Wolves Staff Assists the Community



Lauren Lang
Wolves Writer


Nearly 100 members of the Minnesota Timberwolves organization traveled back in time to the 19th century as they recently visited the Gibbs Museum of Pioneer and Dakotah Life in Falcon Heights, MN. The initiative was organized by the Timberwolves FastBreak Foundation, which is known for their hands-on programs that help positively impact Minnesota youth.

The Gibbs Museum was made part of the Ramsey County Historical Society after eight of the original 160 acres were purchased, preserved and cared for. The land was originally bought by Jane Gibbs and her family when Minnesota first become a territory in 1849 and the site now pays homage to the Minnesota pioneer and Dakotah lifestyles, due to Jane's close relationship to the Dakotah people. The site is a popular fieldtrip destination in the metro area and last year alone was visited by 19,000 students. Gibbs is known for providing subsidized tours for schools serving lower-income areas and performing outreach programs in local schools.

Wolves' employees got a chance to spend the day outdoors and provided assistance to members of the Gibbs staff. Among the general upkeep the Wolves tended to the expansive garden area, stained the deck of the original 1854 farm house, painted animals sheds and the school house steps, assembled a Dakotah tipi and much more. The largest task of the day was fittingly constructed by the largest number of volunteers. "We have one group building a fence around our heritage apple orchard, explained Terry Swanson, Program/Site Manager at Gibbs Museum. "We have apple stock that goes all the way back to Thomas Jefferson's time."

Swanson and her crew were overjoyed by the amount of tasks Timberwolves staffers were able to accomplish. "These are things with a small staff we could never accomplish on our own. We have two full-time people here and 14 part-time staff out here doing all these jobs. (The Wolves) are making sure that we get these things that are so important to the operation of our physical site accomplished."

Teaming up with the Timberwolves to tackle the day's various projects was Rebuilding Together - Twin Cities. "For four years now Rebuilding Together and the Minnesota Timberwolves have teamed up to work on non-profit facility," said Dave Christensen, Rebuilding Together's Construction Manager. "We've done several schools, actually three schools and now we did this project on the Gibbs Family Farm. We form a partnership to do needed work for non-profit facilities."

Among the large group of volunteers was Timberwolves president Chris Wright, who helped with the intense task of building the apple orchard fence. Wright took a moment to talk about the special community outreach initiative, “We were pleased to bring the Timberwolves and Lynx staff to the Gibbs Museum for All-Staff Volunteer Day - it was a phenomenal experience. Our staff had a very rewarding and fun day while helping an organization that serves thousands of Minnesota youth annually.”

After a long day in the sun the Wolves employees left Gibbs Museum feeling accomplished knowing they helped complete all of the projects that needed to be done. "To see all of the Minnesota Timberwolves here, while we're open, working on these projects, just demonstrates that we have a good partnership with them and we're moving forward," gushed an emotional Swanson, "And the Wolves are helping us."
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