Meet the dynamic duo that makes our green team so awesome

Donna Dagg, Joseph Manacsa and their Green Team have a big vision for a better Winnipeg. Every year they lead a team of dedicated volunteers who ensure that as much waste is kept out of the landfill as possible: last year alone a remarkable 85% was diverted. You will see them all over Investors Group Field helping you dispose of your waste, but what you won’t see is Donna and Joseph working at the Charles Barbour Arena the day after the Marathon… hand sorting all of the waste from the course to ensure that all of that is properly diverted as well. Donna and Joseph: your dedication to the environment and to Winnipeg is outstanding and we can’t thank you enough for all that you do. We are so proud to have you as a part of our team.

When did you first start volunteering with Manitoba Marathon and what initially got you involved?

We really can’t remember, we believe around 2009 – 2010.  In 2009, the current volunteer for the Green Team took a position for the Vancouver Olympics (to work in sustainability) and suggested the Marathon Office contact us to see if we would be interested in carrying on. We also like to help people and support the Manitoba Marathon’s charitable endeavours.

What job do you do on race day? What do you particularly enjoy about that position? 

We help to coordinate and are part of the Green Team which means we help to manage waste materials generated on race day diverting as much of the recyclables and compostable material generated as possible from the landfill. Events are great, but can be a big impact on the environment. The opportunity to support the Manitoba Marathon’s vision for a green event is very exciting for us.

What motivates you to stay involved?

During race day, the Green Team is very busy. It can be very hectic and overwhelming, but at the end of the day we can see the results of our efforts. With most of the material being placed in recycling and composting and very little in the garbage…… and the Marathon Office people are very nice.

Do you have a great memory from a race day to share?   

Every year racers and spectators come up to us and thank us for volunteering; they see the value in what we are doing.  Some people watch us while we manage the materials and ask questions about composting and recycling which is very rewarding.

What do you think is the most important skill that you have gained volunteering with the Marathon? 

Managing our activities in a “fast paced” setting. Making sure to stay positive and friendly to enhance the experience for the participants.

What is the most important advice you could give to new volunteers with the Marathon? 

Ask lots of questions, remember the cause, give it your all and have fun.

What do you wish other people knew about the Manitoba Marathon and/or the Manitoba Marathon Foundation? 

The benefits (both to the runners, and the Foundation) generated for our community as a result of the Manitoba Marathon.

What are some of your other interests? What do you do professionally? 

Volunteering for environmental causes.  We both work in the field of sustainable development – helping to integrate environmental and social thinking into business decisions.

What kinds of changes have you seen in the Marathon over your years as a volunteer? 

Many changes – different people volunteering, different course layouts.  From a Green Team perspective the racers and spectators are much more informed about waste minimization and the benefits of recycling and composting.

How has your volunteer work influenced other areas of your life? 

People have been very kind and are appreciative of our volunteer work. This is motivating, and helps us keep our passion for the environment.

To see a video of Joseph and Donna’s dedicated efforts, see Global Winnipeg’s video: https://globalnews.ca/news/2781900/better-winnipeg-manitoba-marathon-runs-a-super-green-race-in-recycling/