Willmar to apply for DNR grant to fund trailhead improvements near Civic Center – West Central Tribune

WILLMAR – The City of Willmar is appealing to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for assistance in making important and needed improvements to the trailhead near the Willmar Civic Center. The trailhead is the starting point for three trails – Glacial Lakes State Trail, Willmar Trail, and Eagle Lake Trail.

Although the trails themselves have been updated and maintained over the years, not much has been done to the trailhead.

“It’s basically a gravel car park,” Rob Baumgarn, Willmar’s parks and recreation manager, said at Monday’s meeting of Willmar City Council. “There are no amenities there.”

Baumgarn requested council’s permission to apply for a regional trail grant from MNR. The request will be for $150,000 to finance the construction of toilets, a shelter and additional parking. The city will invest an additional $50,000 in the project, bringing the total to $200,000.

The Board gave its unanimous approval to the application without comment.

“It’s a great trail to do,” Baumgarn said.

Baumgarn had discussions with the DNR about the proposed project and he said they understood the need for the improvements. The grant application is due March 31, according to the DNR website, and grant announcements are expected to take place this summer. Baumgarn said he didn’t expect all the improvements to come quickly.

“It will probably take a few years to get there,” Baumgarn said.

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