Cleaning up our “laborhood” – Earth Day hike 2023

Anders, James, Kymberly, and Paula of Local 2822
Anders, James, Kymberly, and Paula of Local 2822

Our first annual AFSCME 2822 Earth Day Hike finally took place on Saturday, June 17. The event was originally planned for a chilly and rainy April 22, but spring flooding and trail closures on our planned route forced us to reschedule.

The team met in the parking lot of the United Labor Centre Building at 312 Central Ave SE in Minneapolis where the monthly New Hire Welcoming Committee and the AFSCME Local 2822 Union meetings are held. Everyone enjoyed Danish pastries, donuts, coffee, and conversation before we set out.

The theme of the day was supported by everything from our supplies that were made from recycled plastics, to our organics recycling container for collecting our food waste, to the welcome sign that was made of a repurposed realtor’s sandwich board, chalkboard paint, colored chalk, and the artistic talent of one of our member’s daughters. The tone was hopeful and optimistic about the work we planned to do that day. We were not disappointed.

The trails were busy with people taking advantage of the beautiful weather and we chatted with many of them. All along our route, people expressed their gratitude to us. Each mention of appreciation was a little more uplifting than the last and we felt proud of our work picking up recyclables and trash. It reminded us that each and every one of us deserves sincere acknowledgement and thanks for the work we do every day.

Our conversation along the route covered more ground than our feet. We talked about biking, staffing changes, eliminating unnecessary impermeable surfaces, workplace safety, alternative recycling options, reduction of single-use items, the acoustics of outdoor music, and more. A Yogi Berra quote was even thrown in and overexplained. And who doesn’t love overexplaining Yogi Berra?

We saw many and varied wildlife, including birds, plants and wildflowers, butterflies, fish jumping in the river and a beaver attempting to hide among the tree roots on the beach. It was an enriching day to walk with nature and get to know our union sisters and brothers a little better.

Join us for future 2822 social events, posted in the AFSCME Local 2822 newsletters. Save the dates to have more fun, ask questions, and share your thoughts. All 2822 members are invited to join the New Hire Welcoming Committee meetings, held on the fourth Monday of each month from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. To R.S.V.P., please send an email to

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