Almost didn't make it! But here it is, the Greening Minnesota, December Edition. Here, you can read about new developments in the local community which contribute towards a greener and bluer earth.
First, good news! 35 Minnesota fish and wildlife conservations projects will be getting $3.7 million in grants next year from the Outdoor Heritage Fund - created when voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment in 2008.
Next, Bloomington has a farmers market. So does Richfield, St. Louis Park, Hopkins, Minnetonka and Minneapolis. But not Edina. As soon as next summer, Edina might just have a farmer's market if a proposal that's going to the Edina Park Board in January makes its way through city review processes in time. The proposed location would be Centennial Lakes Park.
Also in Edina, as construction starts on its new public works building, one of the earliest jobs will be to drill its geothermal heating and cooling system. 124 wells will be drilled 250 feet deep and a closed network of pipes snaking up and down underground will be sunk into the holes and connected to the building. This type of system has been around for decades but improved technology is making them more efficient in extreme climates such as Minnesota.
The water used at the new Green Planet Car Wash at Dodd Road and County Road 50 in Lakeville is extensively filtered and reused in subsequent wash cycles, reducing water waste per car from the 100 gallons used by the typical car wash to less than five gallons. The water is clean enough to drink by EPA standards, but don't worry, they like to save it for the car wash.
More dirty work to clean up the environment? Okay. From $28 million construction project in Shakopee is emerging a plant which will take what's flushed down the toilet from as far away as Lake Minnetonka and turn it into enough energy to save $1 million dollars a year. Shakopee has also recently authorized rooftop wind turbines all over town, and a new $60 million biomass plant started up close to downtown that burns the waste hulls from the creation of Cheerios and other breakfast cereals to create electricity and heat.
Finally, a less dirty form of recycling. A family-owned wood products company has purchase the former Ainsworth lumber mill in Cook. Not only are they recycling an entire building, but the operation utilizes more of the scrap wood material that's typically left to rot on the forest floor. That can mean anything from tree tops, bark and limbs left behind by traditional logging operations, to old logs and trees that die naturally in the forest.
That is the round-up for this month. Tune in again towards the end of January to read about more green and environmentally friendly developments occurring in the Twin Cities and the rest of Minnesota.