola Township to reduce erosion and sedimentation to North Fork of Zumbro River, protect public roads, retain water, create wildlife habitat and increase groundwater recharge.
  • Stevens County Water Quality Initiative, $84,000, to establish up to 12 miles of buffers along the Pomme de Terre River and its tributaries and install up to five rain gardens within the cities of Morris and Chokio.
  • Clay County Fair, $10,250, to create a mural on the back of the grandstand that embodies the activities and spirit of the Clay County Fair.
  • Friends of Lake Bronson State Park (Kittson County), $5,050, for the Woodcarvers’ Festival.
  •  City of Kandiyohi, $6,114, to install new doors and windows to the well house, purchase and install six wellhead protection signs.
  • Farmington Elementary School, $13,603, for all students at Farmington Elementary to work with artists using the European and American folk song and dance, Ghanaian drumming, West African dance and puppetry.
  • Beltrami County Historical Society, $6,896, for Doctor, Doctor, Give Me the News: Early Healthcare, an exhibit on early county health care drawn from primary records in local and state repositories.
  • Minnesota Public Television Association, $6.2 million, for production and to buy programs.
  • Minnesota Discovery Center (St. Louis County), $4,829, to create an exhibit on the history of the Iron Range as told through personal narrative of 10 residents.
  • University of Minnesota, $4.4 million, to establish an aquatic invasive species research center to fight species such as Asian carp and zebra mussels.
  • Park Rapids, $8,058, to test well water and aquifer.
  • Boys & Girls Club of Morrison County, $4,500, to invite a resident artist and arts educator, Jodi Legeros, to conduct fine arts programs at the Little Falls club location.
  •  Wadena-Deer Creek School District, $11,836, to create works of art and learn creative problem solving strategies.
  • Woodbury, $10,000, for well site study, ordinance review and public education.
  • Dakota County Historical Society, $6,183, for 20 interviews about the history of the Hastings State Hospital, 1938-78.
  • Carlton County Soil and Water Conservation District, $130,055, to develop the watershed restoration and protection, while also enlarging and sustaining public participation.

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