Volunteering - special programs

Meet our Volunteers

Volunteers for the DNR

Winter 2017-18

Bike Trail Maintenance in Cuyuna Country State Rec Area - Josh Boudreaux and Bruce Swanson

Josh Boudreaux

Josh Boudreaux sitting on a bench his group installed next to the mountain bike trail. Josh left for Michigan a few hours after this bench was installed.

Bruce Swanson

Bruce Swanson standing next to a trail side kiosk his group installed.

Bruce Swanson and group

During kiosk installation, a fast moving storm moved through the area and the Bike Crew volunteers ended up getting a little wet!

The Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew has been instrumental in helping to maintain over 40 miles of bike trails (30 miles of single track and 10 mile of double track) in the Cuyuna Country State Recreational Area  in 2017.  The recreation area is located near the communities of Crosby and Ironton in northeastern Minnesota.

Josh Boudreaux started the year as the trail maintenance director for the Bike Crew.  According to Nick Statz, Parks and Trails Technician, "Working closely with DNR staff, Josh set up trail projects and saw them through to completion. His value for safety and excellence made him a great asset to the Crew and the DNR!"  At the end of June, Josh stepped down from this position because he was accepted into the DNR Conversation Officer academy in Michigan. He is set to be stationed in Marquette, Michigan.

Bruce Swanson is the Vice President for the Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew and took over Josh?s position after he left. Bruce has spent a great deal of time leading weekly trail projects and streamlining the communication process the DNR has with the Crew and their volunteers. Statz says,"His leadership skills and knowledge with trail maintenance have made him a true asset to the Crew and us!"

Thank you, Josh and Bruce, for leading your volunteer group this past year and improving the mountain bike trails in the Cuyuna Country State Rec Area!


Campground Hosts at Mille Lacs Kathio State Park - Spike and Lyn Toth, Elk River

Spike and Lyn Toth

Spike and Lyn Toth began volunteering as Campground Hosts at Mille Lacs Kathio State Park in 2011. They were looking for volunteer work, talked to other campground hosts and the idea sounded interesting. Parks worker Jan South suggested that they put in an application since they were frequent visitors to the park.

Spike says "One reason we chose Kathio as a place to volunteer is that the campground is very clean and the personnel here are very cordial." Both Spike and Lyn also enjoy seeing a variety of wildlife at the park including deer, wild turkeys and a variety of birds.

According to Erin Fallon, Naturalist, "Spike and Lyn are excellent Campground Hosts and do a great job of getting park information and instructions out to our campers. Spike is also a huge assistance to our maintenance crew during the fall season. He assisted in a trail rehabilitation project that was completed on a large section of horse trail this past year, a smaller hiking trail rehabilitation project, and trail preparation for the upcoming ski season. Spike and Lyn both assisted with our first trail run in the park, by helping at the starting line and checkpoints along the way."

Thank you, Spike and Lyn for being such great Hosts!

What do DNR Volunteers do?

Download the 2017 DNR Volunteer Annual Report (PDF) for a listing of all the different kinds of projects volunteers do throughout the state.

Since creating a department-wide DNR Volunteer Program in 1982, citizens have engaged in more than 11 million hours of volunteer service focused on managing our state's natural resources.

How does Minnesota rank for volunteering?

Source: Corporation for National and Community Service

Minnesotans show a passion for volunteering - Fox 9 News, 6/28/17

Want to Volunteer with Us?

Current volunteer opportunities now open for this season