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Minnesota GreenCorps


Launched in 2009, Minnesota GreenCorpsMinnesota GreenCorps is a statewide program to help preserve and protect Minnesota’s environment while training a new generation of environmental professionals. This program places AmeriCorps members with local governments, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations around Minnesota, where they will serve for 11 months on focused environmental projects. The program is coordinated by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Minnesota GreenCorps is an AmeriCorps program. Funding is provided through a grant from ServeMinnesota and the Corporation for National and Community Service.


Including the current program year, more than 75 AmeriCorps members have served with 46 organizations across the state. Former and current host site organizations include cities, counties, public schools, universities, watershed districts, and non-profit organizations.

Some results from the first two years of the program include:

  • More than 20,000 community members engaged or educated by Minnesota GreenCorps members
  • 11-57 percent increase in recycling at participating schools
  • 48,187 trees inventoried
  • 397,296 kWh avoided
  • More than 90 green practices and technologies implemented by participating sites and partners

In the first two years of the program, our members have mobilized over 2,600 community volunteers on service projects around the state, including assistance with environmental fairs, community cleanups, waste sorts, tree inventory/citizen foresters, invasive species removal, tree plantings, gardening, rain garden building.

For more information

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Member spotlight

Currently there are 28 Minnesota GreenCorps members serving at 25 host sites around the state.

2013: Member - Katelyn Larsen

Hosted by Recycling Association of Minnesota

2013 GreenCorps member: Katelyn Larsen

About me. I first became interested in environmental issues after taking a few classes in college. Of course, I was always a fan of nature and being outside, but I didn’t start to really care about the world I was living in until college. After taking a few courses that discussed water rights and other environmental issues, I decided to pick up an environmental studies minor to fully engage myself in the subject. I traveled to Yellowstone National Park with a group of students from an environmental policy class, and that further solidified my interest in environmental policy. However, I wasn’t satisfied by only getting a minor in environmental studies. I wanted more. Much more. So, I decided to pursue a master’s degree in the subject, focusing on policy and planning. This path of life took me all the way up to Bemidji, where I met lots of other students and faculty passionate about the environment. It also led me to my current position as a GreenCorps member, which has been completely satisfying thus far.

About my service. I serve for the Recycling Association of Minnesota, which is an organization dedicated to promoting resource conservation through waste prevention, reuse, recycling, composting, and purchasing practices. During my project term, my main focus is on making carton recycling possible in Becker, Douglas, and Otter Tail counties. Within these counties, there are several interested schools and organizations wanting to recycle cartons, but the infrastructure in their areas is not currently set up. Within the target area, there are a few schools and businesses that have Waste Management as their hauler, so their recycling is already going to the metro area, which already has the infrastructure set up to recycle cartons. Although I will be helping to ensure the entire target area receives the infrastructure for carton recycling, I will be focusing on the schools and businesses that already have infrastructure in place. In addition to helping organizations with carton recycling, I am also working on education and outreach for Minnesota.

Why I serve. I joined the Minnesota GreenCorps in order to gain experience in the environmental field and network with professionals. After completing my master’s degree,one of my thesis committee members recommended that I look into the GreenCorps program, especially since my thesis was on the topic of waste prevention and recycling, a core area of the program. After researching what the GreenCorps program was about, I decided it sounded like a great way to gain experience in the field and network with professionals in the field. I’m hoping that by serving in this program, it will open some doors for future job opportunities.

My favorite place to visit in Minnesota. Dorset. If you haven’t heard of Dorset, Minn., I’m not surprised. It’s a small town halfway between Park Rapids and Nevis and only operates during the tourist season. Even though it shuts down for the majority of the year, it’s always full of people when the businesses are open. Known as the restaurant capital of the world, it’s home to one of my favorite restaurants: La Pasta. When I was attending school in Bemidji, I would frequently bring people down to Dorset or meet people there just to go to La Pasta. In northern Minnesota, Italian food doesn’t get much better than that. Not to mention that the town was run by Bobby Tufts, the world’s cutest three-year-old mayor for a year. Between La Pasta, the unique mayoral race, and some of Minnesota’s finest ice cream, it doesn’t get much better than a summer afternoon spent in Dorset.

Read more member features.


The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has started to accept applications for the 2014-2015 year of the Minnesota GreenCorps program.

Minnesota GreenCorps

Host site applications are open through May 5. Learn more

Member applications are open through June 6. Learn more

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Last modified on April 11, 2014 16:39