2015: Member - Eric Wilson

2015 member: Eric WilsonAbout me. I grew up in northwestern Iowa in a small town surrounded by bluffs and farmland near the Missouri River.  Shortly after high school I moved to southern California, where I graduated with my BA in Sociology from Vanguard University. I spent some years working at non-profits, and then served in the Peace Corps in Costa Rica as a Youth Development Volunteer from 2012 to 2015.  The experience of doing community development and living amongst indigenous peoples got me interested in efforts that transform the food system into a catalyst for social and economic development, environmental stewardship, and youth empowerment.

About my service. I am a Green Infrastructure (Local Foods) Member at Cleveland Neighborhood Association (CNA), a community development organization that serves North Minneapolis residents. The Cleveland Neighborhood Garden is among the many programs that CNA manages.  My service focuses on the management of this garden, as well as related environmental outreach projects, such as recycling education, composting, water conservation, and farm-to-table economic opportunities. 

Why I serve. It was during the end of my Peace Corps service when I found out about MN GreenCorps. I was looking at a number of opportunities to transition back to life in the U.S., but nothing else caught my attention like GreenCorps.  After living abroad for 3 years, I really wanted to take what I learned both personally and professionally and apply it to life here, which meant a career shift for me, and MN GreenCorps gives me professional opportunities and supports me with the knowledge I’m in need of in order to successfully transition to a profession around environmental development and sustainability, as well the farm-to-table movement.  It’s also a great networking platform, which, being new to the Twin Cities, is extremely important and beneficial.

My favorite place to visit in Minnesota. I moved to Minneapolis in order to do the GreenCorps program, so I haven’t had much of an opportunity to get to know any of the rest of the state.  I can say that so far I’m a big fan of Minneapolis and St. Paul, and really like just getting out and exploring the cities.