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Volunteer with the environment and gardening

Help protect the environment in Hennepin County! 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, and gain valuable experience to boost your resume.

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.

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The Wetland Health Evaluation Program (WHEP) is an environmental monitoring program focused on assessing the condition and health of wetlands.

Teams of citizen scientists assess local wetlands by identifying and quantifying the biological communities of each site. Volunteers collect aquatic macroinvertebrates, including insects, leeches, small crustaceans, and snails. Teams also focus on wetland vegetation by inventorying the plant community.

Volunteers gathered and provide important information to city and county planners, engineers, resource managers and others.

Learn more and find application materials at the WHEP webpage.

Join fellow waste reduction enthusiasts and become an advocate for the three Rs in your community as a Hennepin County Master Recycler/Composter.

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 conducting outreach 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.

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.

Master Gardener Volunteers take their knowledge and love of horticulture into the Hennepin County community and share it with others. Volunteers learn while they are volunteering and by attending required continuing education classes offered by the University of Minnesota, Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, and Minnesota Horticultural Society. The Master Gardener Program is the perfect way to volunteer your time and talents and learn more at the same time.

Master Gardeners complete the Core Course training, then are required to provide 50 hours of community service their first year and 25 hours every year after in order to remain certified. They must also receive 12 hours of continuing education credit.

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.

Applications are accepted from August 1 to October 1 each year.

Learn more about becoming a Master Gardener.

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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