Northwoods Adventure: Volunteers With Project GreenTouch Keep Lake Bemidji State Park Clean
On the first Saturday in May, volunteers with Project GreenTouch spend the day cleaning up Lake Bemidji State Park. This is the 20th annual event for Touchstone Energy Cooperative in Minnesota.
“We partner with Minnesota State Parks and we get groups of volunteers together every year to help prepare the park for their upcoming park season,” Beltrami Electric Cooperative Marketing & Communications Specialist Angela Lyseng said.
GreenTouch is a statewide volunteer event that takes place throughout Minnesota’s state parks.
“A member organization of Cooperative, it’s just a chance to interact with our members, and our members are the driving force behind the cooperative and they’re the driving force behind this event, too,” Beltrami Electric Cooperative Energy Services Director & Member Sam Mason said. “This isn’t a company doing something, it’s our members doing something.”
Lyseng said GreenTouch is a very important project, especially since state funding has decreased for state parks.
“Volunteer work like this is essential,” Lyseng said. “The kind of keep them going; in our community it’s huge, we have a lot of people that use the state parks in our area throughout the year.”
Around 40 people came to help with the efforts to clean Lake Bemidji State Park, and that included raking some leaves.
“One thing that’s been shown by research is that clean places tend to stay clean, and if there’s trash around people think it’s okay to throw trash, so of course we want things to look nice for everyone, but having a spring clean-up like this is a good step in that direction,” Lake Bemidji State Park Assistant Manager Susan Olin said.
Volunteers help clean the state parks by cleaning rental facilities such as the Lake Bemidji State Park’s dining hall or the picnic shelter, raking campgrounds, and picking up litter along the county road.