Sax Zim Bog (Jan 2010-Dec2011) Exposing the public to the Sax Zim Bog which is located in the Toivola and Meadowlands Area of St. Louis County in Northeastern Minnesota by co-sponsored the Sax Zim Bog Festival of Birds held February 18-20, 2011. The number of year around visitors to the Sax Zim Bog has increased following the airing of Nature Adventures on public television stations. Nature Adventures episode reminds viewers of "sustainability" and what it means to a place like the Sax Zim Bog. We also encouraged the project organizers, community volunteers, community partners, and festival participants to think and practice "sustainability." Here is the link to view the episode http://www.sdnatureadventures.org/408.html
Virginia Greenhouse Project
Jim Skurla (UMD Bureau of Business and Economic Research), Virajita Singh & Erin Stream (U of M Center for Sustainable Building Research) and Okey Ukaga (NMSDP) had initial project site visit and community meetings on October 28-29, 2009. The visit gave us the opportunity to not only study the existing greenhouse closely, but also to meet with a cross section of the community and stakeholders, to get their input and share ideas how best to proceed. We also made a presentation to a subset of the City Council responsible for the greenhouse. (Link below)
Based on information gathered at this initial site visit, the UMD Bureau of Business and Economic Research and the U of M Center for Sustainable Building Research will develop tentative architectural and associated business plans or scenarios that will be presented to the community for additional input based on which a final report with recommendations will be prepared.
The project team met via phone conference following the meetings and identified December 3rd and 4th as potential days of the team's next site visit. The goal of this visit would be to present three scenarios (developed collaboratively by UMD Bureau of Business and Economic Research and the U of M Center for Sustainable Building Research) to the City Council and larger community. Based on the feedback we receive on this visit, the Center for Sustainable Building Research will then develop the final scenario for which UMD Bureau of Business and Economic Research will develop a Business Plan.
NMSDP & UMD Partner to Offer Sustainable Development Research Opportunity Program
The Sustainable Development Research Opportunity Program
(SDROP) will provide College of Liberal Arts (CLA) students an opportunity to
work closely with a variety of NE MN
communities on their various Sustainable Development projects.Students will gain the valuable research and
project design/implementation experiences only ?real-life? community projects
can provide, and community partners will benefit from the community service
provided by quality UMD students.Together,
UMD, the Northeast Minnesota Sustainable Development Partnership, and their
Community Partners can work to implement Sustainable Development in NE MN.
The program will begin in the Fall of 2009, and run
continuously throughout the year.The
program directors will maintain an evolving database of interested students,
and community projects.Students will be
matched to projects based on interest and qualifications.Students will be expected to spend a minimum of
120 hrs on a project for a $1500 stipend.All projects will last up to one year.The program Directors will be in constant communication with both
students and community partners to make sure all are benefiting from their
experience.Each year a project fair
will be held on campus to highlight the numerous SDROP community projects.
Dr. Michael Mageau, Dr. Okey Ukaga
and Michelle Hargrave will direct
and administer the program via CLA?s Center for Sustainable Community
Development (CSCD), the U of M Northeast Minnesota Sustainable Development
Partnership (NMSDP), and UMD Office of Civic Engagement.Dr. Ukaga will do so as part of his ongoing
duties as the Director of the Northeast Minnesota Sustainable Development
Partnership (NMSDP).Dr. Mageau will
coordinate the matching of community organizations, projects and students as
part of his role in the Center for Sustainable Community Development. Michelle Hargrave will assist in the recruiting of
capable and interested students.Mindy
Granley and Office of Sustainable Development at UMD will serve as an
additional key project provider of student projects, and function much like a
community partner that will benefit from student research.
Two Harbors High School Photovoltaic Project Completed
The goal was to install a 2.9KW dual axis tracking photovoltaic array energy system at the school that would not only demonstrate the potential of utilizing clean energy sources to satisfy local needs, but also serve as an educational tool.
