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March 31, 2011

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March 31, 2011

I am an intern with Great River Greening. I find their cause to be an ideal one in the environmental field, since it both helps the environment and engages and educates the community-- their team of professionals determines what needs to be done to restore natural areas, and they engage the community in doing so. I've also found their staff to be friendly and welcoming, and their events to be an enjoyable experience.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my participation as a volunteer and as an intern.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

involve volunteers even more in different parts of the organization, like fundraising.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Yes - I have learned new skills and made friends.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

It made me feel like I was making a difference.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

March 31, 2011

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March 31, 2011

I worked for Great River Green as an intern for almost a year. They are a wonderful nonprofit organization with an endless drive to make our Minnesota communities a little greener each day. The employees are tireless workers and the volunteers have amazing spirit. The work environment is very comfortable and you always feel welcome as soon as you walk in!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Cleaning up the environment. I helped get rid of invasive species and within just 3 short hours of work, there were already amazing results!

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I know they're trying, but getting the college generations involved would be great!

March 29, 2011

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March 29, 2011

I've volunteered for Great River Greening for 3 years, and really enjoy the events that they host. The restoration events are well thought, the right amount of work, and definitely get work done. I have volunteered for other ecosystem restoration nonprofits and the difference that is seen immediately when you show up to a site; somebody is there to greet and show you to the registration booth, maybe grab a coffee or water, and then converse with your group supervisor until everyone shows up. I also like that volunteers are shown why a certain exotic species is bad; not just that it has to be removed.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I really enjoy going back to the places that we've restored and seeing the difference. It really gives me pride in the organization with the work that a variety of people can do collectively with the same goal.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I know it would be costly train and re-certify but having an an EMT on staff at the events would be great.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Quite well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

I like the idea of pins or some token to show the events you've worked at. I also think it would be neat to have an events page that has photos and captions of volunteers from each event and eventually post them on the website. everybody likes sharing good things they've done!

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

It gives me more experience on teaching/mentoring non-conservation professionals in the field

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Great!

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

March 29, 2011

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March 29, 2011

Great River Greening is a local non-profit organization working to restore the metro Minneapolis-St. Paul community, by removing invasive species and re-introducing native species to the area. This organization is dedicated to encouraging local citizen to support the local community through environmental volunteer efforts.
I have enjoyed my volunteer time with Great River Greening. It is always a pleasure working outside to improve the environment no matter what the weather conditions are. I have volunteer with Great River Greening on days where it is only 1 degree outside and snowing, to thunderstorms, to beautiful sunny days. The Great River Greening staff is helpful and friendly.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have become a Volunteer Supervisor and have helped lead volunteer groups on a variety of projects, from invasive species removal to planting events. I am also the President of the St. Thomas School of Law Environmental Law Society and have brought several groups of law students to Great River Greening Events. It is always a pleasure getting out into nature and escaping the stress of law school, even if it is only for a few hours.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wouldn't. I really enjoy volunteering with GRG. If I could do anything, it would be to encourage more individuals to experience volunteering with Great River Greening.

March 29, 2011

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March 29, 2011

I love volunteering with Greening. The outdoor events not only are completing a needed ecological service, but allow people from different communities to interact. Plus you get some sunshine and exercise. It's an overall great experience and I love the energy at the events.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Having spent time both in the office and at outdoor restoration events, I know that the people at Great River Greening are committed to doing things right and for the right reasons at every step along the way. I am happy to be a part of the process.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I would love to see the integration of this non-profit with programs like Step-up that offer young students from under-represented populations summer internship positions. That would be yet another way Greening could impact their community.

March 29, 2011

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March 29, 2011

I have volunteered for Great River Greening for the past three years. Great River Greening is very well organized and offers fun and interesting volunteer projects. The staff is extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and welcoming. I've always felt appreciated by the organization. Some of the projects I've worked on include restoring native habitat, planting trees, clearing out invasive plants, restoring shoreline, making a rain garden, collecting seeds, and more. One can also volunteer in public relations projects such as staffing booths at various events like the Living Green Expo; a wonderful opportunity to network with other Green organizations and meet other volunteers. They also serve a nice lunch after the project is complete! This is especially appreciated after working hard in the fresh air. A top notch organization to volunteer for!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Many of the green spaces in and around the Twin Cities metro area have benefitted from Great River Greening's habitat restoration projects. One can see the trees and plants that have been planted and also can visit areas that have been cleared of buckthorn and other invasive species.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I really can't think of any way the organization should be changed. They do an excellent job of organizing the service projects, always have enough tools and supplies on hand, and demonstrate expertly how to do the task at hand. They are very safety conscious also. Their staff is very motivating and they are able to connect with many schools, colleges, businesses and other organizations to recruit volunteers.

