Launched in 2009, Minnesota 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.
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Currently there are 28 Minnesota GreenCorps members serving at 25 host sites around the state.
2013: Member - Jothsna Harris
Energy Conservation Member hosted by Burnsville Independent School District 191
About me. I graduated from the University of Saint Thomas, in 2001, with a B.A. in both Environmental Studies and Political Science. Since then I have been working in Higher Education with 6 years as a Financial Aid Professional. However, for the last several years I have dreamed of returning to my area of study as an undergraduate. In 2011 I had the unique experience of traveling with my husband and two children (3 and 6 years old at the time) for four months in Italy through the WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) Organization. We worked on two organic farms to learn and help improve sustainable agriculture practices. The experience helped me realize it would be rewarding and worthwhile to follow my passion and transition into an environmental career. I am committed to pursuing a career transition by seeking out opportunities to grow and develop as an environmental professional. As a Minnesota Master Naturalist Volunteer, I have been able to serve in my community in a diverse range of opportunities while gaining valuable skills in the field. I am also currently working towards Master’s degree in the area of Innovation and Sustainability at the University of Minnesota.
About my service. I am excited to serve this year as Minnesota GreenCorps Energy Conservation Member in the Burnsville Independent School District 191. My assignment is to create measureable energy savings in the District through a combination of data analysis, partnering with facilities to identify solutions and also working with the students, staff and faculty to create energy education opportunities. Working with the school community provides a unique opportunity to tap into the wonderful energy of kids and the knowledge of the staff and teachers. I hope to learn about their ideas, inspire collaboration, while helping to create a meaningful and lasting impact.
Why I serve. Serving in the Greencorps is exactly the type of environmental experience I have been hoping to be involved in. Particularly, I am attracted to the strong collaboration between Greencorps members and host sites. I believe such partnerships will be essential for communities to work towards a long-term vision of becoming sustainable and resilient. I am confident that being in a member position with GreenCorps is an excellent opportunity not only to gain valuable training and experience, but also to make as significant an impact in my community as possible.
My favorite place to visit in Minnesota. Ely – YMCA Camp Du Nord is a beautiful, magical place any time of year and is a favorite for our family.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has started to accept applications for the 2014-2015 year of the Minnesota GreenCorps program.
Host site applications are open through May 5. Learn more
Member applications are open through June 6. Learn more
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