Towards that end, the Lake Superior School District Board passed a resolution supporting the project on February 15th, 2007 contingent upon securing outside funding to cover the installation cost. NMSDP provided $7,500 to jump-start the project. CERTs provided an additional $5,000. Other contributors include Two Harbors High School ($12,000), THHS EnviroClub ($500), Cooperative Light and Power ($4,000), Clover Valley Community ($500), Minnesota Department of Commerce ($5,600), and Silver Creek Institute ($5,300 in-kind and over 132 volunteer hours). Funding was secured by December 2007 and equipment was ordered.
The installation has now been completed, production data is now available to the community, and the first of two workshops has been given. A dedication ceremony will be announced in December and will include supporters of the project and the media.
It is ideally located on the campus in an educational outdoor learning area to be developed for that purpose with benches, a kiosk and an interactive display that indicates the amount of electricity produced. Thanks to Jamie Juenemann for his leadership on this project.
New Wind Energy Resource Map for Northeast Minnesota
With funding from NMSDP and other sources (Minnesota's Lake Superior Coastal Program, NE CERTs and UMD's CLA), the Center for Sustainable Community Development at University of Minnesota, Duluth, has monitored the wind at seven sites along the North Shore of Lake Superior and used the data to develop a new, high-resolution (100m) wind resource map of the region. The map shows significantly more wind (14-19 mph) than current statewide wind resource maps (10-12 mph). This new information has stimulated interest in both small-scale community and large-scale commerical wind development. Larger-scale projects are currently limited by transimission line capacity, but smaller scale projects are underway in Silver Bay, Lutsen, Grand Marais and Grand Portage as a result of this study. For more information contact Dr. Mike Mageau at firstname.lastname@example.org or 218-726-6133.
The NMSDP is working with the City of International Falls, the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission (ARDC), and other stakeholders to design and implement aesthetic improvements to the gateway corridors of Highways 53 and 11 leading in and out of the City of International Falls. The intent of the project is to create a seamless visual corridor between the southern city limits of International Falls and Rainy Lake, including Voyageur National Park.
In 2008, the Gateway Corridor Task Force worked with landscape architects to design several recommended improvements, including pedestrian amenities and decorative lighting on Highway 53, a better connection between the Rainy Lake Trail and downtown International Falls, a uniform signage system, interpretive panels, and improvements to the Rainy Lake Fire Tower. The Task Force is now seeking to work with local stakeholders to implement the designed projects.
The NMSDP Tourism Resource Team (TRT) program provides technical assistance to community tourism organizations that have encountered an obstacle to realize their goals. The TRT program provides:
On-site consultation with experts and consultants;
A joint TRT and community report with analysis, observations, and potential recommendations to meet identified community needs; and
Interaction between the NMSDP and the community as action plans are implemented.
For additional information, contact: Dr. Okey Ukaga at email@example.com or 218-341-6029.
Raspberry Production in High Tunnels
With support from NMSDP, researchers at the North Central Research and Outreach Center in Grand Rapids, MN are conducting research on how to produce primocane raspberries in high tunnels. Based on this research, techniques and procedures for production of high quality primocane raspberries using high tunnel season extender will be developed and new knowledge transferred to growers in Northeast Minnesota.
Forest Industry Action Team
The Northeast Minnesota Forest Industry Action Team meetings provide an opportunity for public industry professionals to network, share critical information about the industry and address urgent matters of interest. In addition, a forest industry web community has been developed. This site located at http://forest.nrri.umn.edu includes news on Minnesota forest industry and web-based seminars. For more information contact Mike Reichenbach at firstname.lastname@example.org or 218-726-6470.
News from the Natural Resources Work Group
The Forestry Committee completed a very successful year. Boulder Lake Learning and Environmental Center was the focus of two projects. A resource team visit and support for forestry education program. The award winning Flute Reed Partnership in Cook County also held several classes for landowners. The end result of these classes is to reduce erosion and sedimentation protection of forest quality. The final class of the year held in Hovland included a demonstration showing the proper installation of erosion control matting. Mats were installed around a newly constructed patio by class participants. The participants learned through hands-on installation of matting that directly reduces erosion. The class also provided an opportunity for participants to meet and talk with a new business owner in Hovland, establishing connections that strengthen community.