EcoStewardship: Picking up Trash in the River Gorge

Posted on Apr 23, 2022
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EcoStewardship: Picking up Trash in the River Gorge

Happy Earth Day!  We pitched in at the Friends of the Mississippi River clean up event.  The rain cleared just in time to spend a few hours along the river bank scavenging for trash.  Unfortunately it wasn't hard.  Bottles, cans, plastic bags, tiny bits of plastic, wrappers and more.  
EcoStewardship: Picking up Trash in the River Gorge 2022-04-23 05:00:00Z 0 Stewardship,water

EcoEducation: Our Plate and the Planet

Posted on Apr 19, 2022
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EcoEducation: Our Plate and the Planet

Our presenter Ambaree Majumder, a Rotarian from Singapore, gave us a trove of scientific facts and statistics about how much a plant rich diet can do to positively impact the environment.  A plant-based diet compared to a meat-based diet contributes to a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, reduction in eutrophication, reduction in acidification, reduction in water use, reduction in biodiversity loss, rain forest destruction and soil degradation.  
 
EcoEducation: Our Plate and the Planet 2022-04-19 05:00:00Z 0 Education,plant-based diet

EcoEducation: Facts and Fiction in Recycling

Posted on Apr 05, 2022
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EcoEducation: Facts and Fiction in Recycling

We've had a few great meetings about recycling like the one about organic recycling a few years ago,  but you think you know a little bit about recycling and then Michael Reed from the Ramsey Department of Health comes and you learn even more.  
 
One goal of RDH is to raise awareness of where our waste goes.  Trash either goes to a landfill (Burnsville, Elk River, and Rosemount are the closest to us, but Twin Cities trash also goes to Iowa, Wisconsin and North Dakota)  or the waste energy facility near the Twins Stadium. Commercial composting happens in Shakopee and Empire Township. There are nine recycling facilities - 8 privately held and 1 non-profit.  
 
 
EcoEducation: Facts and Fiction in Recycling 2022-04-05 05:00:00Z 0 Education,recycling

EcoEducation: Boundary Waters protection, preservation, and restoration

Posted on Mar 15, 2022
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EcoEducation: Boundary Waters protection, preservation, and restoration

We heard previously from Save the Boundary Waters about the reasons to keep mining out of the Boundary Waters watershed and now it was time for an update after the recent Biden administration cancellation of leases for the Twin Metal Mine and Polymet Mine.  We got that update from Friends of the Boundary Waters.  
 
The Boundary Waters differs from other land plots because it is a wilderness.  It is also called the most controversial piece of public land because it has been named in the most court cases.  From timber sales to acid rain regulations to mining, protection of the Boundary Waters is often a matter that is litigated. 
 
 
EcoEducation: Boundary Waters protection, preservation, and restoration 2022-03-15 05:00:00Z 0 Education,Stewardship,water

EcoEducation: A Land Ethic for our Time

Posted on Mar 06, 2022
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EcoEducation: A Land Ethic for our Time

From the Aldo Leopold Foundation Website 
Ethics direct all members of a community to treat one another with respect for the mutual benefit of all. A land ethic expands the definition of “community” to include not only humans, but all of the other parts of the Earth, as well: soils, waters, plants, and animals, or what Leopold called “the land.” ...Leopold wrote that “we can only be ethical in relation to something we can see, understand, feel, love, or otherwise have faith in.”...To [shape a land ethic for the 21st century and beyond], we must engage in thoughtful dialogue with each other, inviting a diversity of perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds. 
EcoEducation: A Land Ethic for our Time 2022-03-06 06:00:00Z 0 Education,next generation
EcoStewardship: Taking Steps to be Plastic Free 2022-03-01 06:00:00Z 0 Stewardship,plastic,recycling

EcoEducation: A Sign of Hope for Jaguars at Corcovado National Park

Posted on Feb 15, 2022
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EcoEducation: A Sign of Hope for Jaguars at Corcovado National Park

 
It's hard to study an animal that doesn't want to be seen!  So when scientists wanted to find out how human disturbance affects animals like the Jaguar on the Osa Penninsula in Costa Rica, they embarked on the largest camera trap study in South America.  In February 2018, 240 cameras were installed in a grid across the entire peninsula. Cameras were left in the forest for an average of four months.
 
EcoEducation: A Sign of Hope for Jaguars at Corcovado National Park 2022-02-15 06:00:00Z 0 Education,wildlife

EcoFellowship: Winter Walk at the Arb!

Posted on Feb 05, 2022
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EcoFellowship: Winter Walk at the Arb! 

8 members and 4 guests --  A beautiful day to walk in the woods!  and the visitor center was bustling. 
 
Free admittance to the amazing Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is one of the perks of being a member of the EcoClub. 
 
EcoFellowship: Winter Walk at the Arb! 2022-02-05 06:00:00Z 0 Fellowship

EcoEducation: No More Muddy Water Blues

Posted on Feb 01, 2022
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EcoEducation: No More Muddy Water Blues

Freshwater’s work at the Capitol and prior to that 15 years of work studying the problem of impairment of waterways due to suspended sediment led to bipartisan support for the new, state water storage program, particularly targeted to the Minnesota River Basin. The Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) will receive $1 million in FY 2021 and FY 2022 to fund this water storage program. They are asking for an additional $10 million in bonding this session to carry the program forward.
 
We learned more about what contributes to the problem of suspended sediment.   For the Minnesota River Basin it started with the amazing fertile soil in the land around the watershed.  
 
EcoEducation: No More Muddy Water Blues 2022-02-01 06:00:00Z 0 Education,water

EcoEducation: Climate Solutions Workshop

Posted on Jan 25, 2022
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EcoEducation: Climate Solutions Workshop

Most know at some level that there is no silver bullet to addressing climate change.  This workshop made this so apparent in such a clear way.  Twin Cities Rotary EcoClub was thrilled to be able to partner with Maple Grove Rotary Club, Eden Prairie ESRAG, District 5950 Environment Action Team, and a Group of MIT Alumni to bring this workshop to our members and the public.  
EcoEducation: Climate Solutions Workshop 2022-01-25 06:00:00Z 0 Education,climate change

EcoEducation: Environmental Communication - Theory, Practice, and a Case in Point

Posted on Jan 18, 2022
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EcoEducation: Environmental Communication - Theory, Practice, and a Case in Point

Evelyn Dsousa is finishing her PHd in rhetoric and scientific and technical communication and spoke to the EcoClub about considerations for technical communications.  
 
Three take aways that Evelyn wanted to leave us with: 
  • "The environment" we experience and affect is largely a product of how we come to talk about the world. 
  • Communication is not a unidirectional act from sender to receiver; it is a complex system of activities, and it exists in relation to hosts of factors that give rise to, limit, or otherwise shape the way communication acts are created, shred, received, and circulated. 
  • "Successful" environmental communication requires layered understandings of the subjects we engage, and the people with whom we engage in conversation: attending to design and systems.  
 
