MN State Parks Program

DNR continues and expands the Minnesota State Parks Library Program

 

Libraries located in Minnesota’s low-income communities will have more access to state park passes.

 

Want to visit Minnesota's beautiful state parks? Your library may have a pass for you to check out!

 

The DNR continues its state park library program through June 2025. The program will grow from 71 to 117 participating libraries, offering 175 passes statewide for check-out to Minnesotans living in lower-income communities. Library programs like this have become popular across the country, with California launching a new program in 2022. These programs provide opportunities for individuals or families with limited income to access their state parks free of charge.

 

The 2021 pilot program saw more than 1,500 park pass check-outs in the first six months. In a survey of pass users, only 36 percent said they would have purchased an annual state park vehicle permit. This would have filled a gap of about 900 visits to state parks that would not have otherwise happened during that time.

“It has been wonderful to see the impact this program has had on Minnesotans,” said Arielle Courtney, DNR Parks and Trails partnership consultant. “We are working hard to address the many barriers that prevent people from getting to state parks, and this program is a step toward making it easier for everyone to enjoy our public lands.”

 

Minnesota State Parks Library Program Details:

  • Passes are good for seven days and must be displayed on the vehicle’s dashboard upon entering a park or recreation area.
  • Passes can be recycled after seven days. No return is necessary.
  • Between one and four passes are available for check-out at each library.
  • This program is only available at some libraries. Participating libraries met specific criteria for serving lower-income communities and were approved by the Council for Regional Public Library System Administrators. For a complete list of participating libraries, visit mndnr.gov/librarypass.

Great River Regional Library locations with MN State Parks Program:

  • Foley Public Library
  • Little Falls Carnegie Public Library
  • Upsala Public Library
  • St. Cloud Public Library
  • Long Prairie Public Library
  • Staples Public Library

 

Use the park pass? How was your state park trip?

 

We want your ideas!

  • Minnesota State Parks and Trails partners with your library to offer free, seven-day access to state parks and recreation areas. Your survey responses will improve the program in 2025. Learn more at mndnr.gov/librarypass.

 

Minnesota State Parks and Trails