by Kim Sampson, Range News Now After the nation has voted with more than 13 million votes, Soudan State Park, was voted second place for the Coca Cola “America Is Your Park” contest for a prize of $50,000. The promotion is part of Coca Cola’s “Live Positively” program.
James Pointer, Interpret Supervisor at the Soudan State Park says, “We are just thankful to Coke for doing this. It has been a great program for us, as a Minnesota State Park system, It is very generous of them to continue to do this and promote parks.”
Pointer says that they will be using the money for current and future visitors, but was not sure exactly what it would be yet, since they just found out they won the grant.
Although the mine suffered a big fire in March, the Soudan State Park is still open and accessible to visitors, “People can hike the trails and look around the outside of the buildings and the pits, but the underground tours are closed until further notice.” Pointer says he hopes the mine tours will resume in the spring for school tours.
Last year, Bear Head State Park, near Ely, won first place in this contest with 1.6 million votes. “When you look at Minnesota, our trail system was voted the best trail system in the nation. We’ve got great resources here and we’ve great communities that are supportive of our resources, and that is great to see.” says Pointer.
First place went to Oak Park in Minot, North Dakota. They will receive $100,000 for their park.