 
EcoEducation: Environmental Communication - Theory, Practice, and a Case in Point 2022-01-18 06:00:00Z 0 Education

EcoFellowship: Around the Fire pit

Posted on Jan 04, 2022
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EcoFellowship: Around the Firepit

It was so fun to hang out with fellow EcoClubbers.  We stayed toasty around the fire pit and warm beverages certainly helped too - Thank you Steve and Liz!  We learned a bit more about each other and swapped funny stories.  The wooded views were peaceful and prompted great recollections of outdoor fun.  Hope to see you at our next social!
EcoFellowship: Around the Fire pit 2022-01-04 06:00:00Z 0 Fellowship

EcoStewardship: Rotary Grants

Posted on Dec 21, 2021
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EcoStewardship: Rotary Grants

In our last meeting of the calendar year 2021, we enjoyed a fantastic EcoTrivia game and brainstormed ideas on where we might want to focus as a club in our next grant project.  Before the brainstorming, however, we had an excellent presentation from Don Stiles on how the grant process works within Rotary.  
EcoStewardship: Rotary Grants 2021-12-21 06:00:00Z 0 Stewardship

EcoStewardship: Minnesota Climate Conversation

Posted on Dec 12, 2021
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EcoStewardship: Minnesota Climate Conversation

Participants from three generations took part in the EcoClub sponsored Minnesota Climate Conversation. 
Our own Todd Beiwen and Liz Andress as well as several club members who volunteered to facilitate small group breakouts, led us and guests in a thought provoking conversation about:
  • why the impacts of a changing climate is worthy of our action
  • changes we wish to see in our communities
  • actions we can take ourselves
  • knowledge and skills and resources that we can contribute to climate action
EcoStewardship: Minnesota Climate Conversation 2021-12-12 06:00:00Z 0 Stewardship,climate change

EcoEducation: Rethinking I94

Posted on Dec 07, 2021
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EcoEducation: Rethinking I94

Alex Burns from Our Streets Minneapolis let us in on the news that MNDOT is at least somewhat open to some out of the box considerations for the I94 freeway corridor that spans between the two downtowns (roughly Hiawatha to Marian).  The pavement is nearing the end of its useful life and there is an opportunity to create something different.  BUT..there is some skepticism that MNDOTs plan actually does any rethinking and your voice could still influence this process.  
EcoEducation: Rethinking I94 2021-12-07 06:00:00Z 0 Education,climate change,pollution

EcoEducation: Land Water Place

Posted on Nov 16, 2021
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EcoEducation: Land Water Place

There is so much to think about when we consider preserving and sustaining our environment --  our mutual well being, heritage, beauty, community, safety, species survival.  Challenges facing scholars and practitioners working on issues pertaining to land, water, and community call for innovative perspectives that reach across traditional boundaries and professions. A topic that is being recognized more and more is how justice and equity relate to the environment.  
EcoEducation: Land Water Place 2021-11-16 06:00:00Z 0 Education,equity,next generation,water
EcoFellowship: MN Landscape Arboretum Autumn Walk – Bog and Tamaracks 2021-11-06 05:00:00Z 0 Fellowship

EcoFellowship: Fall Hike and Beverage

Posted on Oct 19, 2021
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EcoFellowship:  Fall Hike and Beverage

As if Minnesotan's need any excuse to get out during Autumn!  We met up at Theodore Wirth Park for a nice fall hike and capped it all off with a beverage at Utepils.  Maybe we should sneak another one in before the sub freezing temps set in.  
EcoFellowship: Fall Hike and Beverage 2021-10-19 05:00:00Z 0 Fellowship
EcoFellowship: eBikes in Action 2021-10-17 05:00:00Z 0 Fellowship,electric vehicles

EcoEducation: Electric Bike Revolution

Posted on Oct 05, 2021
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EcoEducation: Electric Bike Revolution

Have you tried an Electric bike yet?  We got some great information from the folks at PowerBikes  A few of our Members have used eBikes for transportation in and around the cities as a great alternative to a car for short trips.  You can try out the concept of an eBike by using the NiceRide bikes and if you want to try out a more top of the line electric bike you can rent one at PowerBikes. 
  
EcoEducation: Electric Bike Revolution 2021-10-05 05:00:00Z 0 Education,electric vehicles

EcoEducation: Planting Hope for a Sustainable Future

Posted on Sep 21, 2021
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EcoEducation: Planting Hope for a Sustainable Future

 
Trees play a vital role in our communities, reducing energy costs, providing clean water and air, and making our neighborhoods more inviting. However, drought and pests such as the emerald ash borer threaten the health of our urban canopy. Tree Trust is a local non-profit working to grow a thriving urban forest and ensure its benefits are available to all members of our community. 
EcoEducation: Planting Hope for a Sustainable Future 2021-09-21 05:00:00Z 0 Education,carbon sequestration

EcoEducation: Vitalizing our Lives, Regenerating our Food System

Posted on Sep 07, 2021
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EcoEducation: Vitalizing our Lives, Regenerating our Food System

Beth Dooley, author of the Perennial Kitchen, talked with us about supporting regenerative farming as consumers.  We've learned quite a bit about the benefits of regenerative farming in past EcoClub meetings (including our Kiss the Ground film discussion) and a past EcoChallenge connected to the topic.  

One of the biggest challenges for farmers to transition to regenerative farming is the lack of infrastructure that will support crops beyond monocrops like corn and soy.  Consumers have a roll in supporting this transition and creating a market for crops that help our health as well as the environment.  

 
EcoEducation: Vitalizing our Lives, Regenerating our Food System 2021-09-07 05:00:00Z 0 Education,food,regenerative farming

EcoFellowship: Lawn Bowling

Posted on Aug 29, 2021
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EcoFellowship: Lawn Bowling

 
18 of us gathered for a great evening of lawn bowling! Weather was beautiful, fellowship was awesome and bowling was lots of fun. Hurrah to everyone who came out!
EcoFellowship: Lawn Bowling 2021-08-29 05:00:00Z 0 Fellowship

EcoEducation: The Role of Summer Camps in Environmental Education

Posted on Aug 17, 2021
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EcoEducation: The Role of Summer Camps in Environmental Education

 
Outdoors summer camp is a tradition for many Americans and there are many outdoor summer camps in the Great Lakes region.  Summer camps tend to be on large acreages and are in ecologically interesting and sometimes sensitive areas.  In Wisconsin, for example, 1% of land is owned by summer camps. While there is often times a desire to ensure the best environmental management of these acreages, often camps are strapped for funds, not clear on what to do and how to proceed, and seasonal in their staffing and their focus. 
 
EcoEducation: The Role of Summer Camps in Environmental Education 2021-08-17 05:00:00Z 0 Education
EcoEducation: Will You Help #BringBirdsBack? 2021-08-03 05:00:00Z 0 Education,birds,wildlife

EcoEducation: Community Solar - See Solar in a New Light

Posted on Jul 20, 2021
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EcoEducation: Community Solar - See Solar in a New Light

Our second meeting conducted both in-person and online!  During our club business portion we welcomed another new member!  If you are interested in joining the EcoClub, please join us at a meeting ( Facebook Events page.) and connect with one of our members or complete this inquiry  
 
We heard from US/Solar about the community solar programs here in Minnesota.  It's a solar program that is potentially available to anyone with an electric bill - even if you are a renter or live in a building that precludes putting panels on your roof.  
EcoEducation: Community Solar - See Solar in a New Light 2021-07-20 05:00:00Z 0 Education,solar

EcoEducation: The One Water Approach: A Sustainable Water Future for All

Posted on Jul 13, 2021
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EcoEducation: One Water Approach: A Sustainable Water Future for All

To kick off our year long focus on water we heard from Morgan Brown from US Water Alliance and their One Water Approach.  Water is People.  
 
The idea of One Water is that management requires us to break down silos in how water is used or experienced.  There is drinking water, waste water, storm water, river and lake water, ground water, and precipitation and all of these have value.  
 
