The Minnesota GreenCorps program is a statewide initiative, coordinated by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, to preserve and protect Minnesota’s environment while training a new generation of environmental professionals.
The program places AmeriCorps members with host organizations around the state to assist communities and local governments in addressing a variety of statewide needs, aiming to:
- Reduce solid waste and increase recycling in Minnesota communities.
- Reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) and other air pollutants.
- Reduce water runoff and improve water quality.
- Assist community members to take eco-friendly actions.
- Increase community resilience and build local capacity to respond to the threats of climate change.
- Train new environmental professionals.
Members serve at their host sites for 11 months, from mid-September through mid-August. More than 350 GreenCorps members have served at over 200 organizations across Minnesota. Former and current host site organizations include cities, counties, public schools, universities, watershed districts, and non-profit organizations.
Since the program’s launch in 2009, Minnesota GreenCorps members have engaged and educated nearly 200,000 volunteers in communities around the state through service projects, including assistance with environmental fairs, multi-modal transportation events, energy benchmarking, waste sorts, tree inventory/citizen foresters, invasive species removal, tree planting, and building rain gardens. Many of these projects help to increase resilience of Minnesota communities to the impacts of climate change, such as increasing heat and heavy precipitation.
Minnesota GreenCorps is an AmeriCorps program. Funding is provided by ServeMinnesota, the Corporation for National Community Service, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. In-kind resources are also provided by participating host site organizations.
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Currently there are 44 Minnesota GreenCorps members serving at host sites around the state.
I’m originally from northern California and recently graduated from the University of California - Santa Cruz with a degree in Environmental Sciences. Going to school at UC Santa Cruz was an awesome experience because I was immersed in a culture that actively promoted environmental consciousness and social justice, which was really inspiring for me. In Santa Cruz, I was fortunate to find community through volunteering at the on-campus organic farm, supporting climate research, and helping teach at local, under-resourced high schools.
I chose to serve in MN GreenCorps because I’ve always wanted to do service work after college. In addition, I think it’s important to explore new places and cultures, get to know different people, and gain perspective on the social and environmental issues we face. Serving with MN GreenCorps especially excites me because I’ll be surrounded by other motivated and compassionate volunteers who come from different backgrounds, yet share similar values in wanting to help others and better our environment. Even though I’m a California boy through and through, I’m drawn to the friendliness of Minnesotans and the serenity of the state’s sprawling fields and vast lakes. I’m super stoked I get the opportunity to both live in a place I’ve always been curious about and work to feel out where I fit best in the environmental movement.
My favorite place in Minnesota is hanging out on my aunt’s screened-in porch at her house in Chaska. I have so many fond memories of sitting on her glider bench and hearing my mom and her 7 siblings laugh as they reminisced about their goofy childhood. There’s something special about sitting outside during those hot summer nights, safe from the mosquitoes, and being surrounded by such a loving family. Whenever I’m there, it feels like home.
Minnesota GreenCorps is not currently accepting applications. The program typically accepts applications from individuals applying to serve as a member in May-June and typically accepts applications from sites applying to host a member in February-March.
Members serve with local governments, nonprofit organizations, and educational institutions statewide. Members serve 40 hours a week for 11 months, from September through August.
Learn more about the program and sign up to receive email notifications about future opportunities.