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These are five ways you can get involved in Columbia’s environmental projects.

Volunteer opportunities include clean-up, legislative advocacy, landscaping, and patrolling city parks.

1. Renew Missouri

Renew Missouri was established in 2006 to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency in Missouri.

The organization has supported statewide ballot initiatives, drafted local ordinances and advanced legislation over the past 16 years.

Volunteer work involves reaching out to elected officials to advocate for renewable energy causes. A lot of this work can be done at home.

Renew Missouri has two offices: Columbia and St. Louis.

Website: renewmo.org

Contact information: 573-303-0394; info@renewmo.org

2. Greenbelt Land Trust of Mid-Missouri

Greenbelt Land Trust was established in 1993 as a non-profit organization that is committed to the preservation and restoration of the natural landscapes in mid-Missouri.

Its mission it to conserve streams and forests, grasslands, farmlands, and other natural resources that make up the unique landscape of the region.

Greenbelt can have two types of properties: land donated to it (nature reserves) and land protected with a conservation agreementment. The organization is committed towards protecting land that is protected for perpetuity.

Volunteer opportunities include helping out on the property or at events.

Website: greenbeltmissouri.org

Contact information: 573-340-3927, or Mike Powell, executive director, at mpowell@greenbeltmissouri.org.

3. Columbia Cleanup

Cleanup Columbia, a citywide litter collection event, is open to all who want to take part. It is held on select weekends during April.

Go to the website and fill in the form at the given link. You will also find a downloadable instruction sheet which can be downloaded. It includes tips and information for a successful clean-up.

Website: www.como.gov/volunteer/volunteer-programs/cleanup-columbia/

Contact information: 573-874-7499; volunteer@como.gov.

4. Park Patrol

The Park Patrol volunteers keep city parks and trails in tip-top condition.

Patrollers patrol the MKT Nature and Fitness Trails, Bear Creek Trail, Grindstone Trail and many other trails. Volunteers are available to monitor the parks and trails during daylight hours. They can do this while running, biking, or walking.

Between April and October, four hours per month are needed. Before anyone can begin patrolling, there is an hour-long training session.

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Volunteers can be identified by vests or T-shirts and can also be reached for information while on the trail.

Website: https://www.como.gov/volunteer/volunteer-programs/park-patrol/

Contact information: 573-874-7499; volunteer@como.gov.

5. Adopt-A-Spot Beautification Programme

Columbia is working to beautify the city with the help of businesses, families and other organizations who work together to maintain the landscaping areas.

Each group is responsible to maintain and care for the area. They must follow the guidelines and recommend plants and native species that are allowed in the bed.

A sign is placed on each bed to recognize the efforts of the group maintaining it.

Volunteers receive a limited amount of resources from the city. However, some outside expenses such as fertilizer or extra plants may be required.

Website: https://www.como.gov/volunteer/volunteer-programs/aasb-program/

Contact information: 573-874-7499; volunteer@como.gov

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