Volunteers add $7.8 million in value to DNR

April 4, 2019

Last year over 20,000 Minnesotans volunteered their services to assist the Department of Natural Resources in accomplishing its conservation mission. According to the new 2018 Annual DNR Volunteer Report released today, these volunteer services in 2018 were valued at $7.8 million. In hours that equates to 136 full-time staff.

“We’re fortunate to have so many dedicated Minnesotans who are willing to donate their skills, time and talents to help strengthen our conservation efforts,” said Renée Hartwig, DNR volunteer program administrator. “We’re extremely grateful for their efforts. Volunteer engagement is crucial in many of our projects, especially citizen science.”

The report precedes National Volunteer Week, April 7-14, which is a time for organizations across the country to honor volunteers and recognize the impact of their time and energy.

Volunteer opportunities at the DNR can range from specialized activities requiring extensive skill and experience, to projects requiring little or no previous experience. The experience of Pheng Xiong is an example of a volunteer learning and expanding their skills.

Willowbrook Restoration – Pheng Xiong
Pheng Xiong has been an intern for the Urban Roots conservation crew all four of his high school years. In this position, he’s taken on the leadership role of teaching at DNR public events, leading nature walks on the trails and restoring the landscape at the DNR Willowbrook Campus, home to the DNR central region headquarters and Minnesota’s first state-run fish hatchery.

“No matter how hot, buggy, wet or ‘sticky’ the task, Pheng always has a smile and great attitude,” said Gina Bonsignore, DNR regional planner. “He has done so much to help improve our site and educate his community about the importance of natural resources. He’s even transferred the knowledge he has gained here to advocate for, design, and implement a rain garden at his high school. ”

What do DNR Volunteers do?

Volunteers help with a variety of activities including firearms safety instruction, wildlife habitat improvement, state park campground hosting, loon monitoring, trail clearing, precipitation measurement and reporting, issuing burning permits and doing wildlife research, to name a few. Watch the 90 second DNR Volunteer video to see volunteers in action.

Volunteer opportunities are available throughout Minnesota at state parks, state forest campgrounds, wildlife management areas, fisheries and hatcheries, as well as at DNR regional and headquarters offices.

For more information, visit the DNR volunteer opportunities website.  People can also contact the DNR Information Center at 888-646-6367 or 651-296-6157.

It's Official!

The Northern Waters Land Trust formerly known as the Leech Lake Watershed Foundation
The Secretary of State has now granted us permission for formally change our name! The new name matters. We work in a service area that includes FOUR watersheds ... not just one. And our work to preserve land to protect water in our 4-county region is more important then ever.

Why change our name?

  • We live in the last 40% of the state that can still claim to have clean waters. The DNR has found that the waters in the south and south-central portions of the state are under “major stress and can’t be restored or restoration is mostly unrealistic”. Many have signs: "NO SWIMMING" "NO FISHING". Protecting our land to ensure clean water makes sense from an investment standpoint. Restoration efforts are costly and rarely successful.

  • We have a water-based economy up here. Tourism in our 4-county region exceeds every Minnesota county except Hennepin and Ramsey counties. Hunting. Fishing. Biking. Cabins and resorts. 254,000 full and part-time jobs depend on clean water.

What can you do to support our lakes, rivers, wetlands and streams?

  • Do what you already do ... recycle, don't use fertilizers on lawns near waters, stay on top of the news' cycles for information about the threats to our waters and let your elected officials know how important clean water is to you and to future generations.

More Updates!

  • Look for more news in December when we will announce our new Executive Director!

  • Our end-of-year Annual Appeal will land in your mail box in November!

  • Website changes will continue as our transitions continue!


Your Support Helps Protect Northern Water and Land

Preserving land to protect water is our job .... and yours, too!

Donations can be made through GiveMN or by mailing your donation to us at: Northern Waters Land Trust, P.O. Box 124, Walker, MN 56484.

The Northern Waters Land Trust | P.O. Box 124

Walker, MN 56484-0124 | 218.547.4510 | www.northernwateerslandtrust.org

Guest Speaker at the HUB in Hackensack May 25

GUEST SPEAKER: Jeff Forester, Executive Director of MN Lakes and Rivers Advocates (MLR) Association of Cass County Lakes (ACCL) Membership Meeting of 2018 on May 25 on 9:30 a.m. at The Hub (formerly the Senior Center) in Hackensack.
Learn about issues that affect your lake property and how MLR is using your membership dollars to carry our fight to the legislature. And, also a discussion on a civic organizing project Jeff is leading to help local lake associations build greater civic infrastructure around water in their communities.
@JeffForester1…. "If you care about Minnesota's lakes and rivers, join Minnesota Lakes and Rivers. They are concerned with keeping them clean and pristine." 
SAVE THE DATE…..Mark your calendar for these upcoming Monthly Membership meetings: June 29, July 27, August 31, and September 28
GUEST SPEAKER: Jeff Forester,
Executive Director of MN Lakes and Rivers Advocates (MLR)
RMB Environmental Labs will be available AFTER the meeting to distribute lake monitoring supplies.

Aquatic Invasive Species Summit III

The Birch Lake Association is inviting you to attend the AIS Summit to gain information and share it with us. We will reimburse you for the cost of the summit.

Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates is sponsoring the third annual Aquatic Invasive Species Summit at the EarleBrown Center on Feb 28-March 1.
AIS Summit Information click here.
If you are interested in attending in person or virtually, please contact the BLA Board at mybirchlake@gmail.com




Aquatic Invader Summit

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) threaten the quality of these legacy resources.

The Aquatic Invaders Summit is a timely and important event for individuals on the front line in the fight against AIS. County government officials, tribal resource managers and leaders, lake associations, lake improvement districts, lake service providers, angling and conservation groups, hospitality industry, chambers of commerce, boat manufacturers and others will have the opportunity to share, learn and plan together for effective local AIS prevention in Minnesota.

More information on the Summit can be found on the Minnesota Lakes and Rivers website