Water is a growing area of interest for many due to recent issues such as aging infrastructure (e.g. Flint Michigan), water pollution, and climate stress (storms, floods, drought).  
 
 
EcoEducation: The One Water Approach: A Sustainable Water Future for All 2021-07-13 05:00:00Z 0 Education,water
20-21 Rotary Year In Review 2021-06-15 05:00:00Z 0 Education,Fellowship,Service,Stewardship

EcoFellowship:  Solar Project Celebration

Posted on Jun 03, 2021
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EcoFellowship: Solar Project Celebration

We gathered at the freight farm at North Market and had an amazing tour led by Ethan Neal and then headed to La Dona for a little more celebration!  The video about the project also won 4th place in the ESRAG #ifixtheplanet contest.  There were 94 videos from 19 countries submitted for the contest.  A panel of 7 judges from 7 countries met to select the 7 total winners.  See all of the winning videos here.
 
 
 
EcoFellowship: Solar Project Celebration 2021-06-03 05:00:00Z 0 Fellowship,solar

EcoEducation: Operation Pollination

Posted on Jun 01, 2021
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EcoEducation:  Operation Pollination

85% of the plants rely on pollinators for reproductive success.  There has been a 70% decline of pollinators since 1970s. 
 
Operation Pollination began several years ago in the St Croix River Valley as a way to engage in restoration of habitat for pollinators and to educate people about pollinators.  They engaged National Heritage areas and saw that there is a great overlap of National Heritage areas and Rotary Districts.  ESRAG adopted the project in 2020.  
 
 
EcoEducation: Operation Pollination 2021-06-01 05:00:00Z 0 Education,polinators

EcoEducation: Driving Forward the Circular Economy

Posted on May 18, 2021
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EcoEducation:  Driving Forward the Circular Economy

What's the circular economy?  At its simplest it is when the output or waste of one process is the input for another process. And so on.
 
Environmental Initiative has been in existence for 30 years and works with companies to reduce carbon emissions, clean up farming practices and understand how the environment affects the local community. A great way to see the kind of work they support is to take a look at the 2021 Environmental Initiative Award Winners.  The Environmental Initiative Awards celebrates people and projects working in partnership at the nexus of a healthy environment, a prosperous economy and an equitable society.
 
EcoEducation: Driving Forward the Circular Economy 2021-05-18 05:00:00Z 0 Education

EcoEducation: Protecting the Environment - Opportunities for Rotary and the Planet

Posted on May 04, 2021
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EcoEducation: Protecting the Environment - Opportunities for Rotary and the Planet

We heard from Rotarian Tim Conners about Rotary's newest area of focus: Protecting the Environment. 
 
Rotary's history suggests that this has been in the works for a while.  Paul Harris, founder, was a nature lover and had a practice of planting "friendship trees" on his international travels. In 1990-91, RI President Paulo V.C. Costa made the environment one of his primary causes, creating the Preserve Planet Earth subcommittee.  Read about the five original goals of that subcommittee.  In RI President Ian Risely's incoming 2017 speech he said, “The time is long past when environmental sustainability can be dismissed as not Rotary’s concern. It is, and must be, everyone’s concern,”  and in 2019 RI President Barry Rassin agreed "So caring about the environment goes toward our ultimate mission, and we should give it the importance it deserves. As a humanitarian organization, we’re obligated to talk about it. We need to have the conversation." 
 
EcoEducation: Protecting the Environment - Opportunities for Rotary and the Planet 2021-05-04 05:00:00Z 0 Education

EcoEducation: Climate Action that Grows Economic Opportunities in Minnesota

Posted on Apr 20, 2021
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EcoEducation: Climate Action that Grows Economic Opportunities in Minnesota

 
The Rotary EcoClub regular meeting will include a presentation by J. Drake Hamilton, an acclaimed national speaker on effective climate action that benefits the economy. She is an expert in climate and energy policy at the state and national levels. Her responsibilities include scientific analysis and policy development of clean energy solutions to global warming that will maximize economic opportunities. She will describe Minnesota’s leadership on clean energy and climate justice.
J Drake Hamilton - Fresh Energy - Senior Director, Science Policy -
EcoEducation: Climate Action that Grows Economic Opportunities in Minnesota 2021-04-20 05:00:00Z 0 Education,climate change

EcoStewardship: Kiss the Ground Film Discussion

Posted on Apr 11, 2021
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EcoStewardship: Kiss the Ground Film Discussion

 
Thank you to all who attended the Kiss the Ground Documentary Discussion put on by the Twin Cities Rotary Eco Club. A big thank you to Liz and Tom who put this together and to Karlie, Cody, and Grant for being great speakers and resources for regenerative farming.  If you missed the event we encourage everyone to still watch the movie.  
 
We came up with several action ideas that you can take now.  Club actions are being explored and we'll be back to share more! 
 
 
EcoStewardship: Kiss the Ground Film Discussion 2021-04-11 05:00:00Z 0 Stewardship,regenerative farming

EcoEducation: Hudson Bay Bound

Posted on Apr 06, 2021
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EcoEducation: Hudson Bay Bound

Natalie Warren recounts her journey as one of the first two women to canoe the 2,000 mile route from Minneapolis to Hudson Bay, a route made famous by Eric Sevareid in Canoeing With the Cree. In this presentation, Natalie intertwines environmental and social speculations, challenges on the trail, and heart-warming stories to tell the tale of this historic expedition and the enduring wonder of the wilderness. 
 
Natalie has also written a book about her excursion, available through Amazon and also directly from the UofM Press
 
 
EcoEducation: Hudson Bay Bound 2021-04-06 05:00:00Z 0 Education

EcoEducation: Investigating Biological Control of Common Carp

Posted on Mar 16, 2021
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EcoEducation: Investigating Biological Control of Common Carp

You may have heard about the concerns in many states about invasive carp.  First introduced for game and food (Carp is the most introduced fresh water fish), we now know that carp create a lot of environmental harm.  They not only compete for food with native fish and excrete a lot of nutrients promoting algae, but they also root in vegetation causing a turbid state in the water blocking sun.  This can affect the levels of oxygen in the water by inhibiting photosynthesis of aquatic plants. 70% of lakes in Minnesota are impacted by carp.  
 
 
 
EcoEducation: Investigating Biological Control of Common Carp 2021-03-16 05:00:00Z 0 Education,invasive species

EcoEducation: Farm at the Arb Apprenticeship at the MN Landscape Arboretum

Posted on Mar 02, 2021
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EcoEducation: Farm at the Arb Apprenticeship at the MN Landscape Arboretum

The same day that we announced Liz and Steve's amazing gift of free access to the Arboretum for Twin Cities Rotary EcoClub members, we heard from Tim Wilson about the new (as of 2020) Farm Apprenticeship program at the Arb.  Although Minnesota is steeped in farm and agriculture history, fewer and fewer people are growing up on farms.  It can be hard for individuals who want to learn about making a living with small scale farming to find resources and information.  The Farm Apprenticeship addresses this issue. 
 
The newly opened Farm at the Arb (new as of 2019) is described as an interpretive farm - with fruits and vegetables grains an orchard and a vineyard.  While most of the research going on at the Arb is not open to the public, the Farm is a place where people can come and learn about agriculture.  
 
