Community Partner: Great River Greening

A man helps a young girl plant a new tree in prairie grassland at the edge of a forest

Reusing paper, plastic and canvas shopping bags significantly reduces both emissions and waste. This is why we offer a 5¢ refund for every bag you bring in and use to bag your groceries at our markets. But this small step can make an even greater local impact when you opt to donate your refund to Great River Greening, a nonprofit working to restore and conserve our Minnesota lands and waters.

Great River Greening's restoration projects are aimed at improving natural resources by strengthening ecological systems and promoting stewardship and management of critical lands and waters. They inspire, engage and lead local communities in conserving and caring for the land and water that enrich our lives.

Great River Greening works in partnership with a large variety of conservation partners throughout the Twin Cities metro – municipalities, counties, nongovernmental organizations, federal and state agencies, corporations and private landowners – to restore ecological health to critical natural areas. Their work started in 1995 with a massive volunteer planting project on the Saint Paul riverfront. Working alongside ecologists, over 44,000 volunteers have helped restore over 25,000 acres of natural habitat at nearly 400 sites throughout Minnesota. They choose their projects based on conservation need, ecosystem services provided and community benefits.

Their projects include:

  • Native planting designs for developed and natural areas.
  • Restoration and stabilization of shorelands and ravines.
  • Ecological inventories and restoration management plans.
  • Plantings of native trees, shrubs, wildflowers and grasses.
  • Restoration and management activities, including exotic species removal, prairie seed collection and sowing, and prescribed burns.
  • Conservation practices on farmland for water quality.

Visit to learn more about Great River Greening's mission and how you can get involved.