2013: Member - Joan Van Grinsven

About me. I am originally from Appleton, Wis. I graduated from the College of St. Benedict (St. Joseph, Minn.) with a degree in environmental studies along with a minor in music. Between my junior and senior years of college, I was the animal care and education intern at the Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center in Finland, Minn. In my free time I enjoy playing the flute, spending time in the outdoors, and trying out new recipes in the kitchen.

About my service. I am an Energy Conservation corps member hosted by the city of Lake Crystal. My main goals during my service are tracking energy use in the city's public buildings and finding ways to reduce their energy loads using the Minnesota B3 Benchmarking program. I will also be helping the city continue their progress with the Minnesota GreenStep Cities program by organizing efforts to reduce energy use throughout the community. These efforts include school presentations, creating quarterly energy conservation newsletters, working with the city and local school district to implement more energy-efficient practices, and increasing community participation in the city's available Conservation Improvement Programs (CIP) initiatives.

Why I serve. I was part of a community service organization throughout college which helped me recognize my passion for the work. The Minnesota GreenCorps was the perfect way to meld my passions of environmental issues and serving my community, while at the same time allowing me to return to the beautiful state of Minnesota. My service will also help me gain experience and insight into working in conservation and the public sector, further preparing me for a career in environmental work.

My favorite place to visit in Minnesota. Anywhere on the North Shore, especially the state parks and Grand Marais.