March 29, 2011

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March 29, 2011

Great River Greening has been the best organization to volunteer for my far. The management is very organized and has the site set up for volunteers so that their is no confusion upon arrival. The day is planned to the minute so that volunteer time is not wasted. Most events include a brief discussion of the history of the area in order to provide a broader context for the project and give volunteers a sense of ownership in the work they are doing because they feel a part of the area. At the conclusion of the event, GRG does a presentation which sums up the accomplishments of the day. Overall, great leadership, great events, and great fun with GRG!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have visited the sites that GRG has worked on and can see the remarkable improvements. I have also walked the trails that GRG helps repair.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

No changes needed.

March 24, 2011

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March 24, 2011

I've worked with Great River Greening for about a decade. I love the organization! I've worked as a volunteer, and a volunteer supervisor.

Greening works with the government organizations, and corporations to find sites around the metro area to restore to native vegetation.

They
organize volunteers into work groups and then depending on the task of the day we clear invasive species, plant natives, build rain gardens or anything necessary to restore the site.

Greening visits sites over the years, so I've had the pleasure of working at two sites over the years that are very special. The Flint Hills Resource site has changed from a buckthorn choked mess to a lovely oak savanna.

I have also worked at the Mendota Bridge site over the years, this sacred area had been urbanized, and then fallen into disrepair. When the community was discussing how to use the site, developers were interested in building condominiums, but through an effort by the community, environmental groups, and the native American tribe in the area, the open space was preserved for habitat and again as a sacred site.

The mission of the organization is outstanding - bringing habitat to area's around the river. Also, the volunteer work is very satisfying, it's good physical labor, and you can see the fruits of your work in a day, and over the years.

I love Greening.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

revisiting the sites that we worked on.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Um... they do good work. I don't have any advice for improvement. Except that I miss the box lunches from D'amico and sons. ;) Lunch from Subway is lovely, but you know, just not the same.

March 24, 2011

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March 24, 2011

The work of Great River Greening transforms both people and places. People are transformed as they see their efforts make a meaningful difference in their community. Places are transformed with native plantings that restore the lands to their natural beauty. Imagine neglected lands overrun with invasive, non-native plants. Then imagine a weed patch turning into a wildflower prairie. Or a forgotten property becoming a reborn oak savanna. Or a threatened woodland evolving back into a healthy maple and basswood forest. That is the work of Great River Greening. And that's why I keep coming back as a volunteer.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

On project days, I've seen the inspiration and satisfaction that volunteers of all ages exhibit as they walk away from a job well done.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Strive to make Great River Greening's work known to a wider audience.

March 24, 2011

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March 24, 2011

Great River Greening is by far one of the best organizations I have volunteered with. They really appreciate and value their volunteers, and get you up and working quick. It never feels like they are wasting your time, there is always important, vital work to be done.
They help to restore
native plant communities, and the health of the soil and water in important and vulnerable natural areas along the Mississippi, Minnesota, and St Croix rivers.
They are able to attract and manage a large number of volunteers. It is very encouraging to see such a vast number of volunteers showing up on a weekend to help save a portion of the planet.
Normally we are cutting out buckthorn, and hauling brush. It's a very good workout, and you get a visceral understanding of the unique environment of the site - true "hands on learning".
Working in a crew, you get to meet like-minded people, and everyone has a unique perspective or factoid to share. I love how community is created while at the same time "real" work is being accomplished - invasive plant species are ripped out, native plants and wildlife habitat is allowed to flourish, and at the end of the day, everyone knows they did something good.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I see the before and after effects during the work day - when we start, there is a forest choked with buckthorn and invasive species - when we are done, you can finally see into the forest, and imagine what it looked like 100 years ago, and what it will hopefully look like after the native plants are seeded and begin to grow. I can imagine a few years from now, visiting a site I worked at, it would be very rewarding to see people and animals enjoying a site that has been rehabilitated.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

The focus on clean water and native plant communities is very important, and this benefit to human life is unmistakable. Additionally, I would stress the importance of these things on our native wildlife, some of which are hard-pressed these days to find suitable habitat to thrive in.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

I like working on projects that are closer to home - although I have learned a lot by going out to areas further afield. For example, I had no idea there were Sand Dunes in Anoka County until I restored a portion of Oak Savanna there. I have spent so much time destroying invasive species, it would be nice to spend at least an equivalent amount of time planting native trees, shrubs, and forbs.

Did your volunteer experience have an effect on you? (teaching you a new skill, or introducing new friends, etc.)

Every site is different, and there is an amazing diversity of native plant communities around here. I have worked on oak savannas, calcareous fens, prairies, and Maple-Basswood forests. Reading about these in books is good, but actually getting out into these areas, having an ecologist explaining the project, and then physically laboring in them, you really get to know the geology, ecology, and plant/animal life. Plus, there comes to be some camaraderie with fellow restorationists as you work together on various sites over the years.

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

Even when you feel like you're too busy, and there's no way you could fit in a day of clearing brush out of an Oak Savanna - once you do it, you can really see that you made a difference at the site. You feel good, you feel like you really accomplished something - if not for the whole world, at least for that tiny spot on the earth, and the people and animals that will enjoy it for many years to come.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

Attend a volunteer event during the spring or fall for planting, native seed collection, or invasive species removal! Volunteer