Park & Recreation Commission

Regular Meetings

  • 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
  • 2nd Thursday of every month
  • County Land Department
  • 1177 LaPrairie Avenue
    Grand Rapids, MN 55744-3322

2023 Members

  • Vacant
    Commissioner District 1
  • Vacant
      Commissioner Dist. 2
  • Vacant
     Commissioner  District 3
  • Vacant
    Commissioner District 4
  • Randy Nash (vice Chair)
    Commissioner District 5
  • Les Ollila (Chair)
     At- Large
  • Sarah Carling 
  • Sherrie Porth 
  • Lynn Moratzka

To submit an application for Committees/Commissions/Boards, click here!


The Park and Recreation Commission was established in 1979 by a forward-minded group of citizens and elected officials in Itasca County. This group saw the need for the coordination of recreation resources throughout the County. The commission membership includes nine citizens who are appointed for three-year terms by the County Board. These nine citizens volunteer their time for monthly meetings and additional committee meetings to help provide direct advice to the County Board and Land Department staff regarding recreation in the County. Ex-officio members include representatives from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the United States Forest Service and others as needed, all of whom are non-voting members. Land Department Staff  who attend the meetings include the Land Commissioner/Park Director or his designee, the Forest Recreation Specialist, and the Park System Manager. The Commission is a direct recreation link to County government. 

Park and Recreation Constitution and By-laws Click here !


To assist and advise the county, townships, and recreation organizations on improvements and the development of existing and new park and recreation facilities and services throughout Itasca County for current and future generations.


To assist and advise recreation organizations, townships, and the county on improvements and the development of existing and new park and recreation facilities and services throughout Itasca County for current and future generations and guided by the following vision (from Park and Recreation Commission Constitution):

  • To serve as an advisory body providing recommendations to the County Board of Commissioners and Park and Recreation Director on matters pertaining to the planning, programming, evaluating, and funding of park and recreation facilities and programs in accordance with Minn. Statutes 398.31 to 398.36.
  • To serve as a coordinating body for the recreation needs of all citizens without regard to ethnic origin, sex, creed, age, or disability. Coordination shall be carried out in response to the expressed needs of local citizens and with the financial and human resources available and under authorities granted by the County Board and applicable statutes.
  • To encourage and promote development of recreation facilities and services when they are in the best interest of local citizens and cannot be adequately or economically provided by the private sector.
  • To recommend priorities, with the advice and assistance of technical advisors, for the development, operation, and maintenance of recreation areas, facilities, and programs.
  • To work together with public land managers to insure appropriate measures are taken in resource management plans to provide recreation opportunities.

Please contact the Land Department at 218-327-2855 for a list of the meeting dates and locations or to speak with a staff member.