Sponsored by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) and MAP for Nonprofits, excellence and mission awards were awarded to 6 Minnesota organizations in the presence of more than a thousand of their nonprofit peers Oct. 7 at an awards ceremony held during the Minnesota Council of Nonprofit's 25th Annual Conference.
The Innovation Award was presented to Community Action Duluth for 2 green jobs projects – Duluth Stream Corp and Seeds of Success Urban Farming.
Community Action Duluth has created two Green Jobs initiatives to further its mission to employ innovative strategies that will mobilize low-income people and communities. Community Action Duluth's Seeds of Success program hires individuals to grow vegetables in distressed lot locations throughout Duluth. Through Seeds of Success, Community Action Duluth has developed nine garden sites. The program has provided 75 volunteers with the opportunity to learn basics of vegetable planting and harvesting. Thirteen people have been employed this summer are learned valuable job skills. Community Action Duluth's second program, Stream Corps, works to restore the 42 streams that pass through Duluth on the way to Lake Superior. Through the EPA funded Stream Corps, Community Action Duluth has planted 20,000 trees that will stabilize 20 miles of stream bank over the next two years. Stream Corps employees and volunteers have also learned how to use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software to integrate marketing, public outreach and forestry.
Community Action Duluth's Stream Corps made headlines in both the Duluth News Tribune and on WDIO, highlighting the work they are doing to improve the quality of Duluth's streams.