A helping hand at our Minnesota office

Linden Weiswerda interned for The Trust for Public Land–Minnesota this year. Here’s his recap of a summer spent conserving land for people.

It has been my pleasure to be a part of the Minnesota office this summer. I had already been a Trust for Public Land supporter for several years, so my internship was a wonderful opportunity to see the work done behind the scenes. Having lived both in rural farmland and downtown in major cities, I wanted to learn more about how TPL creates and protects the full range of public land—from the heart of the Twin Cities metro area to the wild and scenic Boundary Waters straddling the Canadian border.

I recently completed my master’s degree in urban and regional planning at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School with a focus on urban parks and green space. I applied that knowledge this summer in a variety of work, including a comprehensive review of The Trust for Public Land's projects completed in Minnesota over the past 25 years. You can read many of my updates and additions to pages profiling the organization's work here.

I also used Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software to create new maps of project sites, locate old projects, and identify areas of critical or threatened land for future evaluation. Staff use GIS across the country—to see how, check out the Greenprinting service.

Some of the other work I did included research on park dedication fees in the Twin Cities, analysis of parkland in new and developing transit corridors, and looking at park conservancy organizations. In addition, I sat in on meetings with staff and partners, survived a state government shutdown, and generally developed my interest in this type of work—protecting the outdoors in all its diverse forms.