AmeriCorps member Kate Anderson feels fortunate to be serving the City of Coon Rapids as her host site. This is the community where she lives.
Minnesota’s GreenCorps program, coordinated by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, placed Kate with the City, where she will fulfill a full-time position for one year.
"The GreenCorps program requires 1,700 hours of service work to finish the program,” Anderson said. “And that can be split up a bunch of different ways."
Kate’s time with the City is split between the sustainability department and recycling, where she works on a number of initiatives including outreach.
"We have a really big need for volunteers at the Recycling Center," Coon Rapids Recycling Center Coordinator Colleen Sinclair said.
The GreenCorps provides Kate an allowance and training while she serves the City in a number of ways. For now, Kate's dumpster diving into the organics waste program.
"The best way for us to audit our program is to get hands in and deep,” Sinclair said. “What we're looking for is the behaviors of those who are using our program."
The other half of Kate's time is spent working with the City's Sustainability Planner Olivia Dorow Hovland on reducing energy use.
"The real aim for our GreenCorps member this year when it comes to energy efficiency and renewable energy is to just get the word out as much as possible and raise awareness for the programs that are available to our residents" Dorow Hovland said.
Kate's GreenCorps service runs through next August. She's currently finishing up a college degree in sustainability, while also serving on the City's Sustainability Commission.
"I have a variety of different projects going all at the same time so I can work on one thing for a little bit and then switch over and work on something else," Anderson said.