2013: Member - Melinda Kawalek

About me. I graduated in 2013 from the University of Minnesota – Morris with majors in environmental studies and political science and a minor in French. In addition to my interest in environmental work, I enjoy canoeing, cooking, baking, canning, trading-card games like Magic the Gathering, video games, and table-top RPGs.

About my service. As a living green member, my workplan allows me to work on several broad issue areas, including waste prevention and recycling, energy and water conservation, and urban forestry. My goals are to increase the recycling rate, decrease plastic bag litter, install energy- and water-saving devices in community hotels and apartments, increase the number of Marshall GreenStep Businesses, and help Marshall to become a Tree City USA. I have done additional work updating the city's B3 database, which tracks the energy and water use for public buildings, so that opportunities to retrofit buildings can be identified. Through my service, I will be partnering with the GreenStep Committee, Marshall Public Schools, Southwest Minnesota State University, the City of Marshall offices (including the Community Services and Public Works Departments), Lyon County Public Works, Marshall Municipal Utilities, and local businesses).

Why I serve. I am lucky to have been instilled with the value of environmental protection at a young age, and I chose my college majors to reflect this. While in college, I was exposed to the GreenCorps program during my first job publicizing a solar-thermal installation through the Center for Small Towns. The GreenCorps members on campus did very impressive work, and I set a goal to someday join them.

My favorite place to visit in Minnesota. Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.