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Gift idea features state park permit

It validates entry to 72 state parks and recreation areas around the state and is valid for an entire year! What is it? It's the Minnesota state park annual permit, a holiday gift idea from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

The permit purchased this holiday season also comes with a gift enclosure card and guide to Minnesota state parks.

The winter events are just the beginning of a year's worth of fun and interesting programs opportunities at Minnesota state parks. To manage all the activity, Arndt suggests that shoppers consider picking up the 2008 Minnesota State Parks calendar, which makes a great stocking stuffer or companion gift to the annual permit. The calendar sells for $12.95 and includes special features like historical photos and information from state parks as a salute to Minnesota's 150th year of statehood being commemorated in 2008. The calendar also is available at the Minnesota's Bookstore and the Minnesota History Center Museum Store in St. Paul.

Minnesota state park's annual permits are available at any state park, at REI outdoor recreation stores in Bloomington, Maple Grove and Roseville, the License Center in the DNR building, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul or by calling the DNR Information Center at (651) 296-6157 or toll-free 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367).

Nature stores located in Minnesota state parks also stock additional nature-related gifts for the holidays including the 2008 Minnesota state parks calendar, the collectible Minnesota state park mug that features the same design as the permit, t-shirts and memberships in the state park Hiking Club and Passport Club.

For information on sales locations or to order, contact the DNR Information Center from 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday toll-free at 1-888-MINNDNR (646-6367). Visa, MasterCard, check and money orders are accepted.