It is National Environmental Services Week and to celebrate we wanted to share ways you can get more involved with the environment right here in Minnesota.
Taking on environmental issues seems like such a large task that many people become overwhelmed and do nothing at all, but as Edmund Burke said, “nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.”
ENVIRONMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS IN MINNESOTA
If you are looking to be a part of something bigger than yourself, Minnesota is a great place to live. We have so many organizations working to make a difference in the world and there are plenty of places you can get involved in protecting the environment whether you are looking for some volunteer work or a new career.
FRIENDS OF THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER
Friends of the Mississippi River makes volunteering very easy and requires very little commitment. Their mission is to “preserve and restore the river's fish and wildlife, its vital floodplains and scenic bluffs, its natural and cultural treasures, its beauty and its romance.” You can sign up for just one of their 2-3 hour events or for as many as you want.
DODGE NATURE CENTER
If you are looking for a specific way to apply your talents in helping the environment, the Dodge Nature Center has no end of options for you. From planning committees to farm work and from education to restoration, volunteers infuse every part of Dodge Nature Center.
If you are interested in politics, Fresh Energy will make sure you are working with the government to lead Minnesota’s transition to a clean energy economy through advocacy, policy analysis, and public outreach in legislative and regulatory settings.
DAKOTA COUNTY VOLUNTEERS
Dakota County Volunteers is not strictly an environmental organization, but they take on a lot of the county’s environmental issues in unique ways. They have clinics where you can help fix things (like lamps or electronics) to keep them out of a landfill and education sessions on how to recycle. This is a great way to help the earth and your own neighborhood.
THREE RIVERS PARK DISTRICT
Three Rivers manages dozens of parks and trails that allow people to access and understand the importance of nature even if they live in the city. Volunteers help make the parks a fun, safe, educational environment for people of all ages, interests and abilities. One major draw to Three Rivers Park District is that kids and groups can volunteer.
THE ARC GREATER TWIN CITIES
If you are more interested in protecting the environment from inside, The Arc Greater Twin Citiesneeds volunteers to run their thrift shops and donation centers. In addition to making a difference by helping people reuse items, The Arc uses the money it makes to serve and protect the rights of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. You will be serving two great causes when volunteering.
MINNESOTA OR COMO ZOO
Both the Minnesota Zoo and Como Zoo have volunteer opportunities. Volunteering at a zoo helps the environment in many ways. Zoos serve as a place for people to learn about conservation and seeing what they need to protect provides an emotional attachment to the cause. The zoos also have a variety of opportunities for you to protect the Minnesota environment through research projects, trips and off-site work.
Anything you do for the environment counts. Never discount a small act. As Howard Zinn said, “Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.”