 
 
EcoEducation: Farm at the Arb Apprenticeship at the MN Landscape Arboretum 2021-03-02 06:00:00Z 0 Education,next generation

EcoFellowship: Member Benefit: Admission to the ARB

Posted on Feb 27, 2021
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EcoFellowship: Member Benefit: Admission to the ARB

Charter Club members Liz A and Steve S have given an incredible gift of nature to our club membership.  Members of the EcoClub have free admission to the beautiful Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska and can bring up to 7 companions to enjoy the "Arb" anytime, any season of the year.  
 
The Arboretum is an amazing place of beauty, but also experimentation and investigation.  We've had a few meetings there - one at the Bee and Pollinator Center  and we have one coming up on March 2nd about their farm apprenticeship program.  Anyone can go to the Red Barn and get tips for their own food growing endeavors.  
 
The Arboretum is consistently rated one of the best of its kind in the country.  It spans over 1200 acres, with 28 gardens, 5,000 plant species and varieties, walking paths and trails.  As their website states, "the Arboretum is a kinetic wellspring of education, research, and inspiration."  
 
 
EcoFellowship: Member Benefit: Admission to the ARB 2021-02-27 06:00:00Z 0 Fellowship

EcoFellowship: Annual Snowshoe - This Time Under the Full Moon

Posted on Feb 26, 2021
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EcoFellowship: Annual Snowshoe - This Time Under the Full Moon

 
We had a great turnout and a wonderful evening snowshoeing under the moonlight at French Park in Plymouth, MN.  We trekked the trails, rambled through the brambles, loafed on the lagoons and meandered out onto Medicine Lake with the ice houses.  
EcoFellowship: Annual Snowshoe - This Time Under the Full Moon 2021-02-26 06:00:00Z 0 Fellowship

EcoEducation: Regenerative Food Systems to Help Sustain the Earth

Posted on Feb 16, 2021
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EcoEducation: Regenerative Food Systems to Help Sustain the Earth

Every time we hear about the need to rethink our agriculture we learn something new.  In this meeting, George Boody, former Executive Director of the Land Stewardship Project added to our growing understanding of how we can support greater sustainability within our food system.  
 
Agriculture produces 24% of green house gasses globally and it is no different in Minnesota.  In Minnesota agriculture produces 1/4 of our emissions.  Emissions from animal and crop agriculture have increased 10% over the last decade.   
 
What farmers choose to grow is understandably influenced by business and policy and we as consumers can help influence those decisions.  Right now, row monoculture crops and raising animals separate from the land are still the norm.  If we could move 25% of high yield land and 25% of marginal yield land to regenerative practices, we could get a 30% reduction of green house gasses. 
EcoEducation: Regenerative Food Systems to Help Sustain the Earth 2021-02-16 06:00:00Z 0 Education,regenerative farming

EcoEducation: Cleaner and More Efficient Transportation

Posted on Feb 02, 2021
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EcoEducation: Cleaner and More Efficient Transportation

There are 1.6 million electric vehicles on US roads.  There are 14K in Minnesota.  Our presenter, Jukka Kukkonen, former auto engineer and current strategist for Shift2Electric, started off our meeting with a prediction that by the end of this decade most of us will be driving electric vehicles.  With announcements by GM and Hyundai and Kia about the number of all electric vehicle models that will be available by 2025, you might not want to bet against him.  Along with several other initiative that support the shit to electric vehicles, Jukka also helped start the Minnesota Electric Vehicle Owners group in 2012.  This is one of the largest and most active regional EV Owner groups in the US. 
 
One of the reasons Jukka is passionate about EV is the energy consumption by the transportation industry.  As of 2016, 29% of the US Energy consumed by end-use sector was used by transportation.  A third of the 32% that is used by industry is attributed to petroleum refining - which of course is also used for our transportation needs.   
EcoEducation: Cleaner and More Efficient Transportation 2021-02-02 06:00:00Z 0 Education,electric vehicles

EcoEducation: Building Pollinator Habitats in Urban Spaces

Posted on Jan 19, 2021
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EcoEducation: Building Pollinator Habitats in Urban Spaces 

 
Thanks Xerces Society for all of the information about pollinators and what we can do to support them! The Xerces Society is kind of like the Audubon Society but for invertebrates.  A lot of their work is with farmers, but they have many areas of outreach including an endangered species team and work with urban land owners. 
 
Insects are critical to a functioning planet.  They are responsible for nutrient cycling and decomposition, pest control, turning plants into food for the food chain and of course pollination.  Although many insects are pollinators, we learned that bees are the most efficient.  This is because they are purposeful in the task, actually foraging for pollen and nectar to feed their young, and they exhibit "floral constancy".  That means that they aren't willy-nilly in their flower choice and will reliably bring, for example, apple tree pollen to other apple trees.  
 
There are 3604 species of bees in the United States -- Minnesota has 450 species.  Globally there are 25,000 species. Most bees are ground nesting (70%) with the rest being stem/tunnel nesting.  Only a tiny fraction are Bumble Bees which will nest in things like old birdhouses.  Protection of nesting habitat is just as important to the survival of bees as the assurance of available pollen across all seasons.  
 
EcoEducation: Building Pollinator Habitats in Urban Spaces 2021-01-19 06:00:00Z 0 Education,polinators

EcoEducation: CSA Farming Is About Eating Well and Being Connected To The Land

Posted on Jan 05, 2021
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EcoEducation: CSA Farming Is About Eating Well and Being Connected To The Land

 
We heard from Dan Guenthner about just a tiny bit of what he considers for the health of the soil at Common Harvest Farm.  An aerial picture of the farm belies the complexity that you see when looking at the soil map.  "There is so much variety that must be understood," says Dan.  
 
We've got a major gift of soil here in Minnesota.  There was organic matter left by the glaciers and then in came the tall grass prairies which fixed the organic matter in place.  The root systems of ten feet or more added to the organic matter over time. Contrast that with the short grass prairie on lusk soils in states to our southwest.  Once these soils were disturbed by farming they were very hard to reconstitute and susceptible to terrible effects of drought and wind.  Think of the Dust Bowl.  
 
EcoEducation: CSA Farming Is About Eating Well and Being Connected To The Land 2021-01-05 06:00:00Z 0 Education,food,regenerative farming

EcoEducation: Fire to Frost: A Prairie Story

Posted on Dec 15, 2020
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EcoEducation: Fire to Frost: A Prairie Story

We thought we knew a little bit about the restored prairie at Crow Hassan from our seed collecting event this past fall, but WOW we gained a lot of new information from Angela Grill, wildlife biologist from Three Rivers Park District.  27000 acres of land makes up the park district, serving over 10 million visitors.  
 
The most endangered ecosystem in the world is prairie.  There was once 18 million acres of prairie in Minnesota and there is only 1% remaining.  The prairie in the Three River Park District is all recreated/restored because all of their land was at one time farm land.
 
