Meet the New Community Volunteer Ambassador for Mississippi National River and Recreation Area

Marnie Sciamanda, Community Volunteer Ambassador (CVA), National Park Service / Mississippi National River and Recreation Area

I am the new Community Volunteer Ambassador (CVA) with the National Park Service at Mississippi National River and Recreation Area. This is a one-year AmeriCorps position that will provide me with the opportunity to work on a variety of habitat restoration and volunteer-centered projects throughout the park. These projects include tree plantings, invasive species removal, education programs, and more. I am already diving right in, visiting classrooms throughout the Twin Cities to help with programs that include making seedpods to spread native prairie seed and planting Kentucky coffee tree seeds.

I grew up in Rosemount, a city along the Mississippi River, south of St. Paul. I did not gain an appreciation of the river until it was in my backyard while I attended college at the University of St. Thomas. Some of my favorite things to do by the river are searching for wildflowers, hiking along the bluffs, and scoping out geological features.

After I received my Bachelor’s in Environmental Science, I lived in the Hudson Valley in New York, working on another great American river — the Hudson River— with the Hudson River Estuary Program at New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation. Working along the Hudson and learning more about its deep cultural and ecological importance made me even more appreciative of my “home river” — the Mississippi River. I am thrilled to be back in Minnesota to work with the National Park Service, and I look forward to all the amazing programs and projects I will be involved in this year. I am passionate about community engagement and I am especially excited for the opportunity to get more volunteers exposed to our park and engaged in restoring, learning about, and appreciating the Mississippi River.