Secretary Salazar Tours Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge, Spotlights Recovery Act Projects, Youth Recreation

Last edited 09/29/2021

BLOOMINGTON, Mn – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today highlighted more than $286,000 in projects at Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge funded under President Obama's economic recovery package that will create jobs and economic growth in Minnesota. Overall, the Department of the Interior is investing more than $11 million across Minnesota in projects in wildlife refuges, national park units, and on tribal lands.

“Under the president's economic recovery package, we are providing good jobs for Minnesotans during these difficult economic times while undertaking important conservation and construction work at the refuge that will make it a better place for both people and wildlife,” Salazar said.

Investment in the Minnesota Valley NWR under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed earlier this year by the president includes $35,000 to replace a deteriorating loading dock at the refuge's headquarters, $151,000 to replace a pedestrian bridge on a popular trail that was washed out by flooding five years ago, and $100,000 to reduce fuel loads in refuge woodlands in partnership with the Minnesota Conservation Corps dedicated to employing youth in the outdoors while gaining life skills..

Salazar also emphasized the many opportunities at the refuge for young people to get outdoors, recreate and learn about nature.

“Because it is so close the city, this beautiful refuge offers parents and families a way to connect with nature and get exercise,” he said. “Every child should have the opportunity to experience a place as special as this.”

The refuge initiated a new environmental education program in 2006 that emphasizes long-term learning for students and their teachers. This initiative provides teachers and students with multidisciplinary, standard-based curriculum that includes hands-on, real-life experiences with plants and wildlife, as well as recreational opportunities to immerse students in nature throughout the seasons. It reaches a wide audience of students with an emphasis on diverse, inner-city youth.

In addition, in September 2008, the refuge opened a second Education and Visitor Center with state-of-the-art facilities focusing on education and getting people out onto the refuge.

Nationwide, the Department of the Interior is investing $3 billion in projects on public lands to stimulate the economy and provide jobs to Americans.

Secretary Salazar has pledged unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability in the implementation of the Department of the Interior's economic recovery projects. The public will be able to follow the progress of each project on the recovery web site and at The website includes an interactive map that enables the public also to follow where and how the department's recovery dollars are being spent.

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