Contact: Lauren Lewandowski, 612-270-9615
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is now accepting applications from recent college graduates interested in launching environmental careers by becoming Minnesota GreenCorps members. This AmeriCorps program, coordinated by the MPCA, matches real-world opportunities with young professionals interested in environmental protection, energy conservation and efficiency, urban planning, or other related areas. Members are paid to advance specific environmental initiatives while also gaining valuable work experience.
Fifty Minnesota GreenCorps projects for the upcoming 2021-2022 program year will place members at host sites around the state to assist communities in addressing a wide variety of needs, including:
- Reducing solid waste reduction and increase recycling in Minnesota communities
- Reducing greenhouse gases (GHG) and other air pollutants
- Reducing water runoff and improvement of water quality
- Motivating community members to take eco-friendly actions
- Increasing community resilience and building local capacity to respond to the threats of climate change
Members serve at their host sites for 11 months, from mid-September 2021 through mid-August 2022.
Air pollutant reduction: The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe will provide a GreenCorps member the opportunity to implement sustainability goals focused on energy efficiency and renewable energies to further Leech Lake's reputation as leaders in energy conservation.
Green infrastructure improvements: Aitkin and North St. Louis Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) are first-time host sites with projects to inventory and assess forests and shorelines, implement stormwater pollution prevention, and invasive species management best practices. Crow Wing and Mower SWCDs will also host MN GreenCorps members in Brainerd and Austin, respectively, focusing on chloride reduction, stormwater best management practices, and community engagement in the Root, Zumbro, and Cedar Watersheds.
Waste reduction, recycling, and organics management: Projects include food rescue support at organizations including Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf, Second Harvest Northern Lakes Food Bank, and Loaves and Fishes. Additional projects also include educating on food prevention, increasing recycling opportunities at multifamily housing units, and expanding access to organics recycling. A Minnesota GreenCorps member will also support the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs with efforts to reduce waste at their facilities and update sustainable purchasing practices.
Community readiness and outreach: These opportunities include assisting The Welcome Place in Pelican Rapids with establishing a full-time farmer's market in the community; working with Grandma's Marathon in Duluth to reduce waste and minimize environmental impact from special events; and climate action initiatives between Concordia College and the City of Moorhead.
Since the start of the program in 2009, more than 350 Minnesota GreenCorps members have served at more than 200 organizations, supporting communities across the state.
Praise from a previous host site: “We are proud to be a part of MN GreenCorps, not only as a host site, but more importantly in our ability to help shape the future of MN GreenCorps members and open their eyes to Tribal environmental work,” says Brandy Toft, environmental deputy director for the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. “This is paid back to Leech Lake in full with their work on impactful projects that benefit the tribe and its resources.”