2013: Member - Kirstin Taggart

About me. Growing up in a small, rural town of central Minnesota, I was introduced to the outdoors at a very young age. Seeking adventure and more opportunities, I attended the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities to earn my degree in Urban Studies and Sustainability. I enjoy hiking, reading, thrill-seeking and being engaged in my community. Seeing an inherent value in nature is what truly drives my life outside of the formal workplace.

About my service. As a Green Infrastructure – Urban Forestry – member with the city of Hutchinson, I am working to develop species diversification projects for all boulevard trees in the city. The diversification projects are determined by the percentage of species within designated areas of the city. With the threat of emerald ash borer fast approaching, ash trees are the primary target for removal and replacement over the next 10-15 years. Further, public outreach and education on the importance and benefits of a sustainable urban forest are essential to my GreenCorps project.

Why I serve. I believe that in order to build a sustainable Minnesota, we must start locally in our cities and towns. Building local hubs of sustainable economical, political and social activity in towns across Minnesota can then extend into surrounding states. We must think locally in order to protect the environment. Therefore, I choose to serve as a GreenCorps member to give back to the communities of Minnesota so that our state can become the template for sustainability and resiliency.

My favorite place to visit in Minnesota. What almost seems like the edge of the earth — the North Shore. I enjoy the beauty of the Superior Hiking Trail that runs along the northeastern boundary of Minnesota. There is always something to discover in the thick deciduous and coniferous forests that line the Superior Trail.