Did you know that trees are like nature's superheroes? They clean the air, purify water, provide food and shelter, and even help reduce stress. On a hot, humid summer day, nothing beats the cool shade of a tree!

Minnesota's Forests at a Glance:

• About 33% of Minnesota is covered in forests, which are home to 53 native tree species.

• Some of these trees are part of ancient old-growth forests, a treasure trove of biodiversity and natural beauty.

A Walk Through History: Before European settlement, Minnesota was rich with forests. Today, only a small fraction of these old-growth forests remain due to logging and the need for long periods without disturbances for these forests to thrive. These ancient forests are crucial for:

• Unique Habitats: They provide homes for native plants and animals.

• Climate Change Mitigation: They store large amounts of carbon.

• Recreation and Culture: They offer wonderful places for outdoor activities and cultural experiences.

Protecting Our Green Heritage: Thanks to the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (ENTRF), the DNR is managing approximately 93,000 acres of old-growth forests with the help of lottery dollars. This effort involves protecting these precious areas from timber harvest and other disturbances.

Using cost-effective aerial imagery, the DNR is gathering data to learn more about the condition and distribution of these forests. This information helps policy makers protect these valuable ecosystems and keeps the public informed about old-growth forests they can visit.

Play and Preserve: Every time you play the lottery, a portion of your dollar goes towards amazing projects that make Minnesota an even better place to live. Your support helps protect Minnesota's old-growth forests, ensuring they remain a vibrant part of our environment. You can find more about these lottery-funded projects here.

So, next time you buy a lottery ticket, remember, you’re not just playing for a good time—you’re contributing to the preservation of Minnesota’s natural wonders.