Environment & Outdoors

Leeann Cafferata [via Flickr]

As part of our Sustainability Week series on Northland Morning, we speak with Jodi Slick, the founder and CEO of Ecolibrium3, about what it means to have a sustainable community, by improving social connectivity and creating local zoning plans that promote sustaining our regional ecosystem. 

© Minnesota Power

Our guest today is Paul Helstrom, the Renewable Program Lead at MN Power, whose job is to create a more user friendly renewable energy program for MN Power and our community.  He joins us to share more about their community solar program.

Scot Nelson [via Flickr]

Tom Kasper talks about how the abundance of rain and resulting humidity in recent months is leading to a rise in powdery mildew, a fungal growth that affects many plants.  Gardeners are advised to look out for it, and possibly remove affected leaves to increase airflow around their plants help stave off its spread.

As part of our Sustainability Week series on Northland Morning, we speak with Tristen Eberling from Ecolibrium3 about the Giving Comfort at Home program.  Many of our neighbors in Duluth are living in energy poverty.  Deciding whether to “heat or eat” happens too often with our long winters and old housing stock.

As part of our Sustainability Week series on Northland Morning, we speak with Randy Hanson, PhD, the Co-Director of the Program in Environment and Sustainability at UMD about goings on at the UMD Land Lab, including their recently built "high tunnel" greenhouse, ongoing research in hydroponics, and the upcoming Farm Fest 2017 on September 17 at the UMD Sustainable Agriculture Project (SAP) Farm.

Between the fall wildflowers, the 45 different kinds of goldenrod that grow in Minnesota and the blackberries, suffice it to say that when he's out driving, Larry Weber's attention is everywhere BUT the road!

©Studio One Photography

If you have any doubts about Talia Martens' ability to race the 150 mile 2018 Jr. Iditarod, just look at her trainer/mentors: John Beargrease Sled Dog champion Jamie Nelson and Iditarod veteran Ryan Redington.

If you have any doubts about Talia Martens' tenacity to reach her goal - well, this is a girl who trains huskies in agility.

River with islands in the middle and a town on the far side
Wisconsin Coastal Management Program

There's something called the Lake Superior Estuarium opening on Barker's Island. What's an estuarium, you ask? Deanna Erickson, Education Coordinator of the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve, joined Lisa Johnson to answer that question and tell us more. 

©Sparky Stensaas. Used with permission.

Special guest star Sparky Stensaas sits in for Larry Weber this morning, and talks about one of Larry's favorite plants: the much-maligned goldenrod.

For one thing, Larry says most people aren't allergic to goldenrod; they're allergic to ragweed.

©Chad Richardson, International Wolf Center

It's not so much "who's afraid of the big, bad wolf" as it is who the big, bad wolf is afraid of.

Whether is was a bee sting or some other cub-hood trauma, Boltz, part of the International Wolf Center's ambassador pack, is afraid of flying insets.

Really afraid.

So while the staff at the Center may grin and roll their eyes a bit, they're taking it seriously.  Because among wolves, there are serious consequences for pack members who don't "act normal."

Overduebook/Flickr

Tom Kasper says gardeners are starting to think ahead to the "F word" - "frost," in this case - and worry a little that some fruits and vegetables won't ripen before the weather takes a turn.

But leave it to Master Gardener Tom Kasper to know just the tricks to allow your summer bounty to ripen on the vine instead of on a windowsill. 

Jared Smith [via Flickr]

Naturalist Larry Weber observes that so many things are happening in nature this week, from the mushrooms down low to the ground all the way up to the Perseids and the upcoming solar eclipse.  The rainfall totals for August (and the summer) are above normal. The hawks and ospreys will soon be on the move over Duluth, many insects are maturing, and the blackberries are ripening too.

Everyone is talking about the solar eclipse, occurring Monday across the north American continent.  In the Duluth area, it will not be total eclipse, a mere 80% coverage of the moon over the sun, but that is still a spectacular event to see.

Amy/Flickr

I wish I had the means

to give all the north back to itself, to let the pines

rise in the hayfield and the lilacs go wild.

But then where would we live?

                        from Hartley Field by Connie Wanek

Few things, perhaps, go so well with a walk in the woods as poetry.

Eclipse 2017/NASA

Larry Weber says the difference between viewing a total eclipse and a partial eclipse is - literally - the difference between night and day.

But if a trip to the totality isn't in your plans, there are lots of ways to enjoy the eclipse, stay safe and even a helpful list of places who might be able to set you up with good eclipse-viewing optics.

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