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Member Stories

Turning back time: Restoring Saint Paul’s historic prairies

Like many Plains States, Minnesota was once home to millions of acres of prairie grassland. Native grasses like big blue stem, little blue stem, switch grass, Indian grass, porcupine grass or side-oats grama, and forbs such as goldenrod, prairie smoke and blazing star covered the western and southern parts of the state. However, if you travel through the southwest region of Minnesota today, you would be hard-pressed to find an area with native remnant prairie.  Read More

And then there were four

On my first day with Conservation Corps, I pulled into a dark and snowy parking lot where my crew leader and the first crew member to arrive were standing to greet me. That crew member shook my hand and introduced herself: “I’m Sophia, but you can call me Grace,” she said. She was bright eyed and excited. Read More

Watching an uncertain future

Hours before dawn on a mid-August morning, my crew and I started the truck and began the drive east back to the Brainerd office, ending our final project trip in North Dakota. Our departure was marked only by the sound of jumping gravel and the hushing of countless field crickets, whose mating calls had made the last ten mornings so raucously serene. “What is that?” Read More

Construction in conservation

Does construction count as conservation? Why yes, yes it does. When we build a fence for instance, even if it is to protect bicyclists and hikers from steep hills in a recreational park, we’re promoting the protection of both recreational and preserved natural resources by keeping those places destination points for families containing the next generation of nature lovers. But, wait, that's not all!  Read More

On the nature of networks

There's a sense of peace waiting to be discovered in the outdoors that I've been spoiled by—that throughout my travels has become this miraculous anywhere-kind-of home. Sometimes that peace is the silence that drifts in right before a rainstorm: easy to miss when plugged into social networks of the 21st century but impossible to avoid when wading with my crew through the prairie while the horizon is gathering purple and green.  Read More

Thank you Prospect Park neighborhood!

August has been exciting for the Metro Crew: rather than maintaining rain gardens, we finally had the opportunity to build them! For a week and a half we worked alongside a landscape architect from the nonprofit Metro Blooms. They worked with the neighborhood group in Prospect Park Minneapolis to give grants for rain gardens to be placed on thirteen homeowners’ properties, and we were there to help install them. Read More