Public Spirit, June 2015, Farewell Edition

Thank You. 

Plain and simple, and from the heart of everyone at the InterCorps Council of Minnesota. Thank you, dear reader, for taking the time out of your day to browse our newsletter, and for those who attended events, volunteered with us, told a friend about the ICC, followed us on social media-you are all rock stars. Being the final Public Spirit of the ICC year, this last newsletter is filled with ideas to keep your summer days filled with the fun and service it deserves-so kick back, relax, and enjoy our Farewell Edition. Did I mention thanks, and you guys are the bee’s knees?

Alright, enough of the sappy stuff. Let’s give Pubic Spirit the proper send-off it deserves, with one last newsletter filled to the brim with articles that are guaranteed to make you break out in dance, they’re so good. 

Good Luck and Thank You!!

A note from Ariel, the InterCorps Council President:

This year’s ICC accomplished a ton – resulting in some really impressive stats. Together, we…

  • Coordinated over 200 volunteers at service events for MLK Day.
  • Offered over eight training and education events for service members throughout the year and across the Cities.
  • Delivered Public Spirit to more folks than ever (600+ each month!) – and to more countries than ever before, including India, Japan, and Mexico!
  • Met up at five formal and informal networking events over the year.

From the bottom of my heartthank you InterCorps Councilers,everyone who contributed to making our events successful andanyone who attended our events this year. You have made this an amazing, record-breaking year for the council and left it in an awesome place to be successful for AmeriCorps members in years to come. Who would have known just how lucky we were in September to have such a dedicated, hard-working group? Who would have known how many AmeriCorps service members would step up to the plate and volunteer at our service events, send out the Public Spirit to the masses, show up to trainings and sign up to kick dodgeball booty? You all rock.

We have also been led by some incredibly dedicated, passionate, wonderful advisors! I want to thank Kara Balcerzak, Samson Girma, James Adkinson and Michael Zuniga for their wisdom, patience, good humor and kindness.

I feel honored to have served with every one of you – you’re going to do amazing things this year and in years to come. Thank you for your service and for reading the Public Spirit!! 

*For you AmeriCorps members who might be considering joining the InterCorps Council next year, do not hesitate to email us with any questions! 


Lake Life: Minnesota Living

Forget about Minnesota’s moniker Minnesnowta, and EMBRACE our beautiful state’s other nickname: The Land of 10,000 Lakes! It seems like wherever you are in Minnesota, a lake is within a few miles. This fact, coupled with the reappearance of the sun and much-deserved warm weather, means it’s time to go live the lake life. If you’re unsure of how to spend your day at the lake, read on!

Lake Activity Time!

  • Build a sandcastle! Have a sandcastle-making contest with your friends!
  • Turn your friend into a beautiful mermaid (and don’t forget to snap a photo).
  • Bring a Frisbee, football, or soccer ball and begin a pickup game.
  • Work off that winter paleness and lie in the sun (but wear sunscreen!)
  • Pack some food, bring a cooler filled with cold drinks and have a picnic!
  • Try your hand at fishing! To find lakes in your county and information about types of fish and fishing regulations in your area, click here.
  • It’s time to read that book you’ve been meaning to! What better place than on the beach by the lake?
  • Have a friend with a boat? Go boating! This one’s a no-brainer.
  • Bring a sketchbook, relax and draw what you see.
  • Bring a kite!
  • Take your pet lion for a walk!

Minnesota Lake Highlight

Below you will find lake highlights in the Twin Cities Area. If you live in the Greater Minnesota area, trust us, it’s worth the trip! If you’d like to find local information on lakes near you, check out this website.

Lake Calhoun 

Be prepared to spend the day here! Lake Calhoun has gorgeous walking, running, biking, and rollerblading trails encircling the lake, and is a central hub for city life in the summer. Amenities include canoe, paddle board, and kayak rental, picnic areas and two main beaches.

Lake Harriet

Lake Harriet has a lot to offer in the ways of lakes, but what sets this location apart from others is its bandstand. Spend the day walking the trails, swimming at the beach and then enjoy a free movie or music at the bandstand later in the evening. Check herefor a calendar of events.

