The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) says its mission "is to work with Minnesotans to conserve and manage the state's natural resources, to provide outdoor recreation opportunities, and to provide for commercial uses of natural resources in a way that creates a sustainable quality of life."

I think it's safe to say they do an amazing job. Our lakes, rivers, state parks, and trails are some of the best in the country and Minnesota consistently ranks as one of the best states for outdoor fun.

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The DNR works to create "a healthy, sustainable, and livable Minnesota for you" by maintaining the land and water and protecting and caring for our fish and wildlife. Check out the most popular state parks at the bottom of this story to see if your favorite made the list.

These officers are oftentimes underappreciated but deserve a lot of recognition for the work they do. Minnesotans enjoy some of the best public outdoor recreational opportunities in the country like hunting, fishing, skiing, hiking, biking, and camping because of the work done by the DNR.

Now, thanks to a generous gift from the University of Minnesota, the Department of Natural Resources will be better equipped to save human lives.

U of M Shocks Minnesota DNR with Incredible Gift

DNR Staff
Deborah Rose

The University of Minnesota Medical School just gifted the DNR with 200 AEDs and officers will receive training on how to use the machines to help anyone suffering cardiac arrest.

AEDs are used to deliver a shock to restore a normal heartbeat and drastically increase cardiac arrest survival rates.

The donation was made possible by an $18 million grant from the Helmsley Charitable Trust which was set up to provide these life-saving machines to law enforcement and first responders around the state.

Dr. Demetris Yannopoulos, director of the Center for Resuscitation Medicine at the U of M Medical School, said these tools will save lives:

“Defibrillators are one of the few known lifesaving technologies in cardiac arrest. We anticipate that hundreds of lives will be saved in the next few years by this effort. We are very grateful to the Helmsley Charitable Trust for their continuing trust and support in our center and state.”

Most Visited State Parks In Minnesota: Is Your Favorite in the List?

Minnesota has 75 beautiful state parks. The parks have an average of 9,700,000 visitors each year. Interestingly enough, nearly 19% of park visitors come from other states and countries, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Now, my favorite State Park is Jay Cooke in Carlton, MN, but it did not break into the top 5.