Greening Minnesota - May
Because there are so many great environmentally friendly things going on in Minnesota, we like to do these little green updates on the Barker & Hedges blog. May's is inspired by Arbor Day. Okay, if you're up on your earth-friendly observances, you know that Arbor Day is celebrated nationally in April. But this year, some different things have been happening in Minneapolis, I'll get right into explaining it.
First, since last month's Greening Minnesota was so early in the month, I didn't get the chance to tell you about how the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) received the 2009 Celebration Award from the Arbor Day Foundation. The national award is given each year to recognize the community organization whose Arbor Day celebration best represents the spirit of the tree planting holiday. MPRB was acknowledged for its 2008 Arbor Day celebration, “125 Trees for 125 Years” which commemorated the board’s 125th anniversary with the planting of 125 trees just south of Kenwood Park.
Next, the MPRB will celebrate Arbor Day 2009 next week on Wednesday, May 20, at Waite Park and Waite Park Community School, located at 1800 34th Avenue NE. This is because Minneapolis is one of 13 cities chosen to participate in the national Trees for Success campaign. Sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation and The Home Depot Foundation, Trees for Success and other tree-planting events engage the community, raising awareness of the environmental, economic and health impact that trees have in their community. Over 500 students and staff will plant 100 new trees in 17 different species throughout the park and the school.
Gardening isn't just about beautiful foliage, the soil where the roots grow is where everything starts. The Longfellow Gardens in Minnehaha Park will literally be a testing ground for organic turf management by the Horticulture Division of the MPRB. The ongoing project will look at the implications of organic gardening for the long-term and how it will effect future generations.
The Minneapolis Farmers Market is open! Since the Lyndale Market opened back in 1937, it has been a source for fresh and locally grown produce and products for people all over the Twin Cities. The Market's precursor, Minneapolis’ outdoor Fruit and Vegetable Market at the corner of First Street and Hennepin Avenue, extends that history of providing for the community all the way back to 1876. There is now also a Nicollet Mall Market location.
The Bloomington City Council has approved the installation of an eco-friendly geothermal refrigeration system at the two rinks at Burnsville Ice Center. Projected cost of $4.3 million, the geothermal system drastically reduces the amount of Freon needed for operation, from between 10,000 and 12,000 pounds of Freon to between 120 and 360 pounds. Because of this and the fac that it will cut energy costs, it's expected to be worth the investment.
Finally, a national eco-friendly (and economically friendly!) story is hitting closer to home. In March, First Lady Michelle Obama dug up part of the South Lawn to put in a vegetable garden. It was the first at the White House since Eleanor Roosevelt's Victory Garden during World War II. The garden will be organic and fertilized with compost, and its produce will be used for meals at the White House. Now garden advocacy group Eat the View is urging states to plant food-producing gardens at governors' official residences, including Gov. Tim Pawlenty. The Minnesota Governor's Mansion on Summit Avenue in St. Paul has gardens, but grows no veggies.