Minnesota Recreational Use

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Communities with limited access to public recreational space are exploring opportunities to develop partnerships with schools for the use of school property to promote physical activity in the community. Access to safe, affordable and convenient recreational facilities is critical in order to promote active lifestyles and prevent a range of health problems, including obesity. The benefits can also extend beyond health. By becoming a community gathering space, schools can garner more support and involvement from residents. Residents themselves can benefit from the interaction, cohesion and sense of community that shared spaces provide. In short, facility use policies and agreements hold great potential as a strategy for creating vibrant, healthy communities that benefit many local stakeholders in a variety of important ways.

This set of resources identifies liability issues, risk management strategies and available resources for Minnesota schools allowing community recreational use of school property.  These resources were developed with funding from the CDC’s Community Transformation Grant initiative and a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Active Living Research grant (#69554).


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Promoting Community Use of School Facilities in Minnesota (2016)

This resource outlines strategies and best practices that can be used to overcome barriers and promote community use of school facilities in Minnesota.

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Community Recreational Use of School Property: Why is it Important?

This resource defines recreational use and identifies reasons that schools should allow community use of school property.


Making the Case for Community Recreational Use of School Property

This fact sheet outlines the most relevant research identifying why community recreational use is a good strategy to increase physical activity and community health, while providing community support for schools.

Liability Exposure for Schools

This resources outlines liability protections and risk management strategies for schools who allow community recreational use of school property.

Minnesota Schools’ New Immunity What Does it Mean?

This resource outlines the 2012 Minnesota Legislature that created a new immunity limiting school district liability for recreational activities on school properties.

Minnesota School District Facility Use Checklist

This checklist identifies ways to improve existing Minnesota school board policies, rules and regulations relating to recreational use of school property, as well as to update facilities use forms, contracts and agreements to incorporate new liability protections and best practices.

Using Waivers and Releases for Activities on School Property

This resource identifies how waivers and releases can be used as part of a comprehensive risk management strategy for liability relating to recreational activities.

Minnesota’s Joint Powers Law and What it Means for Recreational Use

This fact sheet provides an overview of intergovernmental collaboration in Minnesota.

Damage Caps and Insurance Requirements for Schools in Minnesota

This resource outlines Minnesota statutory damage cap laws and how these limit how much someone can recover from a municipality.

How to Pay for Recreational Use of School Property in Minnesota

This resource lists highlights various grant opportunities, many specific to Minnesota, that could potentially be used to fund shared use initiatives.