The handiwork of a Coon Rapids woman has been chosen to appear on a new license plate that will benefit Minnesota state parks and trails.

The image by Michelle Vesaas was selected from 80 entries submitted earlier this year as part of a contest to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the state's parks and trails.

Featuring an image of a canoe in the water and surrounded by Minnesota's four seasons, the plate will be available for $60 plus tax starting Dec. 1 at Driver and Vehicle Services offices statewide. The plates come with a minimum $50 annual renewal fee.

"Purchasing the new license plates will be a great way to show everyone on the road that you 'go the extra mile' to support Minnesota state parks and trails," said DNR Parks and Trails Division Director Erika Rivers.

Plates provide vehicle owners with unlimited access to all 75 Minnesota state parks and recreation areas for the year, replacing the need for a vehicle permit (a $25 value). Proceeds from license plate sales will benefit Minnesota state parks and trails.

This plate is one of several specialty license plates available from the DNR. There also are nine critical habitat designs for purchase by Minnesotans, including a loon, moose, deer and other symbols to support conservation.

Critical habitat plates debuted in 1995 to provide an opportunity for citizens to contribute a nominal amount to conservation of Minnesota's natural resources and show their commitment and individuality with a special vehicle license plate, the DNR said.

Tim Harlow • 612-673-7768