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.

D. Berus / International Wolf Center

  We talk with Kelly Godfrey, Program Director of International Wolf Center in Ely, Minnesota.  Their ongoing efforts to educate the world about wolves and their place in the ecosystem include a series of wolf webinars.  On September 23rd, a webinar will be given about pack dynamics and a review of 26 years of work from the International Wolf Center.

  We talk with UMD Professor Randy Hanson about UMD's Sustainable Agriculture Project (SAP), a fifteen-acre "land lab" that utilizes sustainable farming practices.  SAP was formed in 2009 to "institute education, research, and regional engagement around community food and agriculture systems in the western Lake Superior bioregion." 

National Association of City Transportation Officials

The Duluth Bicycle Coalition is frustrated.

During the long public input process into the reconstruction of Superior Street in downtown,  someone expressed interest in protected bike lanes at every meeting.

But when the plan from the city was presented in June, Superior Street looked, basically, just like it does now: diagonal parking to maximize parking spaces and no bike lanes.

Caitlin Nielson

If you give him a minute, Jamie Harvie is the kind of person who can tell you how all kinds of disparate things are connected.

Take for example, the upcoming Accountable Communities conference, put together in part by Harvie's Institute for a Sustainable Future. There, you'll learn how a gathering ostensibly billed as a health conference connects personal, economic, social and environmental health as well.

Housing as health care?  Harvie says it's all a question of "putting things in right relationship."

Wisconsin DNR/Josh Mayer.

If you're a Wisconsin resident and you have a thought or two about the state's management of wildlife, fish and habitat - for game and non-game - the public comment period on two new plans is winding to a close.

Hopes to put a factory farm (also called Concentrated Animal Feed Operations or CAFOs) in Bayfield County are being met with - among other protests - events like a recent "Stink-in" in Ashland.  What's the problem with 20-25 thousand hogs all in one place?  We talk with activist Frank Koehn about the environmental impact on the region, including the Lake Superior watershed.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S.

Healthy Duluth/ Henry French

Have you always wanted a trail in Duluth named after you?  If so, this is not your opportunity.  The city Parks and Rec Department is looking for something a little catchier than "the Lowell to Lakewalk trail" and they're asking for your ideas ... but there are a few ground rules.

Take a look at the news release for the Minnesota Pollution Control's upcoming public meeting: "Magnetation draft permit public meeting scheduled" and you're  lost almost as soon as you start reading.  But it turns out, these public meetings, held frequently around the state by the MPCA and other state agencies for a variety of proposals, projects and drafted documentation, are not as impenetrable as they might seem.  Not only can attendees learn a lot, they can have valuable feedback.

Lake Superior is truly the greatest of the Great Lakes, especially where water quality is concerned.  And some Park Point beaches have even earned the title "Superstar Beach" for their cleanliness.

But sometimes, as Cindy Hakala from the Minnesota Department of Health advises, the bacteria count in the water at a beach goes up .... and that's partly because its cause rolls down hill.

You can find information on bacteria advisories, and a host of other useful information about Park Point beaches here.

David Everett started out as an environmentalist.  Then he became an artist.  Then he started creating sea monsters, "trash fish" out of things he picked up on the beach.  And now, he's not only doing an iron pour demonstration at the Park Point Art Fair this weekend, he's sharing his love of nature and of art with his special education students at the Wrenshall School.

Seven tons of pollutants are no longer in Minnesota's atmosphere.

Put another way, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's (MPCA) partnership with small businesses has taken the equivalent of 13-thousand cans of spray paint out of the air.

And they've even helped pay for the retooling, distributing about $500,000 dollars in grants from the 2014 Minnesota legislature.

Eric David has the details.

 Kelly Wallin, head mechanic for the Bike Cave in Duluth, talks about how the Bike Cave creates access to bicycles for everyone.  Located at 1712 Jefferson Street, it is run completely by volunteers and functions on a skill-trade system. Those who wish to build a bicycle can trade parts, knowledge, volunteer hours or even food for the community as payment for a bicycle. 

Pheasant_JasonBowler
Jason Bowler // Flickr

It turns out that the same kinds of habitat that benefits endangered pollinators like monarchs and bees are also good for pheasants.  And even though we're a little north and east of the prairie grassland that all three prefer, David Lood, youth events coordinator for the St. Louis/Carlton County Pheasants Forever chapter says the habitat restoration projects kids are working on educates them about the natural world and gets them outside.

For the first time since 1978, sometime this summer there won't be steam coming out of the iconic Duluth steam plant smokestack in Canal Park. The plant's been operating continuously for the last 37 years, but the shut down for a few weeks will be part of its transition to Duluth Energy Systems.

Pages