2015: Member - Erika Van Krevelen

2015 member: Erika Van KrevelenAbout me. Having lived in a number of different Twin Cities suburbs growing up, one of my favorite things to do was roam around and discover all of what my neighborhood had to offer. I spent most of my waking hours outside, and had to be dragged in at the end of the day under the glow of streetlights. It was clear early on that I loved the outdoors and I knew that I wanted to incorporate the natural world in my work, which brought me to attend Hennepin Tech where I graduated with an AAS in Landscape and Horticulture. I continue to love being outdoors, where I enjoy biking, exploring the woods, geocaching, and best of all, now that I don’t have a curfew, I can stay outside as long as I want.

About my service. I am serving at the city of Fridley in the Green Infrastructure—Urban Forestry track. My work here involves projects that raise awareness of how vital trees are to a city’s infrastructure, and subsequently, the hugely negative impact that losing trees will have. These projects include creating a response plan to address the imminent threat of Emerald Ash Borer as part of a larger Urban Forestry Plan, updating the municipal tree inventory, and helping Fridley become certified as a Tree City, USA community by assembling a tree board and planning an Arbor Day event. I will also be working with community partners to provide outreach to Fridley residents, businesses, and schools so that we can work together to protect and grow our urban forest.

Why I serve. I have known for a long time that I want my work to include two things: working with nature, and making a difference. My service with MN GreenCorps satisfies both of these, while also providing me with the opportunity to gain valuable work experience, develop professionally, and continue learning—not only in a professional sense, but also about myself. I am discovering the kind of work that I enjoy doing most, and the MN GreenCorps program has helped illuminate career paths I can take after my service is complete. It is gratifying to know that the work I am doing as a MN GreenCorps member will have a lasting impact on the community, the environment, and on my own personal growth.

My favorite place to visit in Minnesota. When it comes to my favorite place to visit in Minnesota, an easy favorite for me would be the North Shore. With all of the outdoor recreation it offers, you can never run out of things to do. Whether it’s camping in a state park, hiking to a hidden waterfall, combing the beaches for agates, or just enjoying the breathtaking views of Lake Superior, the North Shore is one of those places that I’ll never get tired of visiting.