2013: Member - Maria DeLaundreau

Maria DLaundreau

About me. I recently graduated from Lawrence University (Appleton, Wis.) where I majored in biology, with a focus on plant ecology, and minored in environmental studies and Spanish. While I was a student at Lawrence I interned for two summers with Audubon doing conservation-focused outreach aimed at helping private landowners fully appreciate the ecological value of their bottomland forests, and working with them to develop bottomland forest management plans. I am excited to be back in my hometown of Saint Paul and appreciate the opportunity to work on supporting the bottomland forests here in the Twin Cities.

About my service. I am a Green Infrastructure Member hosted by the Mississippi River Fund, the non-profit partner of the Park Service's Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MNRRA). My main focus is investigating what we can do to restore cottonwood trees to the floodplain of the MNRRA. This area has old cottonwood trees, but no young seedlings or saplings. This is a problem because cottonwood trees actually restructure the floodplain by reducing erosion, enhancing aquatic habitat, and facilitating the growth of floodplain forests. By planting young cottonwoods we will be able to benefit from this species well into the future.

Why I serve. I have always valued community service and involvement. I am also passionate about ecology and the environment, so serving with Minnesota GreenCorps was a perfect fit for me. Through GreenCorps I get to immerse myself in the local environmental scene, learn more about what needs to be done, acquire the skills and connections necessary to address those needs, and then actually make a difference.

My favorite place to visit in Minnesota. The north shore. In Duluth, I enjoy hearing the warning sounds alerting you that the Lift Bridge is in action and watching the huge freighters slide through the water arriving from or going to destinations around the world. I also love sailing on Lake Superior, preferably to the different parks on the north shore. This whole area just gives you an incredible appreciation for nature and the outdoors.