Celebrating Great River Greening’s 20th anniversary last year, gave us an opportunity to not only reflect on numerous accomplishments, but also step forward in fresh ways. It was a special year and one we can all be proud of.
These highlights could not have been accomplished without you:
Volunteer Events in 2015 Included these FIRSTS:
Two events in St. Peter, MN brought volunteers out to work on farmland to improve the water quality in the Seven Mile Creek watershed which includes prime agricultural land and a county park near the creek’s flow into the Minnesota River. In the metro area, people learned to count and identify bees, as part of innovative pollinator surveys.
Icreased environmental stewardship in younger generations
We brought students to our restoration sites for hands-on lessons in the science and practice of environmental restoration, and to learn about the careers from mentors who work in the field. Last year, the SECOND HIGHEST number of students took part in our Field Learning for Teens program, and a group of metro youth learned the art of sowing wild rice on the Rum River.
51% more youth volunteered at our project sites than in 2014.
People Took the Time!
Volunteers ranked FOURTH HIGHEST, in 20 years, in the number of hours people that came out to blast buckthorn, plant flowers and trees, and inspire friends and families, young and old, to truly take care of our waters, parks, and forests.
Local communities were highly engaged in our mission, volunteering 18% more hours in 2015 than in 2014.
We expanded our footprint to include the west metro, beginning with a three-year project to promote healthier growth in 98 acres of Carver Park Reserve’s maple-basswood forest and oak woodland. The park is a popular recreation area that is home to a wide variety of wildlife, located in Victoria, MN.
Combined, the acres restored rank FOURTH HIGHEST in one year, bringing Great River Greening’s 20-year total to 15,819 acres.
Two great anniversary events centered on community engagement, at parks our volunteers are helping to create in Saint Paul. At Trout Brook Nature Sanctuary, we celebrated with the community in opening a park 10 years in the making. At the “future” Victoria Park, adjacent to the Mississippi riverfront in the West Seventh Street Neighborhood, volunteers started clearing the thicket of brush and trees and we ended the day with a party at Summit Brewery.
The programs mentioned in this article are made possible by:
3M Foundation, Capitol Region Watershed District, Andersen Corporate Foundation, Best Buy Children’s Foundation, Bush Foundation, Capitol Region Watershed District, City of Saint Paul, DNR Shorelands Program, Ecolab Foundation, McNeely Foundation, McKnight Foundation, Minnesota Clean Water Fund, Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, Minnesota Outdoor Heritage Fund, Mortensen Family Foundation, Nicollet SWCD, Saint Paul Garden Club, Saint Paul Parks and Recreation, Seven Mile Creek Watershed Partnership, Seven Mile Creek Watershed residents and farmers, Subaru of America Foundation, Summit Brewing Co., Tennant Foundation, Three Rivers Park District, University of Minnesota