Green Visions

A Northland Morning feature focusing on local environmental issues, heard Wednesdays at 8:20 a.m.  Green Visions is brought to you by Duluth Grill and Heritage Window and Door.

Allissa Stutte

Allisa Stutte, Andy Butter and Evan Flom met at college - Northland College in Ashland.

Now they're putting their environmental ethos - and their friendship to the test buy spending the summer circumnavigating Lake Superior - at a run.

Find out more about the Our Shores Ultrarun here:

UMD's Sustainable Energy Research Workshop wasn't the typical two days of sitting in conference rooms.

It turns out the "research" part in the title is key.

The goal is to spark community and UMD collaborations into research projects that will move the community forward in terms of how much sustainable energy is used and developed long-term.

©Bird Watching Daily

UMD's Dr. Gerald Niemi has seen a lot of changes in the St. Louis River since he began researching birds and their habitat there in the '70s.

Geospatial Analysis Center, UMD

How do you make the most of your potential?

One word: software.

What if you could click the mouse a time or two and find out if you had anything to gain at your house from solar energy?

St. Louis River Alliance

In connection with the community-wide One River, Many Stories project, Green Visions will be looking at the St. Louis River during April.

This week, it's the St. Louis River Alliance's Sentry Program, offering citizen-scientists the opportunity to get some intensive training and then go forth and watch for invasive species in the waters of the St. Louis River.

Len Munnik/Jim Forest/Flickr

John Doberstein and JT Haines do not have enviable jobs.

If you say it's wanted and needed ... the Whole Foods Co-op will build it ... and they will come.

It wasn't a hasty process; the Co-op invested in a lot of research and conversation with the community beforehand, but the new 12,500-square-foot building is open, and providing fresh healthy food to an area of town once considered a "food desert."

gr33n3gg/Flickr

The transition from coal and gas to renewables isn't always an easy one, but increasingly good news on the solar job front should help to smooth it a bit.

Hockey great Wayne Gretzky is said to have told reporters, "I skate to where the puck is going, not where it was."

And that, says Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman, is what Minnesota has to do, also.

Rogotzke's Simple Gifts

Silver maple makes great syrup.

So does white and yellow birch.

Pines?  Not so much.

Who'd a thunk it?

The ins and outs of maple syrup - and maple sugar candy - from Dave Rogotzke, who tapped the first trees of the season just yesterday.

©lisa johnson/Thorsburg Photography

Back in 1998, a Canadian company kicked an international hornet's nest with its proposal to sell Lake Superior water to its customers in Asia.

It took ten years, but the eight Great Lakes states and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec formed the Great Lakes Compact, which forbids, with few exceptions, any diversion of Great Lakes water.

© Will Steger

Polar explorer, writer, photographer and speaker Will Steger has been talking to people about climate change before anyone knew there was such a thing.

It's not usually a cheery topic; but Steger, who will be speaking at UMD tomorrow night in a program called "Eyewitness to Global Warming," is almost ebullient.

People are getting it, says Steger, now that they are experiencing the evidence first hand.  Far from being despairing, though, Steger is anxious to share his message of new opportunities; a booming economy in clean energy; world-wide cooperation in working toward a cleaner, better world; and something he says is more than hope: empowerment.


Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

We speak with Nelson French, a supervisor for the Great Lakes/Lake Superior Project of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, about the completion of a three-year pilot project that used 350,000 cubic yards of sediment dredged from the Duluth Harbor Basin by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to help restore aquatic habitat in the St. Louis River estuary.

Andrew Miller

If you wait long enough, some fads come back around.

Take chaga fungus, for instance.  It's one of those folk medicine remedies that have been used in Russia and other Northern European climes for centuries but that modern-day purveyors have to be careful to say "isn't intended to diagnose, treat or cure disease."

The thing is, chaga fungus grows on birch trees and will kill them.  So harvesting it is good for the birches, at least.

Jereme Rauckman (modified)

On January 17th, Spirit Mountain opened up their slopes to the trendy new sport known as "Fat Biking." The bikes feature wide-rimmed, extra-large tires that provide improved traction on snow, allowing bikes roll where previously they could not.

Chris talks with Brandy Ream, Executive Director at Spirit Mountain about the new sport and how people are enjoying fat bikes on the trails, the slopes, and even as transportation on wintery city streets.

UMD's MPIRG chapter and the North Star Chapter of the Sierra Club want to get you talking to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission.

They don't think Minnesota Power's 25 year energy plan does enough to get rid of coal plants and replace them with clean, renewable energy, and they want people to make their opinions known before the PUC  rules on Minnesota Power's proposal.

The public comment period closes at the beginning of March. 

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