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 All Energy Solar, Minnesota Power Energy Conservation Program, and Energy Plus.

NRRI/University of Minnesota Duluth

With the help of researchers at NRRI, ash trees killed by the emerald ash borer are being repurposed in pilot projects in Minnesota as biochar.  This material can filter harmful chemicals from storm water runoff, enhance soil microbial health, increase soil drought resistance and store carbon in soils to mitigate climate change.

Brenda LaFrancois/Nat'l Park Service

We've pretty much gotten the message that we - and our dogs - need to look out for blooms of cyanobacterial (blue-green) algae on lakes.

But now they may be popping up on Lake Superior.

Two factors contribute to algal blooms on the big lake: warm temperatures over a period of weeks that warm the lake water, and heavy rainfalls.

There's not a lot of data yet, but those conditions were present in 2012 and 2018 - and so were big blooms of blue-green algae in the big lake.

www.nautique.com

The controversy over wake boats, the pricey recreational craft designed to make a huge wake for folks to board or ski on, threatens to swamp lakes, townships and counties across the state, particularly since Minnesota boating laws don't yet have anything to say about them, specifically.

Patrick Hendry at Unsplash/Office of the MN Attorney General

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has listened to oil companies try to dodge responsibility for pollution and climate change by arguing there are a lot of potential polluters and who can say who'se really responsible?

Little Village Films

Winona LaDuke is feeling pretty good today. 

The longtime Native American activist and advocate for sustainable development, renewable energy and local food systems is getting some rain on her crops this morning, and Monday, a district court ruled that the Dakota Access Pipeline must be shut down and drained of oil by August 5th.

LaDuke, also the executive director of the group Honor the Earth, has been battling the Dakota Access Pipeline project in North Dakota as well as the Enbridge Line 3 project in Northern Minnesota for years.

MN350

Longtime environmental advocate and community organizer Sam Grant says he had about "two weeks of normal" after starting his new job as the executive director of MN350 at the end of February.

Then came COVID-19.

Bob Perkoski/dudleyedmondson.com

  "Every single morning that people of color get up, they have to factor into their day's activities, 'What are white people going to think of the things that I'm going to be doing today?'  I have to think about what I'm doing to do.  And white people never have to think about what people of color are going to think of their activities. They never have to consider us when they get up in the morning. But we do. Every single day."

We're proud of living in a community that's the envy of everyone who loves the outdoors.

Lisa Johnson

Whether you've got the time/inclination/skill for a remote camping trip that requires packing everything in via a day-long hike ... or you just want to meander around a local park for an hour, more and more science is in agreement: nature is good for what ails you.

Climate Change Education

Climate Generation has been providing resources and information for educators for years, but now, depending on how the year unfolds, parents may be interested in taking a look at their Climate Change Education program materials, too.

Hamish Weir/Unsplash

Randy Hanson may be one of the go-to guys when it comes to talking about agriculture these days, but the co-director of Lake Superior College's Eco-Entrepreneurship Program wants people to to know that, COVID-19 or no COVID-19, climate change is still a reality.

Duluth Community Garden Program

Bookworms know that something new awaits them between the covers of every new book - and many old books - they open.

Bookworms who fling open the doors of a Little Free Seed Library may be taken aback, initially, but, tucked away out of the elements are the literal seeds of food security for families in Duluth.

Nathan Dumlao/Unsplash

You've heard it said that "we're all in the same boat."

You've also heard "politics makes strange bedfellows."

Somewhere in between these figures of speech lives the Fix The Pipes Coalition, a non-partisan statewide alliance asking for water infrastructure funding.

Lisa Johnson

Our recent conversations about "local food" have been fascinating, and they're more relevant than ever.

The last time the country was turned upside down, during WWII, our food supply system moved from small diversified farms to the huge corporate operations most farms are today.

Will COVID-19 be the impetus for yet another rethinking of our food systems?

MN Interfaith Light & Power

For a variety of reasons, this is not the Earth Day many of us thought we'd be celebrating on the first Earth Day back in 1970.

But from socially-distant cleanups to virtual events of all shapes and sizes (see list below), we're all coming together to celebrate our concern for and connection to our little blue planet.

Earth Day! It's Earth Day!  Here's a partial guide to what's going on:

1) For a list of all digital Earth Day events happening in MN

Thought Catalog/Unsplash

If there's one thing the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, it's that we really can change things dramatically and quickly.

And when "this" (whatever "this" is) is over, Grace Guenthner of MN350 says we will have a hard decision to make: return to "business as usual" or take advantage of an opportunity to rebuild for resiliency and justice.

And here is a list of just some of the actions MN350 says you can take:

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