the project

A long term plan in the making

--  Get Out & Play  -- 

 The Pines is a 160 acre forest, own­ed by the city of Gary, located on the northeast corner of High­way 32 and 260th Ave. MnDOT reports over 1400 cars pass it each day. It is located 1/2 mile west, on 260th Ave. & 32, of the Aggasiz Recreational Trail (ART). It was planted in 1942 to help prevent the area from being a dust bowl. In partnership with the community, local organizations and granting bodies interested in the project, the City of Gary is working to design

and im­plement a plan to make the Pines not only sustainable, but a destination place for families, nature lovers, outdoor recreational enthusiasts, etc. to experience na­ture and make lasting memories.

Watching the Bald Eagles take flight on a warm, Sunday afternoon with your children

dare to Imagine

Taking your side by side with friends through the trails in the moonlight

Riding your horse on the trails during the changing of colors in the fall

Did it!

June 16, 2018

Thank you .... thank you to everyone and all the organizations who made this project possible. Time to enjoy the six miles of trails, the art installation of animals created by Andy Lake Woodworks (Scott Petry, artist), the Ninja Course (obstacles) and listen to the birds.

Gary Pines project overview

The 160 acre piece of land was given to Gary by the State of Minnesota in the late 1930's.  The city planted the acreage in pines were planted in 1942 as part of an effort to keep the soil in the area intact. The Gary Pines is undergoing a revolution. The FireWise grant process which includes fire breaks, burying old debris piles etc., got the community thinking... 'This could just be the beginning, phase one... what if we put our energy toward creating a "Get Out & Play" area in the Pines?"  

PHASE 1: FireWise Grant

In 2014, the Pines was logged in conjunction with Minnesota DNR Dept. of Forestry. After the logging, a Fire Wise grant was secured to clean up the debris left behind and to create fire breaks in the forest. It will be completed by July 1, 2017

PHASE 2: Get the plan

Three community workshops were held led by the U of M team including landscape architect Maxwell Dickson and Viraj­ita Singh, the Senior Re­search Fel­low­/Adjunct As­sis­tant Profes­sor of De­sign for Commun­ity Re­sil­ience - Center for Sus­tain­able Build­ing Re­search to capture community ideas and design a master plan. The master plan was completed Dec. 2016.

It is time to "Get Out & Play" while we get to work! More applications for grants will be sent out including the plan. Volunteers for other projects in the pines will be established. In the spring we will get to work! 

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Six miles of trails Gary Pines
Ninja course in the Gary Pines
Location of current & future sites
Thank you to U of M