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Volunteer with the environment and gardening

Volunteering provides an opportunity for people of all ages and interests to get involved in their community. Learn new skills or enhance the ones you already have. Gain valuable experience to boost your resume.

Hennepin volunteers strengthen the community

If you can contribute a few extra hours each month to help, Hennepin County needs your enthusiasm, your time and your willingness to make a difference.

Working together, individuals, families, and businesses can make a positive impact in our community and share the experience of a lifetime.

Imagine the possibilities that volunteering brings!

Find an opportunity that works for you

  • Find something that matches your interests
  • Choose a short- or long-term opportunity
  • Choose a location that’s convenient — close to home or to work
  • Pick the day and time that suits you — a few hours a week to a few hours a month
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Kind of work volunteers do

Master Recycler/Composters are trained on waste prevention, recycling and composting through an extensive six-week course that features industry experts and field trips to local waste processing and recycling facilities.

Once training is complete, participants commit to volunteer 30 hours. Volunteer activities include staffing booths at events and designing and implementing waste reduction and recycling projects. When the 30 hour commitment is fulfilled, participants are certified Master Recycler/Composters and encouraged to continue volunteer service.

Eligibility requirements

  • Must be 18 years and older
  • Must live or work in Hennepin County

Types of opportunities

  • Staffing booths at events
  • Implementing waste reduction and recycling projects

Opportunities vary and include ongoing or one-time events, and day, evening and weekend shifts.

Application process

Master Recycler/Composter courses are offered in the spring and fall each year. View the course schedule and registration information.

At Fix-It Clinics, volunteers with repair skills help residents learn how to troubleshoot and repair their broken household items. Volunteer fixers who have skills in soldering, electronics repair, electrical repair, sewing, wood working and general tinkering are essential to making the clinics successful.

Learn more about Fix-It Clinics.

Kind of work volunteers do

Volunteers provide researched-based horticultural information to county residents. This happens in various ways, including information booths at events, farmers markets, garden centers and community education courses.

Eligibility requirements

  • Must be 18 years and older

Types of opportunities

  • Ongoing

Shifts available

  • Days
  • Evenings
  • Weekends

Application process for becoming a volunteer

  • Applications are accepted once a year, with a deadline in September, and the county has a limited number of volunteers we can take each year.
  • Applicants must complete an application that includes a horticultural quiz, interview and criminal background check.
  • There is a $25 application fee.

Visit the Hennepin County Master Gardener website for application information.

Special information

All applicants must take the University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardener Core Course. This course takes place once each year, usually in January–February. There is a $250 cost for this training.

Once Master Gardeners complete the Core Course training, they are required to provide 50 hours of community service their first year, then 25 hours of community service every year after in order to remain certified. Each year Master Gardeners must also receive 12 hours of continuing education credit. More information about our program can be found at

The Hennepin County Adopt-A-Highway program was established in 1991 to involve the community in the beautifying of our highway roadsides. Through the program, volunteers pledge to keep roads free of litter.

Kind of work volunteers do

Road segment lengths, available for adoption, are typically two miles. Groups are asked to pick up litter along their segments at least twice a year.

  • Hennepin County places signs at the ends of the segments to recognize and thank the volunteer groups for their efforts.

After a roadside clean-up has been completed, group members place filled trash bags along the roadside boulevard.

  • Groups must notify the Transportation Department permit office to arrange for bag pickup.
  • Groups are encouraged to separate and recycle items if they desire.
  • If the group chooses to dispose of the bags themselves, please notify the permit office at 612-596-0339 so we can note that the segment has been cleaned.


  • Roads throughout Hennepin County

Opportunities are available for:

  • Companies
  • Clubs
  • Families
  • Other groups

Application process for becoming a volunteer

Contact us to let us know you are interested in adopting a road segment.

Special information

  • Hennepin County supplies trash bags and reusable safety vests to all participants at no cost. Groups must pick up the trash bags and vests at the Hennepin County Transportation Department located at 1600 Prairie Drive, Medina.
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