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Minnesota GreenCorps on Morris campus receives funding

Posted by Allyce Amidon '12, Falcon Heights, Center for Small Towns on Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2011

The University of Minnesota, Morris is pleased to announce that it will continue to host Minnesota GreenCorps, the only location in Minnesota at which undergraduates serve in the program. Morris continues to partner with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), who led the development of the three-year-old program. Morris campus GreenCorps coordinator Troy Goodnough is matching Minnesota GreenCorps members with community partners and projects that meet Minnesota GreenCorps’ goals of preserving and protecting the environment while developing the next generation of environmental professionals.

Five Morris students have been accepted as GreenCorps members for 2011–12.

Naomi Wente ’13, Dodge Center, is working on food efforts, the first time such a position has existed within the Morris contingent of Minnesota GreenCorps. Goodnough stresses that Morris already had strong healthy foods efforts underway and that Wente is coming in to support all the good stuff that’s already happening, a common theme in all of Minnesota GreenCorps’ work.

Laura Hunt ’13, Green Bay, Wisconsin, is working on urban forestry efforts, another first-time position within Minnesota GreenCorps. She is looking at the parks and trails surrounding Morris and will help survey the tree populations, communicate the environmental services provided by trees, and help facilitate management plans of those areas. She is also helping to survey the tree canopy on campus.

Jodie Roy ’12, Brooks, is exploring storm water management issues on campus and in the community, the third new position within Minnesota GreenCorps this year. She is also working to further the Minnesota GreenCorps education initiatives, including outreach to area kids.

Alicia Beattie ’14, Hastings, is building off of the recycling initiatives former Minnesota GreenCorps member Sonya Kopet ’12, Starbuck, worked on. She is also continuing to advance the composting efforts on campus that were initiated last year by former Minnesota GreenCorps member Will Dolezal ’12, Minneapolis, and other student leaders.

Chelsea Moody ’13, St. Paul, is working on energy conservation, building on a great two years of previous Minnesota GreenCorps work and contributions provided by former Minnesota GreenCorps member Chris Droske ’11, Stevens Point, Wisconsin. She is working closely with Stevens FORWARD! to support their energy benchmarking work as well as continuing to educate the public on ways to improve energy conservation.

Goodnough says he’s pleased with the amount of interaction occurring between current and past Minnesota GreenCorps members. Some of last year’s members are serving as mentors to the new members, allowing for a smoother transition and the continuation of last year’s important work. Goodnough also says he’s “really proud of the last two years of work and the contribution we’ve made having undergraduates engaged in implementing solutions.” Each of the members will serve 720 hours before August 2012.

The Minnesota GreenCorps is an environmentally focused AmeriCorps program administered by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). This program is funded through a grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service with additional support from ServeMinnesota. Partnering in this program is University of Minnesota, Morris Center for Small Towns.

The Center for Small Towns is a community outreach program housed on the Morris campus that serves as a point-of-entry to the resources of the University of Minnesota. Small towns, local units of government, K–12 schools, nonprofit organizations, and other University units are able to utilize CST’s resources as they work on rural issues or make contributions to rural society. CST’s mission is to focus the University’s attention and marshal its resources toward assisting Minnesota’s small towns with locally identified issues while creating applied learning opportunities for faculty and students.

Back row Jodie Roy, Naomi Wente, Chelsea Moody, Front row Alicia Beattie, Laura Hunt