LWV hears of volunteer opportunities at parks

Carol Bradley of the League of Women Voters ABC with guest speaker at the January meeting, Brian Williams, Anoka County Parks and Recreation Department volunteer resources coordinator.

Brian Williams, the resource development coordinator for Anoka County Parks and Recreation Department, shared the many volunteer activities that his office has coordinated over the past year at the January meeting of League of Women Voters ABC.

“It could be a youth group, a corporate group looking to do a team building activity, a Boy Scout proposing an Eagle Scout project or individuals – we’re now in a position to match community volunteers to a fulfilling volunteer experience on a one-time or an ongoing basis,” Williams said.

In his first year on the job, Williams tracked over 1,000 hours by volunteers.

Williams described volunteer naturalist activities at Wargo Nature Center; clean-ups at parks, boat launches and the Mississippi River bank; an Eagle Scout project that provided a new walkway at Banfill-Locke Center for the Arts and an upcoming adopt-a-garden program.

In a clean-up at Islands of Peace County Park last year, 14 volunteers picked up over 650 pounds of trash, including mattresses and furniture, according to Williams.

“The work provided by our volunteers frees up staff time and resources for the many projects that are always under way in our parks,” Williams said.

His position is funded by the state Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment.

Williams is a 2001 graduate of Blaine High School and a graduate of the University of Minnesota’s sports management program.

His Anoka County roots allow him to knowledgeably recruit and respond to community organizations, companies and individuals, while his sports management experience has been very useful in the fund-raising part of his job that has included recruiting corporate sponsors for county facilities such as the Bunker Beach, ad sales for county park publications and writing grant applications, Williams said.

“Volunteering in our parks provides a meaningful way to be involved in the community and to take part in protecting our parks, trails and water,” he said.

For more information, go to the Anoka County Parks and Recreation website at www.anokacountyparks.com. Click on Programs for a link to Volunteer information.

The next meeting of League of Women Voters ABC will be Feb. 11 at Andover Senior Center, with hospitality at 6 p.m. followed by 6:30 p.m. meeting. For further information, contact Kathie Whelchel at 763-421-3875 or email kathiew7contacts@gmail.com.

League of Women Voters is a non-partisan political organization that encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues and influences public policy through education and advocacy.

Membership and activities are open to men and women of all ages. For more information about the League of Women Voters, visit www.lwvmn.org.

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