Going Green for the Greater Good
Members Cooperative Credit Union (MCCU) proudly stands as an environmental steward, through green-centered initiatives and its developing partnerships with local sustainable gardens. In 2017, MCCU formed a sustainability committee to further the credit union’s vision which includes a commitment to the environment: to support and promote decisions, actions, and initiatives that are aligned with our vision and demonstrate our desire to be a positive business citizen in the communities we serve.
In 2019, MCCU sought out green-centered alternatives for the construction of its new Cloquet branch. Some of the building’s key features include: an open concept design to maximize the use of natural sunlight, LED lights to reduce overall energy consumption, green construction materials, motion-sensing lights, and added technology to reduce paper consumption.
This year, MCCU expanded its sustainability efforts by partnering with the Williams Park Community Garden in North Branch, MN, and the Central Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge Sustainable Garden in Brainerd, MN. Both entities provide space and educational resources to assist individuals in learning how to manage, grow, and harvest fresh produce. MCCU has provided funding to help both gardens purchase necessary equipment for next year’s harvest.
“MCCU, through its sustainability committee, is very excited to live out its vision of having a positive environmental impact in the communities we serve,” stated Simone Suri, committee member and General Counsel for MCCU. “Supporting these two organizations brings together our commitment and their meaningful contributions for which we are thankful.”
About Williams Park Community Garden
The Community Gardens of North Branch formed in 2008 by the City of North Branch to provide public land and educational opportunities for community members to manage their own gardens. In 2016, the Chisago County Master Gardeners took the lead by renovating the land and providing educational resources. In 2017, the garden was expanded to include raised beds and handicap accessibility. Now known as the Williams Park Community Garden, it offers ground plots and raised beds for community members to rent on an annual basis.
About Central Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge Sustainable Garden
At the start, in 2014, Central Minnesota Adult & Teen Challenge (MnTC) established an educational and well-being garden program to enhance its addiction treatment and recovery programming. Educated by Crow Wing County Master Gardeners and other knowledgeable experts and mentors, clients are guided and fully engaged with constructing, planting, managing, harvesting, and utilizing the produce they grow in their onsite sustainable garden and orchard. MnTC’s mission is to assist teens and adults in gaining freedom from chemical additions and other life controlling problems, by addressing their physical, emotional, and spiritual needs. The sustainable garden offers hands-on healing and has proven very effective in enhancing a client’s critical well-being and recovery.