Bonding bill yields legislation related to veterans
5 Nov 2020
Minnesota Military Museum
• $13 million for the new Minnesota Military Museum at Camp Ripley.
The funds go toward acquiring land and to design, construct and equip a site for the Minnesota Military Museum outside Camp Ripley. The museum presently occupies space inside a building at the camp. This limits its ability to grow its collection.
“This new museum will be a focal point for the Minnesotans who have served in all branches of the armed forces,” said Randal Dietrich, executive director of the Museum. “The bipartisan support in both the House and Senate was crafted with the leadership of local district Rep. Ron Kresha, House Veterans and Military Affairs Finance and Policy Division Committee Chair Rep. Rob Ecklund and committee member Rep. Bob Dettmer.”
The new site is on 32 acres at the junction of highways 371 and 115. The new museum is to cover 40,000 square feet and open in spring 2023. A full story in the April 2020 issue showed renderings and spelled out plans.
The cost of construction, moving and outdoor elements totals $16 million. The KAHR Foundation has donated $3 million to get the ball rolling, and the museum seeks another $5 million for additional tools and technology to share veterans’ stories.
The architectural rendering shows the proposed parade grounds with mobile artifacts nearby, such as Humvees and tanks. The Minnesota Military Museum, in addition to exhibits, would offer space for reunions, meetings, and other functions.
• $1 million for construction of the Camp Ripley Veterans State Trail. This DNR trail honors vets. The plan calls for 32 miles of paved trail in the Little Falls area to connect other state trails, resulting in a 500-mile network.