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Meeting next week on regional parks and trails

BEMIDJI -- The Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission will host a district planning meeting from 5:30 to 8 p.m. June 17 at Bemidji City Hall, 317 Fourth St. NW.

Local parks and trails enthusiasts can learn more about the development of a district master plan for regional parks and trails in Greater Minnesota.

In 2013, the Minnesota Legislature created the 13-member Greater Minnesota Regional Parks and Trails Commission "to undertake system planning and provide recommendations to the legislature for grants funded by the parks and trails legacy fund to counties and cities outside of the seven-county metropolitan area for parks and trails of regional or statewide significance," according to a release from the organization. Bemidji Mayor Rita Albrecht is a member of the commission. The legislation also provided for the formation of six districts in Greater Minnesota. District 2 includes 305,239 residents and encompasses the cities and towns of 15 counties including Beltrami, Cass, Clearwater, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Itasca, Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake and Roseau.

The purpose of the meeting is to organize a District 2 Planning Committee to gather information about "current and future parks and trails from within the district that have potential regional or statewide significance to be included in district wide system master plans," the release said. The plan will provide a guide for legacy grant funding in Greater Minnesota. The commission is seeking five to 11 people in each district to serve on the planning committee.