Fall All Corps Day focuses on water quality

Erik Heimark stencils a storm drain in Saint Paul, reminding residents that whatever enters the drains goes straight to the river.Three times a year, AmeriCorps members from different Conservation Corps programs collaborate on All Corps Days, which are daylong events that focus on an environmental theme and include service projects, education & training and reflection. On September 14, corps members from Youth Outdoors and Individual Placement programs spent their fall All Corps Day managing water quality in the Mississippi River. The National Park Service provided bicycles that corps members used to travel between work and learning sites.

The group traveled first to Minnehaha Falls Regional Park for some interpretive lessons on the Mississippi River and a talk by Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MNRRA) Superintendent Paul Labovitz about his experience working in natural resources. In the afternoon, the group split into two groups. One group planted young oak trees at Coldwater Springs, the site of a natural spring that is the latest addition to MNRRA. The other group headed over to Saint Paul to work with Friends of the Mississippi River, stenciling storm drains with a message about how pollution entering the drains runs straight to the Mississippi River.