Medicine Lake

More on the outskirts of the Twin Cities, Medicine Lake is a favorite go-to spot for fishing enthusiasts. If fishing isn’t your thing, come here to swim at the beach, play beach volleyball, picnic or go boating.

In the end, there’s 10,000 (and higher!) different lakes for you to check out in the Great State of Minnesota, so in the end, you should find one that fits you perfectly. Don’t forget the sunscreen and beach towel, and go lake crazy this summer!


Fourth of July!

It’s summer and almost the 4th of July! The nice weather, fireworks, hanging out with friends and family, what’s not to love? Unsure of what you are going to do this year? The ICC is here to help!

We hope this is helpful and everyone enjoys a wonderful and safe Independence Day! 


Summer Service Opportunities

Looking for service opportunities this summer? If so, you’re in luck! The InterCorps Council is here to share a few ideas to help get you started. 

When you begin your search, keep in mind the things that you would like to do and would rather avoid doing. For instance, if you like to stay active, try to find things that will keep you moving. Thus, building, organizing and blowing bubbles would be ideal activities to seek out. Secondly, consider duration; would you prefer a one-time service opportunity to make up for a few lost hours or are you looking for a repeated service opportunity? 

Here are some organizations to consider that have partnered with AmeriCorps in the past:

  • Minneapolis Bicycle Coalition (MBC) – Like bicycling? Want to help strengthen the bicycling community and infrastructure in the Twin Cities? Volunteer with MBC at a number of their events by supporting safe bicycle transit during events, working at an information booth or delivering flyers. 
  • Feed My Starving Children – Help pack meals for folks in need.
  • People Serving People (PSP) – PSP has a number of opportunities, including serving meals during meal nights or repeated mentoring/tutoring during PSP’s summer enrichment programs.
  • The Minnesota Children’s Museum is always looking for volunteers to keep order and to help with fun-making. For example, the title of Supreme Bubble-Blower has been given to a volunteer serving with the Children’s Museum. 
  • Arc of Hennepin and Goodwill Easter Seals – From event planning and policy work to data entry and mentoring, these two organizations have a variety of volunteer opportunities. Take a look at their websites for more information. 
  • Habitat for Humanity (HFH) –  You can help build or renovate homes for families that have been selected for HFH’s affordable housing program, which trades labor hours and dedication to being a responsible home owner for an affordable home. There are also opportunities with HFH’s ReStore to support customer service; organize donated recycled home furniture, accessories, building materials, and appliances; or to help repair furniture. This organization relies heavily on the support of community partners to complete homes, so you can always make an impact here.

If you’re looking for service opportunities, but haven’t found anything appealing from what is listed above, check out Volunteer Match at Here you’ll be able to search through a ton of opportunities near you.

Happy volunteering!


Summer Fun in MN! A Sampling of Events!

Are you finding yourself without enough summer plans? We’ve all been there – beautiful days, fewer worries, and all the desire in the world to make the most out of three months. Let us show you where it’s at this summer with some great suggestions for summer time enjoyment, both in the cities and in Greater Minnesota.

Astronomy and Stargazing

  • Glacial Lakes State Park
  • Starbuck, MN
  • Fridays in July: 4, 11, 18, 25 – and Saturdays in Aug. 1, 8, 15, 22, and 29
  • $5.00 for a day – $25.00 for an annual pass

See stars, planets, galaxies and nebulae up close with your own eyes! Join the Glacial Lakes Astronomers and Stargazers Society to look through a variety of telescopes and binoculars as they answer questions about the night sky. Meet at the Horse Camp at dusk, weather permitting. No equipment is necessary.

Pig Races 

  • July 5
  • Nevis, MN
  • $5.00 per person

Pig racing has quickly become a crowd pleaser. Besides humorous entertainment and pigs racing with capes, you will also find a beer garden, kids’ activities, face painting, food and beverages. What’s next… pigs flying?

Painting in the Parks 

  • Wargo Nature Center
  • Lino Lakes, MN
  • July 9, 6 pm – 9 pm
  • $20 per person (A 21+ event)

What better combination than art and nature? Occurring the second Thursday of each month for the Painting in the Parks series, an experienced artist will guide you toward your own masterpiece all while being immersed in nature! No experience necessary. Ages 21+ are welcome. Pre-registration is required.

