2017: Member - Zach Bigaouette

2017 Minnesota GreenCorps member Zach BigaouetteAbout me. Although I have always had an appreciation and love for nature and being outside it was not until recently that I have turned this appreciation into a career path. When I began my undergraduate studies to attain my Psychology degree at Saint John’s University I had the intentions of entering the field of mental healthcare, until taking an Environmental Psychology class in my senior year of attending SJU. It was in this class that I was alerted to the distressing state our environment is in and how as a society just how unsustainable our behaviors and habits are. I graduated from Saint John’s with a degree in Psychology as well as a minor in Sociology and am now wholeheartedly devoted to attempting to discover why our society behaves unsustainably and in what ways we can reduce and correct these behaviors.

About my service. I am a member of the Local Foods track serving at Spark-Y, a local non-profit that partners with 15 schools (K-12) throughout the Twin Cities and serves roughly 1500 youth annually. Spark-Y focuses on educating and empowering youth through hands-on learning experiences that center around sustainability and entrepreneurship. In this role, I serve as an education facilitator and local food specialist, promoting sustainability and educating students within these school programs by using hands-on agricultural systems such as: aquaponics systems, urban farms, and vermicomposting systems. I also assist in leading tours of our facility and Urban Agriculture Lab geared towards educating the general public about the fundamentals, sustainability, and benefits of using aquaponics for growing food.

Why I serve. I have an intense interest in why society behaves the way it does and in what ways can we change our behaviors to become more sustainable. I believe that the first step is through raising awareness towards environmental issues and informing the community on how to act sustainably. Through MN GreenCorps, I am able to not only gain experience in doing this, but I am able to learn about sustainable behaviors and programs I would have never even heard of available to the general public.

My favorite place to visit in Minnesota. As a self-proclaimed outdoorsman and avid camper, I will always hold Ely and the Boundary Waters near and dear to my heart. Good or bad, rain or shine, the BWCA is always the place to go for a good adventure.