Outreach, public affairs and web

Quick Facts

Source: 
Parks & Trails Fund
Status: 
In Progress
Counties Affected 
Statewide
The Division of Parks and Trails is engaged in critical work to connect people to the outdoors. As part of the work in this project area, the new touch-screen kiosk project will increase awareness about outdoor recreation opportunities at Minnesota state parks and trails among underrepresented groups by creating and installing accessible, touch-screen kiosks with information in multiple languages, in high-traffic, family-oriented locations.
Connection plans deliver Minnesota State Parks and Trails' messages to new audiences. The Division of Parks and Trails establishes partnerships to maximize resources in building participation in outdoor recreation.

The kids' interactive website creates interactive, age-appropriate content for children 5-11 years old, motivating children to get outdoors.

The virtual tours project provides web visitors with an immersive experience, allowing them to view and hear park, trail, and water trail scenes from 360 degrees or video snippets...the next best thing to actually being there.

About the Issue

The Division of Parks and Trails is working to increase awareness about outdoor recreation opportunities among groups currently underrepresented at state parks and trails (families with young children, people with disabilities, people whose primary language is not English). Instead of waiting for them to come to us for information (by visiting, calling or going to our website), we are going to them by placing eye-catching kiosks in high-traffic locations that they frequent.

By enhancing our children's programming on the website, we are encouraging youth to develop a lifelong interest in and stewardship for state parks and state trails. (It's hard to say no to a child who asks to go to a park or to go camping.)

People who are new to state parks or state trails often have a difficult time selecting which to visit and may not be aware of the features that make each park unique. Online virtual tours of each location act as trip planning visual aids, helping people select which park or trail they want to visit and establishing what to expect once they arrive.
Status: 
In Progress
Start Date: 
July 2009

Project Details by Fiscal Year

Fiscal Year(s): 
2014
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2013, Chp. 137, Art. 3, Sec. 3(a)(1)
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$760,000
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 
Minnesota State Parks and Trails is currently in the early implementation stage for connections plans for 2014.
Measurable Outcome(s) 
10.5 million total advertising impressions have been made in the first half of FY14
Fiscal Year(s): 
2013
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2011, First Special Session, Chp. 6, Art. 3, Sec. 3(a) (1)
Appropriation Language 
Sec. 3. Department of Natural Resources (a)$14,262,000 the first year and $14,603,000 the second year are for state parks, recreation areas, and trails to: (1)Connect people to the outdoors; (2)Acquire land and create opportunities; (3)Maintain existing holdings; and (4)Improve cooperation by coordinating with partners to implement the 25-year long-range parks and trails legacy plan
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$545,000
Fiscal Year(s): 
2012
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2011, First Special Session, Chp. 6, Art. 3, Sec. 3(a) (1)
Appropriation Language 
Sec. 3. Department of Natural Resources (a)$14,262,000 the first year and $14,603,000 the second year are for state parks, recreation areas, and trails to: (1)Connect people to the outdoors; (2)Acquire land and create opportunities; (3)Maintain existing holdings; and (4)Improve cooperation by coordinating with partners to implement the 25-year long-range parks and trails legacy plan
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$545,000
Fiscal Year(s): 
2011
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2009, Chp. 172, Art. 3, Sec. 2 (1)
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$775,000
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 
The first kiosk was installed in August 2010 at the IDS Crystal Court. Subsequently, kiosks were also installed at the Minnesota Zoo, the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (baggage claim area), the Mall of America (near the north entrance to the amusement park), Rosedale Center (food court area), Midtown Global Market. A "traveling" kiosk made its debut at the 2010 Minnesota State Fair and then traveled to the Great Hall at the State Capitol. Our target the first year (FY 11) was to reach at least 10,000 new people that we were not currently reaching through existing communication channels.
Measurable Outcome(s) 
Through June 15, 2011, the kiosks logged 30,064 “unique visits” (our proxy for “new people”), including more than 10,000 views of the pages in other languages (Spanish, Hmong, Somali, Vietnamese, and Russian).
Fiscal Year(s): 
2010
Legal Citation / Subdivision: 
M.L. 2009, Chp. 172, Art. 3, Sec. 2 (1)
Fiscal Year Funding Amount: 
$600,000
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s) 
Another initiative was to establish a new connection point with young children and their parents using a method of receiving information that was highly relevant to them: the Internet. The current DNR website has very little engaging, age-appropriate content for young children, and the new Minnesota State Parks and Trails kids’ website will break new ground for the agency.

Our goal is to create six accessible, multi-lingual, touch-screen kiosks that can reach visitors with information about Minnesota state parks and trails.
Measurable Outcome(s) 
A vendor was selected after an RFP process in FY10, and initial development and programming of the standalone, Flash-based kids’ site has concluded. The site was in beta testing during the period of 01/01/11-06/30/11 and is expected to launch on the public DNR website during winter 2011. After the new site has been publicly announced, we will begin measuring page views and other metrics to track its ongoing success.

We contracted with a Minnesota company to design and build the six touch-screen kiosks according to our specifications. None were installed yet by June 30, 2010 (thus, the quantity of 0 people reached).

Project Manager

Pat
Arndt
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN
55155
651-259-5578