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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Great River Greening

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animals, Environment, Environmental Beautification, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection, Zoos & Aquariums

Mission: Great River Greening inspires, engages and leads local communities in conserving and caring for the land and water that enrich our lives.

Target demographics: communities, youth, environmental conservation and restoration

Geographic areas served: Minnesota

Programs: Volunteer: Each spring and fall, Great River Greening (GRG) hosts 6-8 large events on Saturdays throughout the Twin Cities metro area. Youth: Field Learning for Teens creates opportunities for students to learn about local natural areas and careers in the conservation field. TC Metro Conservation: Opportunities are available to a large variety of Metro Area communities who work in parks and local natural areas to improve the ecological health of the land and water, and enhance recreational experiences. Anoka Sandplain: GRG leads a partnership of conservation stakeholders to preserve this unique and valuable ecological treasure in east-central Minnesota that provides critical drinking water, unparalleled recreational opportunities, and essential habitat for nearly 100 rare plants and animals. Minnesota River: Working at a subwatershed scale to positively impact agricultural watersheds, this program takes a collaborative, solution-oriented approach to facilitate local-scale action.

Community Stories

30 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Have helped in the office and in the field putting together items etc for fund raising functions sponsored by GRG

5

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a board member we direct the executive director and advise on all matters of business and purpose. We are project workers, Greening promoters and fund raisers. I have worked on several projects and events and have seen the contagious enthusiasm of the staff and the great results and satisfaction from volunteer projects.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great River Greening not only leads and supports community based initiatives for the preservation and restoration of natural areas, it brings together business, education, enviromental professionals and community action in sustainable partnerships to foster long term interest in ecological stewardhip. All of my experiences have been professional, well managed and their passion shows.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience at the planting events has been very good. The events are very well organized, and volunteers are treated very well. Coordinators and staff provide excellent directions and instructions. Planting events provide a great experience for everyone, particularly families.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering with Great River Greening for over three years. This organization does important ecological restoration work. They involve people from the local community in restoring prairie ecosystems. The volunteers work hard, but always have fun, and by the end of the work session, two things always happen: lunch is served, and awareness is raised in the community. The events are well-organized. The staff is knowledgable, helpful, and fun. Great River Greening events always seem to bring out the best in the group of volunteers, and that kind of consistent experience must be attributed to the organization's staff. Because I usually bring a group of students from the two-year college that I teach at, and I require that those students write about their experiences, I know that Great River Greening's work changes lives in addition to restoring ecosystems.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization has provided a great opportunity for me to get involved with like minded people. It's helped me to have a positive impact on the physical environment. Plus on people new to issues impacting quality and richness of life. I worked with inner city kids that had their first experience with planting a tree. It's been deeply rewarding to me to see their interest in the natural world come to life. I would not have had this without Great River Greening.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Greening is a great place for volunteers interested in making a tangible difference in the metro's natural areas. They engage all kinds of volunteers in projects that bring a richer understanding of conservation and natural resource management. One of the best things about Greening is the way they strive to bring in the local community on projects. I am lucky to have had a wonderful internship experience as well as acting as volunteer supervisor at a few events. Greening allows volunteers to take on a lot of responsibility, which allows for greater learning and growth as well as a better sense of stewardship for the land.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love volunteering with Great River Greening for it is extremely well organized fills a need in our metro area. They help foster community and a sense of respect for nature and living things, for after helping to restore an area, one tends to claim it as one's own and want to protect it. I especially like Great River Greening's work with less affluent teens, both in the field and the classroom, planting the seeds for leadership and future work in ecology. At events, Great River Greening does a good deal of informal teaching, not just about invasive/exotic plants but how removal of those plants can have an effect on that area. Having gotten into Great River Greening, I find Great River Greening has gotten into me and my flower garden is now one of native plants.

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a top notch environmental volunteerism organization. I've worked with them for several years, doing invasive species removal and site clean-up and planting, on helping their management to plan education initiaives for volunteers, and on supervising volunteers on work sites (working alongside them all the while). Independently and by conicidence, my place of work screened many volunteer organizations for an Earth Day initiative we started last year, and found this one to be the most professional they came across. They are well deserving of my praise, and of your precious time and money.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When I first volunteered with GRG, I helped remove invasive buckthorn in a park near the twin cities. It was a wonderful experience and I was extremely impressed by how smoothly the project went especially considering there were hundred of volunteers. At all the events I have volunteered at over the last five years, GRG has done an amazing job of getting the community involved in restoration work. I have been involved in projects that range from building rain gardens to removing invasive species and helping with erosion control. As an ecologist, I appreciate the work that GRG does at promoting native plants and wildlife and improving water quality in the region. GRG also does an amazing job at reaching out to the community and people who have never been involved in restoration work. After I volunteered a few times with GRG, I became a volunteer supervisor and helped lead groups of volunteers at the events. Being a supervisor really showed me the impact that GRG has on the local community. I have had the opportunity to hear the stories of dozens of volunteers including those of elementary school students who can’t wait to show their friend the rain garden they helped plant, those of employees of businesses located across the street from a restoration event, who are excited about going on walks in the newly restored area during their lunch breaks, and those of teenagers who had never thought twice about the parks next door. By making the tasks at each volunteer event straight forward and having the work broken down into tangible units, GRG allows people with any background to make a significant impact on the environment and to feel a connection with and a sense of ownership of their public lands.