Nonprofit St. Peter uses fundraising day to spread message about outdoor activities


November 18—ST. PETER — A new St. Peter nonprofit had a very specific project in mind Thursday for its Give to the Max Day fundraising campaign.

It was a bus.

Grass & Roots Outdoors began in January 2021 with the goal of connecting children to outdoor learning experiences and environmental education. The small team of volunteers organized regular outings to local nature areas, from Seven Mile Creek to Traverse des Sioux to the Gustavus Adolphus College Arboretum.

However, in trying to make the opportunities as accessible and fair as possible, organizers noticed that transportation was a barrier.

So they started a “get on the bus” fundraising project to ensure reliable transportation.

“We want to make sure kids have access to outdoor learning, kids who otherwise wouldn’t have the opportunity, so transportation is important,” said Trish Hiscock-Austin, program director and educator. outdoors.

The nonprofit has raised over $3,000 of a $5,000 goal through Give to the Max’s annual Give MN Day. Although the focus is on the day itself, donors can contribute at any time.

Hiscock-Austin said the nonprofit was happy to be more than halfway through Thursday. This was Grass & Roots’ second Give to the Max Day, following a more modest start in 2021.

This day helped the association to publicize what it does and what it hopes to do in the future.

“It’s fun to have a day where you can really focus on it and be able to reach out to people on social media and let them know what you’re up to,” Hiscock-Austin said.

During the summer, the association organized weekly outings to outdoor spaces. During the school year, volunteers seek to fill in gaps when there are no classes, while having early release days for travel.

The bus will be another way to fill in the gaps.

“Having our own reliable bus accessible whenever we needed it would make all the difference,” Hiscock-Austin said.

For more information about Grass & Roots, visit

The nonprofit was one of 6,439 Minnesota nonprofits and schools participating in Give to the Max Day. Give MN announced that the organizations raised approximately $34 million in total.

“The generosity displayed by Give to the Max will have a huge impact on communities across our state and fuel the work of nonprofits and schools in the year ahead,” said Jake Blumberg, Executive Director of GiveMN, in a press release. “There are still many challenges ahead for our communities, but we take a moment to celebrate raising $34 million as the people of Minnesota once again answered the call.”

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