Greening volunteers connect communities across the state

“I really enjoy getting up in the morning and being part of a collective, community effort, and all the energy that surrounds it.”
– Volunteer Supervisor, Jamison Gillizter

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April, 2011 - Jamison and other volunteers at the Next Generation stormwater management system, located at Beacon Bluff Business Center in Saint Paul.

April, 2011 – Jamison and other volunteers at the Next Generation stormwater management system, located at Beacon Bluff Business Center in Saint Paul.

Jamison Gillizter described his first experience volunteering with Great River Greening as “a unique and exciting glimpse into the future of restoration practices.”

He’s been back many times since.

This year, inspired by the quality of Greening’s restoration events and the feeling he is making a real difference, Jamison become a volunteer supervisor, leading other volunteers in Great River Greening’s planting and invasive removal projects.

Josh Kriz, Greening’s Volunteer Manager, describes him as “always in high spirits at our events and his positive energy transfers to his volunteers.”

Jamison believes everyone “deserves to enjoy the beauty and complexity of a healthy, functioning ecosystem.” Volunteering with Greening allows him to make a real contribution toward preserving our legacy of lands and waters for future generations.

The site of his first Greening event was home to a Next Generation stormwater management system, sponsored by the Saint Paul Port Authority. Volunteers had gathered to plant trees, shrubs, and grasses to help slow and filter the stormwater runoff and prevent pollutants and sediments from entering the Mississippi River.

Jamison said he was struck by “seeing the mix of new technology and the natural vegetation to better restore the area.”

And, he was struck by something else.

“With Great River Greening you feel a greater connection to the land through the hands-on nature of the events,” he said. “The opportunity to see real progress in just one morning is refreshing.

All this keeps him coming back.

In 2012, 1,771 volunteers worked at 22 sites, in 14 different MN communities.