Minnesota State Parks Discontinue Self-Payment Envelope System
State parks and recreation areas across Minnesota are changing how visitors will pay fees.
For years, visitors have been able to use self-payment envelopes for entrance fees and payments on things like firewood and ice. But after reports of attempted break-ins to self-payment stations over the last two years, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources quickly discontinued the option earlier this year.
With this old system gone, officials now hope to have a new one in place before the busy summer season. Visitors will still be able to pay in cash if a station has someone working there during office hours. Other alternatives officials are looking at include online payments or through mobile apps.
These changes are to protect both patrons and employees. By removing the drop boxes, visitors’ personal information will not be as accessible if they pay through checks or credit cards. Park staff will also not be expected to collect money from more secluded areas, making this a safer option.
As state parks have gone through similar changes during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, officials believe attendance will not be affected by these changes. With updates in infrastructure and access to the internet, people will be able to access the MN DNR website to purchase a pass.
Along with online entry fee payments, parks throughout Minnesota like Lake Bemidji State Park are testing out a self check-in notification system for overnight campers.