EcoEducation: Fire to Frost: A Prairie Story 2020-12-15 06:00:00Z 0 Education,wildlife

EcoEducation: MWMO: Storm Water System - It's an Important Watershed

Posted on Dec 01, 2020
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EcoEducation:  MWMO: Storm Water System - It's a Watershed

We've heard from several organizations about efforts to protect the Twin Cities' major water feature: the Mississippi and why its protection is so important.  We've heard from the Audubon Society and learned about the Mississippi Flyway.  We learned how much of the plastic pollution in the Gulf of Mexico comes from the Mississippi.  We learned from advocacy groups like Friends of the Mississippi how the public can make a difference in the health of the river.   We learned how Wilderness Inquiry uses Canoemobile to make a first introduction to nature to inner city youth on many rivers including the Mississippi.  We learned about the spiritual practice of Nibi Walks from Sharon Day and her 62 day walk for the Mississippi.  We learned from FreshWater to appreciate our great water fortune that we enjoy as Minnesotans.   And now we have heard from the MWMO (Mississippi Watershed Management Organization) for the second time!  Read about our first interaction here.  While we didn't get to see their simply amazing learning center, we were treated to some more perspective on this completely 100% Urban and 100% developed watershed.   
EcoEducation: MWMO: Storm Water System - It's an Important Watershed 2020-12-01 06:00:00Z 0 Education,water

EcoFellowship: Fun Facts and Fellowship

Posted on Nov 17, 2020
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EcoFellowship:  Fun, Facts, and Fellowship

This was a fun interactive meeting where we played games, had a few micro-lessons and then answered trivia, met new guests and got to know members even more.  
 
In how many future meetings will Milli Vanilli, Centipedes, Iran, and Paul Douglas  all be discussed?  You will have to attend to find out!  
 
EcoFellowship: Fun Facts and Fellowship 2020-11-17 06:00:00Z 0 Fellowship

EcoEducation: Talking About Climate Change

Posted on Nov 03, 2020
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EcoEducation: Talking About Climate Change

We've had a few past meetings that get at different ways to talk with others about environmental topics.  Example:  We heard from Bethany Esse, Climate Reality Leader, about how to create our own Climate Story.  We heard from UofM Economist, Jay Coggins, about how to use economics as a framework to think about tackling climate change.  In this meeting the EcoClub joined together to view a 2018 Ted Talk by Katherine Hayhoe, encouraging people to discuss climate change by connecting it to shared values. 
 
EcoEducation: Talking About Climate Change 2020-11-03 06:00:00Z 0 Education,climate change

EcoEducation: Restoring Minnesota’s Forests in the Age of Climate Change

Posted on Oct 20, 2020
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EcoEducation: Restoring Minnesota’s Forests in the Age of Climate Change

Forests are a big part of Minnesota's outdoor and natural identity.  Jim Manolis, the MN Forest Conservation Program Director at the Nature Conservancy pointed out that we care about our forests because of their beauty and recreational value, for the habitat they provide for over 100 species of fish and wildlife, for the wood products and the jobs that the forest industry provides and for their incredible ability to help our water and air remain clean.  We Minnesotan's do care about our forests.  Our changing climate is creating threats to the ongoing health of our forests.  Fortunately there are solutions to these threats.   
 
EcoEducation: Restoring Minnesota’s Forests in the Age of Climate Change 2020-10-20 05:00:00Z 0 Education,climate change

EcoStewardship: Putting the Garden to Bed

Posted on Oct 10, 2020
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EcoStewardship: Putting the garden to bed

On what may have been the most incredible Minnesota weather day of 2020, the EcoClub closed the books on our district grant project by helping with fall harvest and clean up at the Community Gardens at Pillsbury United Communities in North Minneapolis.  Harvest was actually a big part of our job - those gardens are prolific! Carrots, kale, chard, squash, several varieties of peppers and tomatoes - just a few of the gorgeous veggies we pulled before taking up the plants for compost.  A final step of raking and seeding with cover crop and the gardens are ready for winter.  
EcoStewardship: Putting the Garden to Bed 2020-10-10 05:00:00Z 0 Stewardship,food

EcoEducation: District Governor Visit

Posted on Oct 06, 2020
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EcoEducation: District Governor Visit

We had a great visit from the District Governor, Tom Gump.  He was joined by District Governor Elect Marianna Khauv and District Governor Nominee Lloyd Campbell.   Tom talked about the opportunities that get opened up for Rotarians --- opportunities for lifelong friendships with people from around the world, opportunities for service both locally and internationally, opportunities for leadership, and opportunities for the people and causes we serve.  
 
 
EcoEducation: District Governor Visit 2020-10-06 05:00:00Z 0 Education

EcoStewardship: Seed Collecting at Crow Hassan

Posted on Sep 26, 2020
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EcoStewardship: Seed Collecting at Crow Hassan

We had a group of 24 roaming the restored prairie at Crow Hassan (part of the Three Rivers Park District) gathering seeds from native prairie plants that will be used to maintain prairie and add to the growing prairie ecosystem within the parks.  Prairie, once the Midwest's largest ecosystems, is now less than 1 percent of its original expanse.  In Minnesota and Iowa, prairie was approximately 25 million acres and is now less than 300 thousand.  
 
 
EcoStewardship: Seed Collecting at Crow Hassan 2020-09-26 05:00:00Z 0 Stewardship

EcoEducation: The Favorable Economics of Solving the Climate Challenge

Posted on Sep 15, 2020
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EcoEducation: The Favorable Economics of Solving the Climate Challenge

We had a very compelling presentation from UofM Economist, Jay Coggins showing that changing to renewable electrified energy makes economic sense as much as it makes environmental sense.    Jay believes that we need to move to a 100% electric energy model with 100% of that electricity produced from wind, solar, hydro and geothermal.  In 2018 these four sources gave us 6% of our electricity.  He points out that this won't be an easy transition -- but it is the one that makes the most economic sense.  
 
EcoEducation: The Favorable Economics of Solving the Climate Challenge 2020-09-15 05:00:00Z 0 Education,climate change

EcoFellowship: Hike at Westwood Hills Nature Center

Posted on Sep 01, 2020
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EcoFellowship: Hike at Westwood Hills Nature Center + Cerveza 

It was so great to actually see people in person!  After months of Zoom meetings being able to look people in the eye and chat casually felt amazing.  We couldn't ask for a better setting for this in person meeting.  Although the newly built nature center closed before our meeting start, you can tell by the facade that it will be a great destination for metro nature lovers.  The trails are impeccably maintained and wind through so many diverse natural spaces it is hard to believe that it butts up to 394.  The Toyota dealership sign peeking above the tree line was our only clue.  
EcoFellowship: Hike at Westwood Hills Nature Center 2020-09-01 05:00:00Z 0 Fellowship

EcoEducation: Water Connects Us

Posted on Aug 18, 2020
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EcoEducation: Water Connects Us

We Minnesotans have been blessed with amazing water fortune.  We have 11 million acres of wetlands, over 11 thousand lakes, 90 thousand miles of streams, 80 watersheds, and 70% of the state has abundant groundwater.  With that water fortune comes great responsibility.  98% of the water in Minnesota originally fell on Minnesota - ie we are downstream from almost no one - ie the health of our water is determined by our actions.  
EcoEducation: Water Connects Us 2020-08-18 05:00:00Z 0 Education,water

EcoStewardship: Invasive Removal Ole Olson Park

Posted on Aug 08, 2020
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EcoStewardship: Invasive Removal Ole Olson Park 

Whew!  The EcoClub worked up a sweat removing wormwood, thistle, and curly dock from the native planting area along the Mississippi at Ole Olson Park in Minneapolis.  The planting area is maintained by Friends of the Mississippi.  The area provides needed habitat in an urban industrial and residential area for wildlife and pollinators.  The deep root systems of the native plants also prevent erosion and filter water headed to the Mississippi so fewer pollutants enter the river.  
EcoStewardship: Invasive Removal Ole Olson Park 2020-08-08 05:00:00Z 0 Stewardship

EcoEducation: Introduction to Project Drawdown

Posted on Aug 04, 2020
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EcoEducation: Introduction to Project Drawdown

Project Drawdown’s mission is to help the world reach “Drawdown”— the point in the future when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline, thereby stopping catastrophic climate change — as quickly, safely, and equitably as possible.  The EcoClub watched a presentation made by Jonathan Foley, Executive Director of Project Drawdown, to Rotary.  
 
