Green Visions

©Lisa Johnson

What do Minnesotans like in the summertime?

Lots of things.  Many involving lakes, dogs and ... beer.

So if something comes along that threatens those things ... well, them's fightin' words.

Clover Valley Farms

Apples and rabbits and sheep - oh my!

Clover Valley Farms is giving farmers, gardeners of the merely curious a chance to tour their organic, sustainable acres this weekend.

Chester Park Trail Race/Instagram

Just over three miles.

Up to 300 runners.

It's the second annual Chester Park Trail Race, and the only thing that will stop it is the trail itself.  

Inter-Tribal Maple Syrup Producers Cooperative/Facebook

Maybe it's hard to really internalize what rising ocean levels, for instance, mean when you live in the middle of the country.

But the effect climate change could have on the maple syrup we make every spring?

That's something to pay attention to,

Elizabeth Alexson/MN Sea Grant

The toxic blue-green algae blooms on Lake of the Woods are a human-created problem.

And that it's going to take another few decades for the lake to flush itself of the toxins and nutrients that are causing the blooms.

How do we know this, you ask?

So glad you asked!

University of Minnesota Duluth

KUMD's Adam Reinhardt has a conversation with UMD Assistant Professor Randel Hanson, the Co-Director of the Program in Environment and Sustainability.

©Emily Ford. Used with permission.

Emily Ford isn't the kind of gardener to sit around twiddling her thumbs when winter drags on.

The harsh winter took her bees, but she's already planning to restock the hives. And while she was waiting for spring to arrive, she tapped some friends to borrow gear and then tapped some maple trees.

Suffice it to say that this year, Glensheen will be abuzz with bees, in bloom with roses, and dripping with maple syrup.

Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory

Maybe it's not as warm as Hawk Ridge in September.

But Hawk Ridge Bird Observatory Count Interpreter John Richardson says it's a lot more exciting.

The counters are headquartered at Enger Tower for spring migration, and even if a piece of West Skyline Parkway is closed and you have to park and walk in,  Richardson says there are a lot of species to be seen.

Stephanie Bower, Architectural illustration.

Take an idea from the feudal land systems of centuries ago.

Add some modern-day best practices from a legal anthropologist.

Then use art to translate law and the technology of solar energy into "layman's terms."

More information about Solar Commons is here.

Tony Webster/Flickr

The EPA's plans to roll back car emissions standards has brought to light another issue: just because the federal government relaxes regulations doesn't mean states - and even individual companies - have to go along with it.

This month's Minnesota Climate Forum hopes to inspire businesses large and small from all different sectors to get started on making their own changes.

Milkweed Editions

Dave and Amy Freeman are "adventure advocates."

Four years ago, they paddled and sailed 2000 miles from Ely to Washington D.C. to to call attention to a proposed sulfide-ore copper mining operation near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

In September of 2015, they began a year in the BWCAW, sharing their experience through video, photos, and blog posts.

If there's one thing people in the Northland care about, it's our water.  We love our rivers, streams and, of course, the big lake.

So when the conversation turns to things like polluted trout streams, setting acceptable levels of pollutants and how best to manage the three watersheds that make up the Duluth Urban Watershed, it's not surprising that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency wants to hear from folks up here on their proposals.

From adding fresh produce grown at UMD to today's rollout of compostable cups and straws, the U's Dining Services and Office of Sustainability are making big strides with a little tiny footprint.

Lisa Johnson

Jessica Looman is feeling pretty good about the state of solar energy in Minnesota.

What's got the state commerce commissioner "walking on sunshine"?

Minnesota's solar capacity between 2015 and 2016 grew almost three times - to put that in perspective, the 476 megawatts added in 2017 is enough electricity to power 53,000 more homes.

Add to that declining prices, increased consumer demand and 57,000 clean energy jobs in the state, Minnesotans may be inclined to quote Timbuk 3 from back in the day: "The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades".

provided by Glenn DelGuidice/MN DNR

Two-thirds of Minnesota's moose die of health issues like brainworm and tick infestations.

But as the MN DNR's Moose Project leader explains, the solution isn't nearly as simple as the nature programs on TV would have us think. 

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