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Rick

OutdoorMN News - Stressed out? Visit a state park on Veterans Day and unwind with nature

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Rick

It’s no secret that nature helps sooth a troubled mind. Consider spending an afternoon at a state park with a veteran this Veterans Day where the “awe” factor increases as the stress level decreases.

“A state park visit can provide a healthy dose of nature therapy,” said Erika Rivers, director of Minnesota State Park and Trails. “All park visitors benefit from time outdoors and for those exposed to a lot of stress, the benefits can be especially acute.”

Free year-round vehicle permits, providing unlimited access to all 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas, are now available to:

  • active military personnel in any branch or unit of the United States Armed Forces.
  • veterans with a service-related disability.

These benefits were approved by Minnesota lawmakers in 2017.

Studies done by the Warrior Institute, Outward Bound, Sierra Club and others show that outdoor recreation enhances emotional, physical and physiological well-being.  Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the leading injury for American veterans. An estimated 30 percent of Vietnam War veterans have had PTSD in their lifetime, and 20 percent of veterans who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom have PTSD in a given year, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. It is estimated that less than 30 percent of veterans with mental health issues, however, will seek help.

“People generally find it difficult to seek help for mental health issues,” said Jodi Dehn, who is the DNR Yellow Ribbon Program Military Outreach Representative.

An antidote to trauma can start with something as simple as more time spent outdoors. “The cost is minimal but the effect can be substantial,” she said. The Yellow Ribbon Program designation acknowledges companies and agencies with exceptional and ongoing records of caring, commitment and compassion for military members and their families.

Special programs taking place at Minnesota state parks on or near Veterans Day include:

  • Whitewater’s German POW Camp, 7-8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, at Whitewater State Park (near Winona). Whitewater State Park once served as a prison to World War II Prisoners of War. This presentation explains how they got there, where they went later, and what life was like at the camp. For more information, call 507-312-2300.
  • Veterans in the Vicinity, 11 a.m.-noon, Sunday, Nov. 11, at Sibley State Park (New London). The land at and near Sibley State Park was a site of conflict during the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. Join a naturalist on Veteran’s Day to remember and honor all veterans with ties to West Central Minnesota and Sibley State Park. Meet at the Lakeview Campground. For more information, call 320-354-2055.

To see all licenses, permits and passes that are available to military personnel and veterans, and the form of identification that an individual needs to show, visit www.mndnr.gov.

 The DNR is recognized as a Yellow Ribbon Company for its support of active and retired military personnel and their families.

For more information, contact the DNR Information Center at [email protected] or 888-646-6367 (8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday).

 

 

Discuss below - to view set the hook here.

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • J.D.
      Could we still put a boat in somewhere?
    • mrpike1973
      I will check out Pearl this weekend I can only hope Arvilla by Dassel 2 inches ice but the weather not to favorable
    • Wanderer
      I started a thread on HSO too but might get a little more input here?     Anyone got plans for the season?  Anything new or anyplace new you’ve been waiting to try?   Well, I finally practiced with the Blackhorn and 209As.  Seems like the combo lives up to its reputation.     Only question now is: Will I use it this season???  Seems like a dumb question but I’m not feeling short on venison and have been hunting every weekend since September 22nd, ‘cept last weekend.  Felt kinda good sleepin’ in for a change.    The SIL might have some private ground for us to try so that could play into the motivation factor big time.   So, yeah, I guess that’s 2 new potential things to look forward to.
    • fish_time
      Grab a Kleenex. 😢Its the bitter sweet end of summer. Its time to put the boat away as ice fishing season approaches. I'm joined by James and Joel and get a great interview from both of them. I think they are ready for ice fishing! Get outdoors and enjoy it with the ones you love the most. Be AWESOME everyone.
    • Troy Smutka
      11/11/18     Winter rolled in early last week. Lots of ducks blew through central MN during the week with the small water freezing up. We got in a good hunt on a large, shallow central MN lake as the migration was happening. Many of the larger lakes in central MN froze up with the single digit lows Saturday morning. We broke some ice at the landing of a large, deep lake and boated through some ice to get out to the otherwise open lake to hunt a main lake point. My son, Dad, and I managed five ducks, though we mostly saw swans, common mergansers, goldeneyes, and buffleheads. My son wanted one nice drake bufflehead, so we took that as our fifth duck. Not sure if any water is going to be open after another night in single digits this upcoming week, but we will check it out this weekend. If not, we will be onto field hunting as a lot of mallards and geese hang out on a river in the area we hunt. Good luck, be safe, stay warm, and I will see you out there somewhere.  
    • 1968
      How about a good old fashioned polaroid camera to populate your board? 
    • 1968
      https://hotspotoutdoors.com/forums/topic/182471-such-a-tease/
    • Fishing Frenzy
      Update: Grand Lake is froze over as far as I could tell. Someone walked out and drilled a couple holes on Pearl. Did not go out and look how much ice. And Goodner is completely froze there was also a hole made with a chisel. Saw the block of ice on top of the ice. (Looked to me from shore to be 3-4 inch thick, don’t take my word it’s just a guess from what I saw.)
    • dave79
      Has anyone ever fished these lake? Tamarack..Grace..etc.  DNR site looks decent for these, but I heard that some of those lakes out there get some “unexpected” visitors? Trible controlled areas?   Just curious on access of these and whatever other info anyone has.     Thank you
    • AlwaysFishing23
      I wish we didn’t have the warmer temps forecasted for the next week or so. If it was like it’s been the last few days with at night a few degrees below zero and in the low 20s during the day. But nope it’ll be sometime Before even the smaller bodies of water are “safe”. I really wanted to get out this Saturday but looks like that won’t happen. But maybe the saterday after thanksgiving I’m hoping may work out. I hate this time of year having to wait but that’s how it goes!