Commitment to Community
At Minnesota Energy Resources, we have a social responsibility to our communities. We strive to enhance the quality of life for our customers by supporting organizations that promote the environment, health and human services, arts and culture, community and education. Minnesota Energy Resources' employees live in, work for and contribute to the communities we serve. We are a trusted neighbor and community partner and support programs that help make our communities great places to live.
- Safety in Schools
- Parks & Playgrounds
- Art & Nature
- Disaster Relief
- Supporting A Better Chance House
- Funding for Proctor Fire Department
- Children's Safety Camp
Safety in Schools
On many school days, our employees are in middle school classrooms. There, they give natural gas safety demonstrations. These free 45-minute demonstrations occur at nearly a third of the middle schools served by Minnesota Energy Resources each year. And every year, interest in the programs grows.
During the "Natural Gas Safety & You" demonstrations, two gas service mechanics introduce students to the chemical composition of natural gas, the dangers of carbon monoxide, how to recognize a gas leak and actions to take in a natural gas emergency. On-site gas experiments by our presenters illustrate how sudden and explosive a natural gas problem can be.
Based on pre-test and post-test scores, students' understanding of safety issues improves by about 30% on average as a result of watching these demonstrations.
Parks & Playgrounds
Our employees often lend a hand to create parks and playgrounds for our youngest community members. At the B. Robert Lewis House in Eagan, Minnesota Energy Resources employees built a new play system and rebuilt a deck that was in need of repair.
The house is a safe place for women and children experiencing domestic violence. Anika Rychner, Director of the Lewis House, said, "Your contribution in time, talent and compassion made a valuable difference to ... the community. To volunteer and give of your time has a special quality of its own. We have been helping families in crisis for over 30 years, and we depend on our caring and special volunteers."
Art & Nature
The mission of the Caponi Art Park is to make art accessible to all. On its grounds, people come together with art and nature to restore, nurture and maintain the basic unity of the human spirit.
Located on 60-acres of rolling wooded hills, brick and dirt paths are linear drawings, retraced by each person who walks on them. Rock walls and shaped earth host sculptures throughout the grounds. In making the art park, Anthony Caponi, sculptor, retired professor and chair of the Art Department of Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota, created serious works to demonstrate that art and the environment can be one.
Minnesota Energy Resources contributes to the Caponi Art Park in Eagan, Minnesota. The park is open for tours by schools and other groups. It presents free activities and performances featuring the region's top artists in an outdoor environment.
Late afternoon on June 17, 2010, about 36 tornadoes swept through Minnesota — a state record — and left behind a pile of rubble. Hardest hit were Wadena (population 4,300; about 70 miles southeast of Fargo) and the farm country in the Albert Lea area (about 90 miles south of the Twin Cities).
Because of the devastation, several available Minnesota Energy Resources employees from areas around the state were called in to assist and worked long hours. To avoid any potential compromise of safety, natural gas was shut off to the affected areas. Approximately 230 homes in the Wadena area reported damage. Hardest hit was the southwestern part of town.
The devastation drew national media attention, and the National Guard was called in to help secure the area alongside volunteers and neighbors who began cleaning up the rubble and assessing the situation.
Natural gas was turned back on when areas were again deemed habitable, and after the natural gas systems were extensively tested to ensure safety. Crews from Minnesota Energy Resources were available and ready to assist as natural gas was restored to homes and appliances were re-lit.
Minnesota Energy Resources' employees worked with residents in affected areas to rise above the difficult challenges posed by this natural disaster.
Supporting A Better Chance House
Minnesota Energy Resources partners with the Better Chance House by funding energy efficiency improvements and programming. "The support we receive from Minnesota Energy Resources is priceless. With their continued support we continue to help our young scholars break the cycle of poverty and realize their dreams," said Breanna Bly, Director of the Rochester Better Chance Home.
Since its beginning in 1972, Rochester Better Chance (RBC) has enabled more than 100 academically talented inner-city youth to graduate from John Marshall High School with a 3.0 GPA or higher.
Funding for Proctor Fire Department
Minnesota Energy Resources recently awarded the Proctor Fire Department with a donation for a combustible gas indicator unit (CGI). These units help firefighters answer calls when carbon monoxide monitors detect unsafe amounts of the gas. Minnesota law requires all homes to have carbon monoxide detectors, and local firefighters respond to carbon monoxide calls.
Children's Safety Camp
The City of Thief River Falls' Park and Recreation Department runs an annual 2-day children's safety camp, for which Minnesota Energy Resources Technician Herb Skiple has volunteered for years. He uses the city's backhoe, barricades, cones and locate flags to portray a construction site. Skiple said, "We discuss the hazards found in a construction setting, why you don't remove locate flags around town and natural gas safety."