First Foley laid out some of the climate issues we are facing.  Issues such as there has been more change in the last 50 years than in the entirety of human history.  Issues such as there has been a 50% increase in CO2 since 1850 when Eunice Foote was the first scientist to hypothesize that an increase in CO2 warms the planet.  
EcoEducation: Introduction to Project Drawdown 2020-08-04 05:00:00Z 0 Education,climate change

EcoFellowship: Paddling the Mississippi

Posted on Aug 03, 2020
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EcoFellowship: Paddling the Mississippi

Seriously - can we do this every month?  We met at Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park where some made use of the kayak rentals through Paddleshare and others brought their own craft.  Overcast, yet delightfully warm, it was a perfect day to be on the water.  For the most part the current was lazy with an occasional pocket of small rapids when the river got shallow.  We chatted and paddled and drifted and scanned for wildlife.  Our rewards: cormorants, bald eagles, a few leaping fish, and a river-side wedding.  We also had fun identifying landmarks from this new vantage like various buildings, 694 as we glided beneath and the downtown skyline. The Mississippi is truly a treasure.  
 
EcoFellowship: Paddling the Mississippi 2020-08-03 05:00:00Z 0 Fellowship

EcoEducation: Saving Our Oceans

Posted on Jul 07, 2020
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EcoEducation: Saving Our Oceans

This was our largest meeting by attendee count by far.  62 people registered for this event that featured Ludovic Grosjean, who was named one of Rotary’s People of Action: Young Innovators in 2018.  Before getting into what we heard and learned, a little shout out to Bethany Esse, new Club President and Steve Solbrack for organizing such a seamless Zoom meeting.  With such a large group we could not do our usual introductions, so Bethany and Steve used the breakout group feature in Zoom so we could get a little fellowship into the meeting.  Nicely done. 
 
EcoEducation: Saving Our Oceans 2020-07-07 05:00:00Z 0 Education,plastic,water

EcoEducation: Art and the Environment

Posted on Jun 01, 2020
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EcoEducation: Art and the Environment

Such an interesting topic!  EcoClub member Stuart D. is pursuing his PhD in Art History and shared with us philosophy behind representation of nature/environment in art as well as how this has changed throughout history.  Environmental Art traditionally depicts the relationship between humans and the environment. More recently it is more concerned with changing the relationship to a more just and sustainable one.   Traditionally artistically and philosophically we have prioritized culture over nature and artists/thinkers/philosophers are seeking to blur this line.  
EcoEducation: Art and the Environment 2020-06-02 04:00:00Z 0 Education

EcoStewardship: Tree Planting to Support Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change

Posted on May 26, 2020
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EcoStewardship: Tree Planting to Support Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change

 
A group of 14 Rotarians from the Rotary EcoClub and Minneapolis City of Lakes Rotary Club joined with Mississippi Park Connection and the National Park Service to plant 1000+ trees at Crosby Farm Regional Park along the Mississippi River in St. Paul. This is part of the Adaptive Silviculture (def: the growing and cultivating of trees) for Climate Change project, where a variety of species will be planted and studied over the course of the next 20 years.  It is intended to reforest the river bottoms, especially in light of all of the ash trees that have been removed in recent years.
EcoStewardship: Tree Planting to Support Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change 2020-05-27 04:00:00Z 0 Stewardship

EcoEducation: Global Conservation in Partnership with Indigenous Peoples

Posted on May 18, 2020
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EcoEducation: Global Conservation in Partnership with Indigenous Peoples

This was a topic that intrigued a lot of people based on the number of guests attending!  We hope you all enjoyed your EcoClub experience and will come to another meeting.  Rane Cortez of the Nature Conservancy shared the why and how behind their partnership with indigenous peoples to conserve threatened ecosystems across the globe.  So far, these partnerships have helped conserve and improve 250 million acres and 1 million indigenous peoples.  
EcoEducation: Global Conservation in Partnership with Indigenous Peoples 2020-05-19 04:00:00Z 0 Education

EcoEducation: Nibi Walks and the Walking Practice of Praying for the Waters

Posted on May 04, 2020
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EcoEducation: Nibi Walks and the Walking Practice of Praying for the Waters

Sharon Day spoke to the Rotary EcoClub about Nibi Walks, indigenous led ceremonies to pray for water.  The practice involves gathering water from the headwaters of rivers and carrying it to the mouth and returning it to the river.  The practice involves silence and meditation and moving.  It urges participants and observers to think about water not as a commodity, but rather something that is a part of us; a part of life.  
EcoEducation: Nibi Walks and the Walking Practice of Praying for the Waters 2020-05-04 05:00:00Z 0 Education,water

EcoStewardship: Good Neighbor News

Posted on Apr 28, 2020
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EcoStewardship: Good Neighbor News

Mississippi Watershed Management Organization featured The Twin Cities Rotary EcoClub in their April newsletter as the Good Neighbor of the Month. The shout out highlights some of the hands on work we accomplish as a club and also how we connect with Minnesota organizations so we can learn and do more.  AH!  Makes us remember back to last summer when we toured the MWMO headquarters.  Can't take for granted being able to connect in person!
EcoStewardship: Good Neighbor News 2020-04-28 05:00:00Z 0 Stewardship

EcoEducation: Protecting America's Favorite Wilderness

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EcoEducation: Protecting America's Favorite Wilderness

Tom Landwehr is Executive Director of Save the Boundary Waters and former Commissioner of MN Department of Natural Resources.  We received a very informative presentation on what it could mean for the health of the Boundary Waters if the proposed Twin Metals copper nickel mine is allowed to be built.  Tom provided facts about the proposal and the approval process. It was extremely enlightening. 
EcoEducation: Protecting America's Favorite Wilderness 2020-04-20 05:00:00Z 0 Education

EcoStewardship: EarthDay 50yr Anniversary EcoClub Service Day

Posted on Apr 17, 2020
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EcoStewardship: EarthDay 50 yr Anniversary EcoClub Service Day

To celebrate the 50 year anniversary of EarthDay, the Rotary EcoClub hosted a service day that also respected the social distancing expectations that have been in effect since late March.  Members and guests and anyone who wanted to participate took some time out on the Saturday prior to EarthDay and chose an earth-friendly activity to complete on their own.  We then gathered via Zoom for a happy hour to socialize and share what we had done.  
 
