VISTA member Emilee Martell presenting at the Annual Spring Member Meeting at St. Croix River Association in May 2019.
August 5, 2019 | Emilee Martell is currently serving her VISTA service term in partnership with the National Park Foundation at the St. Croix River Association (SCRA) in St. Croix Falls, WI. SCRA works to target and prioritize conservation efforts which result in the greatest pollution reduction, land protection, and stewardship growth.
Emilee’s work is focused on helping build community capacity and improve quality of life by engaging with local businesses and groups to create opportunities for volunteerism and involvement. Over the course of her service term, she has spent her time in the communities along the riverway educating them on the work this non-profit organization does and the impact they have. This project runs year-round which Emilee has been involved with from the beginning. This outreach program to local businesses is part of a project that provides outdoor opportunities such as hikes, kayaking, and interpretive programs to business employees to improve their access to the river. This program also works to promote these local businesses to demonstrate their sustainable values and access a new customer base, thus helping to make sure local communities and companies stay strong and vibrant.
Emilee is not a new face at St. Croix this year. She previously interned for the St. Croix National Service Scenic Riverway as a park guide. She helped run the visitor center, worked with the summer camp environmental education programming for kids, and created and ran a farmer’s market outreach program. She enjoyed her work at St. Croix so much that she returned to work for them for two summers following her initial internship as a seasonal ranger. When she saw they were recruiting for a VISTA, she jumped at the opportunity - even postponing her acceptance to an Environmental Conservation graduate program at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, WI in order to serve.