Freshwater hosts event to showcase ten years of Legacy Amendment

On February 6, Freshwater hosted a special event to commemorate ten years of legacy amendment funding in Minnesota. Elected officials and representatives of each of the four funds gathered at the Minnesota History Center to network, hear from speakers, and pick up a report recently published by Freshwater that documents the impact of Legacy funds ten years in.

Freshwater held the event to elevate the success stories of Legacy funds and help the public and elected officials see that the funds are working. Hundreds gathered to hear from speakers from each of the four funds share impact stories from across the state. Over 18,000 projects have been completed so far. That’s hundreds of communities enhanced and countless benefits for Minnesota.

The event and publication were made possible through a grant from the McKnight Foundation. Freshwater is a McKnight grantee for our clean water work and efforts along the Mississippi River corridor. (Minnesota is a headwaters state; virtually all water in Minnesota flows into the Mississippi River Watershed and down to the Gulf of Mexico.)

About the Legacy Amendment

In 2008, Minnesota’s voters passed the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment (Legacy Amendment) to the Minnesota Constitution to: protect drinking water sources; to protect, enhance, and restore wetlands, prairies, forests, and fish, game, and wildlife habitat; to preserve arts and cultural heritage; to support parks and trails; and to protect, enhance, and restore lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater. The Legacy Amendment increases the state sales tax by three-eighths of one percent beginning on July 1, 2009 and continuing until 2034. The additional sales tax revenue is distributed into four funds as follows: 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.

See photos from the event on Facebook.

Check out a map of legacy projects in your area.

Read a summary report of the Legacy Amendment’s impact.

Freshwater would like to thank the following people and organizations who made the event and summary report possible:

  • Bob Bierscheid, Parks and Trails Council of Minnesota
  • Stephanie Devitt, McKnight/SDK Communications
  • Joe Duggan, Pheasants Forever, Minnesota Deer Hunters Association
  • Judy Erickson, Conservation Strategies
  • Mike Harley, Environmental Initiative
  • David Kelliher, Minnesota Historical Society
  • Steve Morse, Minnesota Environmental Partnership
  • Stephanie Pinkalla, The Nature Conservancy
  • Wayne Sames, Legacy Parks and Trails Advisory Committee
  • Sheila Smith, Minnesota Citizens for the Arts
  • Emily Green, Communications Consultant