 
EcoStewardship: EarthDay 50yr Anniversary EcoClub Service Day 2020-04-18 04:00:00Z 0 Stewardship

EcoEducation: Engaging the Next Generation of Outdoor Stewards

Posted on Apr 06, 2020
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EcoEducation: Engaging the Next Generation of Outdoor Stewards

Even though Minnesota didn't rank in the top ten of outdoorsy states, we have some outdoorsy cred thanks to organizations like Wilderness Inquiry whose mission is to connect people of all ages, backgrounds, and abilities to the natural world and each other through shared outdoor activities.  In a great presentation by WI's Youth Programs Manager, Christine, we were reminded that there are a lot of people who have no connection to natural spaces - even city parks.  This is more true of the youngest generations.  Studies show that today's children spend half as much time outdoors as their parents did when they were young.  People who are not engaged with nature and the outdoors are more likely to see it as less valuable and less important.  
EcoEducation: Engaging the Next Generation of Outdoor Stewards 2020-04-06 05:00:00Z 0 Education,next generation

EcoFellowship: Staying Connected While Distancing

Posted on Mar 16, 2020
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EcoFellowship: Staying Connected While Distancing

Due to calls to reduce social contact to "flatten the curve" the Twin Cities Rotary EcoClub had its first remote meeting via the Zoom platform.  Our scheduled speaker could not attend, so the club used the time for longer introductions to help forge greater personal connection.  The platform was excellent - having the visual of our participants and the audio well controlled and outstanding moderation by our club president, Emily Spott, everyone felt seen and heard.  
EcoFellowship: Staying Connected While Distancing 2020-03-17 04:00:00Z 0 Fellowship

EcoStewardship: Supporting the Rotary Foundation

Posted on Mar 08, 2020
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EcoStewardship: Supporting the Rotary Foundation

We are ecstatic about our first major project as a club - increasing the ecological and economic sustainability of the hydroponic Freight Farm at Pillsbury United Communities by adding solar panels and a water catchment system - and we recognize that this project would not be possible without the generous district grant awarded earlier in the year. Grants like the one we received are possible because of the Rotary Foundation.  
 
As a beneficiary, we have made it a club goal to have 100% participation by club members to support the Rotary Foundation in 2020.  Donations can be of any size - from pennies to thousands of dollars, the Rotary Foundation model ensures that your funds are used in ways that make lasting and measurable impact.  
EcoStewardship: Supporting the Rotary Foundation 2020-03-09 04:00:00Z 0 Stewardship

EcoEducation: Wolves in Minnesota

Posted on Mar 02, 2020
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EcoEducation: Wolves in Minnesota

Minnesota is the home of the greatest number of wolves in the contiguous United States.  In 2018, the DNR estimated the number of wolves in Minnesota to be 2655.  This is up from the estimated low of 400 wolves in the 1950s.  When wolves were placed on the endangered species list in 1974, North Eastern Minnesota and the UP in Michigan were the only places in the lower 48 states with any wolf population.  Today the DNR seeks to ensure a minimum population of 1600 wolves in Minnesota.  There are about 4-5 wolves per pack and a pack has an average range of 61 miles.  Competition for territory and food is an inherent population control mechanism.  The Minnesota wolf population has remained statistically unchanged for several years. 
EcoEducation: Wolves in Minnesota 2020-03-02 06:00:00Z 0 Education,wildlife

EcoFellowship: Naturalist Led Snowshoe Hike

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EcoFellowship: Naturalist Led Snowshoe Hike

Another brilliant and beautiful day offered up by Mother Earth for members of the EcoClub to connect with each other and the natural world.  The temps were seasonally high, the snow glistening, and EcoClubbers had a blast on the second annual naturalist led snowshoe hike.  See how "annual" snuck its way in there.  That means we have to do it next year!  There is something invigorating about a winter day when spring is in the air.  
 
 
EcoFellowship: Naturalist Led Snowshoe Hike 2020-02-22 05:00:00Z 0 Fellowship

EcoEducation: Our Mighty but Imperiled Mississippi, and How We Can Save It

Posted on Feb 17, 2020
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EcoEducation:  Our Mighty but Imperiled Mississippi, and How We Can Save It. 

There has been a lot of headway in the efforts to improve the health of the Mississippi River here in the state of its birth.  The vision of Friends of the Mississippi River - to have a river where the water is clear and clean and safe to swim in, where fish and wildlife are healthy and abundant, and where scenic bluffs and cultural treasures are protected - however, is not fully realized.  Executive Director, Whitney Clark, shared with the EcoClub the many ways that FMR advocates for the river and teaches us all how we can be better stewards. 
EcoEducation: Our Mighty but Imperiled Mississippi, and How We Can Save It 2020-02-17 06:00:00Z 0 Education,water

EcoEducation: Big Solar: Wildlife Sanctuaries or Industrial Blights?

Posted on Feb 03, 2020
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EcoEducation: Big Solar: Wildlife Sanctuaries or Industrial Blights?

Rob Davis, Director of the Center for Pollinators in Energy at Fresh Energy, showed the Rotary EcoClub how concerns over the less than eco-friendly outcomes from erecting big solar fields can be addressed by planting native pollinator supporting plants beneath the panels.  We learned a lot about the ecological and the economic considerations and trade-offs when dedicating acreage to solar energy production.  
EcoEducation: Big Solar: Wildlife Sanctuaries or Industrial Blights? 2020-02-03 06:00:00Z 0 Education,solar

EcoEducation: Environmental Sustainability as a Potential RI Area of Focus

Posted on Jan 31, 2020
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EcoEducation: Environmental Sustainability as a Potential Rotary International Area of Focus

One of the exciting things about being a part of Rotary is that when this organization puts a problem in its cross hairs, there are significant, world-changing, measurable outcomes.  The journey to eradicate Polio is a marquee example of what Rotary can accomplish.  The Areas of Focus as agreed upon by the Rotary International Board of Trustees is a way to concentrate the resources and passion of Rotarians so collective small actions create disproportionate positive change.  As of now, the Environment is not a Rotary Area of Focus.   
EcoEducation: Environmental Sustainability as a Potential RI Area of Focus 2020-01-31 06:00:00Z 0 Education,next generation

EcoEducation: Education for Life: Voyageur Outward Bound School

Posted on Jan 20, 2020
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EcoEducation: Education for Life - Voyageur Outward Bound School

Jack Lee, Executive Director of Voyageur Outward Bound School (VOBS) and Rotarian from Edina Morningside, and Katherine Davis, Development Officer, shared how experiences with the VOBS program changes lives through challenge and discovery.  Their core belief is that, for everyone, there is more in them than they know.  There is more ability, more resilience, and more potential.  They shared with us why the wilderness is the most powerful environment in which to engage in this discovery. 
EcoEducation: Education for Life: Voyageur Outward Bound School 2020-01-20 06:00:00Z 0 Education,next generation

EcoStewardship: EcoClub Signature Project 2020 Awarded District Funds

Posted on Jan 17, 2020
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EcoStewardship: EcoClub Signature Project 2020 Awarded District Funds

 
 
We are excited to announce that the Rotary District Grants Committee voted unanimously to award the Twin Cities Rotary EcoClub funds to complete our proposed project to increase the sustainability of the Pillsbury United Communities Hydroponic Freight Farm.  We are grateful to the many local clubs who supported the vision of this project with donations.  These donations were matched 2-1 with the Rotary District Grants Committee vote and we now have a budget of $24K.   
EcoStewardship: EcoClub Signature Project 2020 Awarded District Funds 2020-01-17 06:00:00Z 0 Stewardship,food,solar

EcoEducation: One Bottle, One Straw, One Bag at a Time: Reducing Use of Single Use Plastic

Posted on Jan 06, 2020
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EcoEducation: One Bottle, One Straw, One Bag at a Time: Reducing Use of Single Use Plastic

An energized group of EcoRotarians and guests filled the meeting room to hear from Angelina Amerigo, current Miss Heart of the Lakes, about her social impact passion of reducing our use of single use plastic.  Boy was this a topic that resonated with everyone in the room!  There was lots of interactive discussion and sharing of experiences and strategies to tackle this issue.  
 
