Meet Callie our new Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Callie Sacarelos, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, Mississippi Park Connection

callieblog.PNG

Mississippi Park Connection is the perfect synthesis of my personal passions and goals for my community. Our vision to ignite discovery and a lifelong relationship with the Mississippi River resonates with my soul, because it was only a few years ago that I discovered my own deep connection with nature.

Growing up in St. Paul I considered myself a “city girl” despite countless family camping excursions in the midwest and occasional day trips to Battle Creek Regional Park or Jay Cooke State Park. Working for a decade in various service industry roles (at Tilia, Revival and Finnegans Brew Co., among others) kept me in mostly urban areas and also heavily influenced my priorities. After graduating with a journalism degree from the University of Minnesota (where I wrote articles for the Minnesota Daily), and freelancing for the Star Tribune, I decided to sell all my possessions to travel and work around the world for a few years. A chance job offer on the road landed me in Skagway, Alaska. It was here in the untamed mountain wilderness that I finally stood still long enough to feel the pulse of the earth. For the first time in my life, I understood that nature is alive. With this newfound love and connection, I then kicked around in Colorado’s San Juan mountains for a year before returning home to my family in Minneapolis.

I feel very fortunate and privileged to have these experiences, but I realized after coming home that I didn’t need to travel to the other side of the planet to connect with nature or have an impact on humanity. I look forward to helping others discover this pulse in Minnesota, whether it’s kids going to a state park for the first time through our youth education programs or business professionals reorienting themselves with the outdoors through our volunteer stewardship programs. I am most interested in emphasizing Mississippi Park Connection’s core value of ensuring that everyone feels a sense of ownership of this park. It is important to me that we recognize the indigenous history of this sacred land and water and continue to seek to inspire people of all backgrounds to discover, explore, and cherish this place.