Earlier this year, Lynnhurst resident Brian Crotteau received the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s (MPRB) Remarkable Volunteer Service Award for 2017. Last year, more than 11,000 people volunteered with the Minneapolis Park system and Brian was one of eight individuals and two groups receiving this award.
Brian has been volunteering with Park Stewards and the Friends of Roberts Bird Sanctuary (FRBS) for more than three years. Brian also has an independent stewardship agreement with MPRB for which he removes invasive species such as buckthorn, honeysuckle, garlic mustard, motherwort, and burdock from a buffer zone that surrounds the bird sanctuary. In 2017, between volunteering with the FRBS and his individual stewardship agreement, Brian logged more than 300 hours pulling invasive species and planting native species in and around the bird sanctuary. In addition to the 300 hours, Brian was in the field volunteering over 53 separate times during the growing season. Brian’s volunteer efforts have continued throughout 2018, including tackling the buckthorn and removal of other invasive species on the southeast shore of Lake Harriet.
As an added benefit, Brian took advantage of his employers’ Volunteer Grant award program, through which he secured $500 grants for 501C3 organizations including Friends of Roberts Bird Sanctuary and the Lynnhurst Neighborhood Association. The Lynnhurst funds will be used in spring 2019 to purchase native plants for the Lake Harriet shoreline project.
Brian truly enjoys his volunteer work and the satisfaction he receives knowing he is helping to restore and preserve our community’s treasured natural areas. In Brian’s words, “It’s actually very rewarding to be out in the woods or by the lake doing this work, and also great stress relief from office jobs and teenagers.”