EcoEducation: One Bottle, One Straw, One Bag at a Time: Reducing Use of Single Use Plastic 2020-01-06 06:00:00Z 0 Education,plastic

EcoEducation: Power of Rotary to Support Action that Creates Change: Global Grant Project Lake Atitlan in Guatemala

Posted on Dec 16, 2019
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EcoEducation: Power of Rotary to Support Action that Creates Change: Global Grant Project Lake Atitlan in Guatemala

 
Lake Atitlan in Guatemala is considered by some to be the most beautiful lake in the world. It attracts international tourism. It also provides drinking water to the 450,000 people living near the basin.  Sewage from these residents has historically been dumped into the lake. The lack of sanitation created (and continues to create) significant health issues for the lake and the human residents.  This might not seem like something that would inspire song, but Todd Thompson of The Rotary Club of Northfield got our toes tapping while sharing his club's experience working on a project awarded Global Grant funds. 
EcoEducation: Power of Rotary to Support Action that Creates Change: Global Grant Project Lake Atitlan in Guatemala 2019-12-16 06:00:00Z 0 Education,Service,water

EcoEducation: My Climate Story Workshop

Posted on Dec 02, 2019
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EcoEducation: My Climate Story Workshop

 
30 years is a long time right?  It's so long that it is hard to think urgently about affecting something that might come to fruition in three decades.  Bethany Esse, Climate Reality Leader and EcoClub Member shared with us a picture of herself and her sisters that had been taken when they were very little.  Then she shared vivid descriptions of the day the picture was taken and why she remembers it so clearly.   It was easy for all of us in the room to transport ourselves back to when we were the ages depicted in the photograph.  We understood in an instant on a gut emotional level how a few decades can pass in the blink of on eye. 
EcoEducation: My Climate Story Workshop 2019-12-02 06:00:00Z 0 Education,climate change

EcoEducation: Recycling is as Important as Ever

Posted on Nov 18, 2019
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EcoEducation: Recycling is as Important as Ever

 
 
Think that since China has reduced its acceptance of recyclable waste that your efforts to recycle don't matter anymore?  The EcoClub conversation with Paul Kroening of the Hennepin County Environment and Energy Department dispelled that rumor.  In Minnesota it is illegal for sorted recyclable materials to be burned or buried.  Hennepin County has a goal to increase the percentage of our waste stream that is recycled from 50% to 75%.  Residents can help by staying informed about what can be recycled and what cannot. 
EcoEducation: Recycling is as Important as Ever 2019-11-18 06:00:00Z 0 Education,recycling

EcoFellowship: A Cup of Bird-Friendly Coffee at Sparrow Cafe

Posted on Nov 15, 2019
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EcoFellowship: A Cup of Bird-Friendly Coffee at Sparrow Cafe

 
 
In a previous EcoClub meeting we learned that coffee is just one of many monoculture crops that destroy habitat. Many migratory songbirds that fly south for the winter months find less and less habitat - with coffee plantations contributing to this reduction. Your caffeine habit can encourage coffee farmers to adopt practices of growing coffee in the shade of tree canopies. This can almost quadruple the number of bird species that land can support when compared with open fields. 
EcoFellowship: A Cup of Bird-Friendly Coffee at Sparrow Cafe 2019-11-15 06:00:00Z 0 Fellowship,birds

EcoEducation: Climate Reality: Climate Change and its Impact on Minnesota

Posted on Nov 04, 2019
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EcoEducation: Climate Reality: Climate Change and its Impact on Minnesota

 
The Climate Reality Project is a global initiative to spread awareness of climate change and solutions by empowering everyday people to become activists, equipped with the tools, training, and network to fight for solutions and drive change planet-wide.  Climate Reality Leaders Lynn Scott and Clark Gregor gave the EcoClub an informative presentation tailored to Rotary and Minnesota. 
EcoEducation: Climate Reality: Climate Change and its Impact on Minnesota 2019-11-04 06:00:00Z 0 Education,climate change

EcoEducation: University of Minnesota chapter of Engineers Without Borders

Posted on Oct 14, 2019
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EcoEducation: University of Minnesota Chapter Engineers without Borders

 
 
The Rotary EcoClub enjoyed an interesting an inspiring presentation by the UMN Student Chapter of Engineers without Borders.  The mission of Engineers Without Borders - University of Minnesota is to partner with communities around the world and to improve their quality of life through implementation of engineered projects that prove environmentally and economically sustainable.
EcoEducation: University of Minnesota chapter of Engineers Without Borders 2019-10-14 05:00:00Z 0 Education,water
EcoFellowship: La Dona Cerveceria 2019-10-01 04:00:00Z 0 Fellowship

EcoEducation: Pillsbury United Communities: Urban Agriculture

Posted on Sep 30, 2019
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EcoEducation: Pillsbury United Communities: Urban Agriculture

 
 
The free community dinner provided at the Oak Park Center was just finishing up when members of the Twin Cities Rotary EcoClub arrived to hear more about the Center's urban farming from Ethan Neal (EcoClub member and Food System Manager at Pillsbury United Communities).  Many of the vegetables used in the preparation of that meal came from the urban farm at the back of the center. 
EcoEducation: Pillsbury United Communities: Urban Agriculture 2019-09-30 05:00:00Z 0 Education,food

EcoEducation: MWMO: Protecting Water Quality and Habitat in the Urban Environment

Posted on Sep 17, 2019
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EcoEducation: MWMO: Protecting Water Quality and Habitat in the Urban Environment

We know watersheds to be land areas that channel rainfall and snowmelt to creeks, rivers, lakes, and eventually oceans.  In an urban environment a unique component of the watershed is the storm sewer system.  The Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) partners with its member communities to invest in green infrastructure that captures, cleans and reuses storm water runoff as well as monitoring the water quality within the watershed and conducting education and outreach.  
EcoEducation: MWMO: Protecting Water Quality and Habitat in the Urban Environment 2019-09-17 05:00:00Z 0 Education,water

EcoStewardship: Seed Collection at Crow-Hassan Park Reserve 

Posted on Aug 24, 2019
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Eco Stewardship: Seed Collection at Crow-Hassan Park Reserve

Today there is less than 1% of the pre-European settlement of prairie habitat remaining in Minnesota.  The health of the remaining prairie depends on its biodiversity.  Collecting seeds in the fall of the year is an important contribution to the maintenance of the prairie habitat managed by the Three Rivers Park District.  Learn more about seed collection in Three Rivers Park District. 
EcoStewardship: Seed Collection at Crow-Hassan Park Reserve 2019-08-24 05:00:00Z 0 Stewardship,polinators

EcoFellowship: Lawn Bowling at Brookview

Posted on Aug 11, 2019
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EcoFellowship: Lawn Bowling at Brookview

One of the best parts of being a member of the Twin Cities Rotary EcoClub is that you can participate in fun and fellowship with interesting people.  Trying out the game of lawn bowling on a beautiful Minnesota summer evening provided just the right backdrop!  
 
 
EcoFellowship: Lawn Bowling at Brookview 2019-08-12 04:00:00Z 0 Fellowship
EcoEducation: Audubon Minnesota: What's good for birds is good for people 2019-08-06 05:00:00Z 0 Education,birds,wildlife
EcoStewardship: Sumac Removal at Ottawa Bluffs Oak Savanna 2019-06-14 05:00:00Z 0 Stewardship,invasive species
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