Member Stories

Life in the Ozarks

I grew up in a small agricultural-based town in southwest Iowa surrounded by fields of corn, wheat, beans and the occasional patch of woodland. When people think of Missouri, they typically think of what I have just described, but the truth is Missouri is an extraordinary state that is home to unique geological features, historic battlefields and landmarks, diverse plants and animals and some of the most breathtaking scenic views throughout the Midwest. Read More

Seeing the forest for the grass: Grassland conservation and restoration in northwest Minnesota

Two doves soar above the simple wooden alter that presides over the chapel pews where I received much of my instruction on living. Those enormous white birds share their lofty perch with words of peace and unity scribed in many of the world’s languages, a tribute to the ideals of diversity and acceptance that my Episcopalian school sought to impart to its wards.  Read More


I've been a fairly active person most of my life; team sports, physically demanding jobs, outdoor recreation and all the typical adventures of a twenty-something. I'd never had an issue finding fuel for all my activities...until I joined Conservation Corps. Read More

Firebreaks but no fire at the refuge

For the past month the Metro Roving crew has had the good fortune of working at Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge. I grew up visiting state and national parks with my family, but had no idea that there are 560 refuges in the U.S.! These places provide habitat for hundreds of bird, mammal, reptile and amphibian species, including many that are threatened or endangered.  Read More

Buckthorn busters

What started out as an ornamental hedgerow material brought over from Europe in the 1800s, common or European buckthorn can now be found in just about every county in Minnesota. Buckthorn is one of the first plants to leaf out in the spring and last to lose its leaves in the fall, allowing it to do a spectacular job at outcompeting and preventing the growth of native species. Read More

Burn season in Minnesota

Spring is here, bringing with it the return of a variety of native and non-native species. As the snow melts and the ground finally thaws, Minnesota’s familiar plant species eagerly sprout to meet the sun. It’s an invigorating sight after a long, dismal winter. However, many of the early-riser species in Minnesota are considered invasive. Read More