Winter in the Twin Ports always leaves behind a mess.  It's not just the sand and debris on the roads, we all know what is left over in your average backyard.

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Even with a pre-winter cleanup after the snow melt, we find leaves, branches, animal waste and more.  Imagine the size of a residential neighborhood backyard and now compare it to a Minnesota State Park.

Winter this year had us experiencing plenty of storms with high winds, and lots of ice.  All of that contributed to a big mess in the picnic grounds area at Jay Cooke State Park.

To aid with the mess, the Park is hosting a volunteer community event where people are incited to help clean up branches and basically make the area accessible for the public.  The cleanup event will be on Saturday, April 29th from 10AM-3PM.

Attendees are asked to bring your own gloves and rakes which I recommend at any of those events as it's nice to have your own stuff.  There is a kicker to this "volunteer" day that does make me shake my head, and that is what it will cost you beyond your time.

I'm all for helping out and being part of community events, but for this day of cleaning up the park keep in mind, you will need to pay for parking.  The State of Minnesota won't be waiving the required state parks vehicle permit but by all means do them a solid and come work for a few hours.  I'm not saying you shouldn't go and support the cause, just don't show up thinking they are only looking for your time and labor.  If you don't have one, you will be need to purchase a parking permit that day.

Volunteers will be meeting at the River Inn Interpretive Center and you can reach out to Kristine Hiller at 218-673-7005 with any questions.

Best Minnesota State Parks To Avoid Big Crowds

While iconic state parks like Itasca, Gooseberry, and Fort Snelling draw massive numbers of visitors each year, there are a lot of awesome state parks and recreation areas around Minnesota that offer fantastic outdoor or camping experiences without the high number of visitors. Give these a look!



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