2017: Member - Shane Omersa

2017 Minnesota GreenCorps member Shane OmersaAbout me. After completing my bachelor’s degree in the spring 2016 at the University of Minnesota – Duluth, I wasn’t sure what the next move was going to be, but I knew I wanted to be in a position where I could make a difference, while continuing to build my skills and broaden my experiences. Interests related to the environment and sustainability have come together in my work as part of the Minnesota GreenCorps program. Now in my second term with the MN GreenCorps program, and being at the same host site, I am able to expand on the earlier efforts. Without much experience in my topic area to begin with, I have been in a unique position to dive into a new field to me, gaining skills and building upon them over the 2 years of being in the program. I also enjoy hiking and being outside, so I’m happy to be in a position where I can get out and engage in my surroundings.

About my service. Under the Urban Forestry track, I am assisting the Tree Advisory Commission of the city of New Ulm with a number of tree-related goals. The primary goal has been to develop an inventory of trees in city parks and boulevards. Progress was made in my first term with the help of a dedicated group of volunteers, inventorying a set number of parks and starting on the boulevards. The inventory will aid in developing an urban forestry management plan for the city, as well as plans for handling invasive pests, such as the Emerald Ash Borer. This year, I hope to make great strides in inventorying the boulevards and using it to begin developing these plans.

Why I serve. I think the value of the MN GreenCorps is that the program matches dedicated individuals and communities who share common interests in protecting the environment and promoting sustainability, where otherwise such connections may not take place. As a member, you can be a catalyst to start something new or build upon efforts already taken. You are able to help communities achieve their goals, or leave them in a better stance to meet those goals and continue further.

My favorite place in Minnesota. I would have to say the whole North Shore. It’s always a pleasure going up along Lake Superior and taking the time to stop to check out the parks and trails along the way.