Therapeutic Shoulder and Neck Yoga 

  • Yoga Sol
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • Jul 12 at 2pm and Jul 13 at 3:30pm
  • Donation based

This therapeutic yoga workshop focuses on relieving pain in the major areas of the body where there tends to be discomfort. Pain, both chronic and acute, can be caused by injury, athletic activity, surgery, overuse, underuse, exhaustion, and even stress. This workshop will teach techniques to alleviate pain in your neck and shoulders and to invite ease and comfort back into your body. All levels of yoga experience are welcome!

 Minnow Races 

  • El Peterson Park
  • Pelican Rapids, MN
  • Jul 7, 14, 21, etc. every Tuesday, 10:30 am to 1 pm

 River Arts Festival

  • Memorial Park
  • Moorhead, MN
  • July 7 and July 21

 A family-friendly festival featuring a free concert, rides, games and activities at Memorial Park in Moorhead.

Sociable’s second annual NE Brewer’s block party! 

  • Sociable Cider Werks
  • Minneapolis, MN
  • July 26, 2 pm – 9 pm

Free event for all ages. If you will be imbibing, you will need to purchase a wrist band for $1 or with a non-perishable food item to support the Southern Anoka Community Assistance food shelf. Bike valet courtesy of Recovery Bike Shop.

Sheep Fiber Farm Tour

  • August 2
  • Houston, MN

Dinners on the yak farm and a self-driving tour of fiber farms! Tickets

Waseca Garden Walk 

  • Bailey Lewer House
  • Waseca, MN
  • Free

Pizza Lucé Block Party 2015!

  • Pizza Lucé
  • Minnesota, MN
  • August 8, 12 pm – 10 pm
  • Free Admission

The Pizza Lucé Block Party is back for 2015! This event hosts a killer lineup of awesome local talent. North 4th Street outside of Pizza Luce Downtown will be blocked and the stage will be in the parking lot across the street. There will be pizza by the slice, brats, vegan brats and Izzy’s Ice Cream! Summit Brewing Company will be on site serving up cold Summit beer by the pint.

The Internet Cat Video Festival 

  • CHS Field
  • Saint Paul, MN
  • Wednesday, August 12, 6:30 pm – 10 pm

 The Internet Cat Video Festival heads to the new CHS Field in Saint Paul for its fourth installment. Barb Abney of Go 96.3 hosts, with a new compilation of videos curated by Will Braden, the creator of the Henri Le Chat Noir videos. ASL interpretation will be available. Tickets are now on sale. 

Antique Boat Show and Music Festival 

  • Bayport Marina
  • Bayport, MN
  • Aug 15

FREE event! Annual boat show featuring classic and antique boats for public display at the Bayport Marina just minutes from downtown Stillwater. Walk the docks to admire the craftsmanship and style of vintage boats and enjoy local artisans selling beach/boat themed goods.

Art & Wine Walk

  • Blue Moose Bar and Grill-starting point
  • East Grand Forks, MN
  • Jul. 18 and Aug 15, 1 pm – 5 pm

Every third Saturday of the month, June-October, in the beautiful downtown area, you’ll have a chance to sample an assortment of fine wines while viewing great works of Art by talented regional artists.

Japanese Lantern Lighting Festival 

  • Como Park Zoo & Conservatory
  • Saint Paul, MN
  • August 23

A wonderful Japanese cultural event held each year around Obon at Como Park!

28th Annual Duluth-Superior Pride 

  • Bayfront Festival Park
  • Duluth, MN
  • August 27-August 30

Celebrate Pride in the Twin Ports Labor Day Weekend. Join thousands on the shore of Lake Superior as they commemorate their 27th year of Pride at Bayfront Festival Park and throughout the Twin Ports. Activities for everyone: the Mayor’s reception, a bonfire, GLBTAQI history exhibit, music, family/kid’s area, poetry, Hummingbird 5K Run, parties and the fabulous Fruit Float and Foo Foo Choo Choo.


To view the list of all ICC members, including the names of the Communications Committee who bring you your monthly Public Spirit, click on this link.

That’s all, folks! Thanks for being great, enjoy the rest of your service year, and as always-stay classy!