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Approximately 50 Dakota Electric Association members volunteered their time on June 1 at Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan as part of the 14th annual, state-wide, Touchstone Energy GreenTouch day.

The volunteers did strenuous work and helped get the park ready for the summer season. One group removed a silt fence; another group dismantled an old wetland platform and hauled it away, while other laborers moved boulders to provide protection against erosion. The volunteers also helped clean up trails and perform other work during this annual event. 

“We are very excited about the work that Dakota Electric’s volunteers accomplished,” Katie Pata, park operations coordinator, said. “We want to thank all the volunteers for their help.” 

Dakota Electric’s effort to organize volunteers at the park is part of a larger statewide program started by electric cooperatives in 2000. Since its inception, the GreenTouch event has attracted more than 8,000 volunteers statewide. The work completed by those volunteers equals more than three years of continuous, around-the-clock labor benefitting Minnesota parks.

This was the second year Dakota Electric rallied volunteers to work at Lebanon Hills Regional Park. Before that volunteers worked at Fort Snelling State Park every year since 2002. 

“We had a great group of volunteers,” said Joe Miller, event organizer for Dakota Electric. “They had fun, worked hard and completed significant projects for the park.” 

Those interested in helping in 2014 can watch for an insert in their bills next March or April. Due to the cool, wet spring, Dakota Electric’s GreenTouch event was delayed until June this year. The event is usually held the first Saturday in May.