Feb 22

Exploring Treaty Rights and Sustainability Next Week

Greetings, Bemidji friends!  I hope you’re enjoying this fine Friday and looking forward to the upcoming weekend. I’m back in town after attending the 2013 CERTs conference in St.Cloud – a fabulous event dedicated to community-driven clean energy!  If you were unable to attend the conference, keep your eye on the CERTs website, where presentations will be uploaded soon!

Earlier this week, Sustainable Tuesdays held our “Curing the Winter Blues”  event at Harmony Co-op’s Community Kitchen.  We took advantage of their stove to brew ourselves some delicious herbal teas, which we drank while exploring natural ways to help alleviate the low-energy mood that gloomy winter weather and lack of sunlight seems to bring on.

We owe a huge thank you to Rochelle Quick and Diana Kuklinski again this week – both of these fabulous women brought in a host of resources to share with us.  Rochelle spoke about a variety of things she does in her own home, such as making natural air fresheners (made with a mixture of grapefruit essential oil and water) and a revitalizing homemade lotion with shea butter, coconut oil, and peppermint.  She also showed us some reflexology tips and taught us about pressure points on our body.

Diana brewed us some wonderful teas.  One was a lemongrass tea and the other a rosemary tea.  Both were delicious and are recommended as great herbal teas to assist with the winter blues.  She also shared some helpful resources for growing herbs for tea right in your garden—even in our Minnesota climate!

If you’re looking for more information on growing herbal tea gardens, you may want to check out the book Herbal Tea Gardens by Marrietta Marcin. This book has descriptions of individual herbs, what they can be used for, cultural conditions, and how to make teas from them individually and in combination with other herbs.  Diana mentioned some of its creative theme gardens, such an “insomnia cure garden” that may be useful if you are looking for herbal teas to aid with a certain condition.

A big thank you to everyone that joined us!  In addition to our presenters, everyone walked away with a host of information shared by other community members.  I learned so much from everyone as we went around the group and shared our own personal remedies!

Next week, we will be meeting at the Rail River Folk School like usual.  If you’ve seen our posters around town, you may have seen “guest speaker to be announced” for next week’s event.  Well, there’s no more waiting!  We are thrilled to have Levi Brown, the Environmental Director at Leech Lake Division of Resource Management, joining us to talk about treaty rights and sustainability.

Exploring Treaty Rights and Sustainability

When: Tuesday, February 26th from 5:30 to 7:30pm

Where: Rail River Folk School, 303 Railroad St SW, Bemidji (across the Irvine bridge and to the left)

Please join us as we learn about treaty rights in Minnesota. We will explore how treaty rights affect choices to live more sustainably, for recognizing and upholding these rights is vital when it comes to sustaining cultural connections to the environment.

We hope to see you there!

If you’re looking to get active this weekend and enjoy the outdoors, check out the Candlelight Ski Tour/Snowshoe Walk at Lake Bemidji State Park or Itasca State Park this Saturday from 6 to 9pm!

From the MN DNR’s website: “Tour the park trails by the warm glow of candlelight. Up to 5 KM of easy and intermediate groomed ski trails will be lit for this magical night of skiing and snowshoeing. Along the trail stop to warm up by the fire and roast marshmallows. Return to the visitor center for additional refreshments and live musical entertainment. This event is hosted by the Bemidji Area Cross Country Ski Club and Lake Bemidji State Park. A limited number of snowshoes will be available to rent. Check current trail conditions at www.mndnr.gov.

Directions: Entrance to the park is off County State Aid Highway 20.

More Information: Contact John Fylpaa at (218) 308-2300 or by email at john.fylpaa@state.mn.us.”

For more locations holding candlelight events, check out http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/candlelight_events.html#

If you are in the Twin Cities area this weekend, here are a couple of events to keep an eye out for as well, courtesy of the Minnesota Environmental Partnership’s newsletter:

Feb. 24, 12 noon-6 p.m. Saint Paul Student Center, UMNTC
Feb. 25, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Minnesota State Capitol

This is a two-day event that offers young people an opportunity to have a voice in Minnesota’s environmental future. There is currently a HUGE opportunity to pass a bill that supports clean energy in MN this coming session. We haven’t seen an opportunity like this since 2007. We will be building grassroots power to make this opportunity a reality. Additionally, we are working to gather the youth voice on issue of land, water, air, and climate to present to state leaders at the Environmental Congress. More

Feb. 25, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
Christ Lutheran Church, Saint Paul

Bicycle advocates from throughout the state will once again gather in Saint Paul to help Minnesota set the pace for the rest of the nation. Your presence is necessary to educate our elected leaders on issues surrounding bicycling in Minnesota. More

That’s all for this week!  Enjoy the weekend!

As always, our program depends on your input and feedback, and we welcome your ideas and suggestions to broaden our community. Sustainable Tuesdays feature a variety of learning opportunities focused on sustainability that connect our beautiful, vibrant community and is a partnership program with the Indigenous Environmental Network, MN GreenCorps, Rail River Folk School and BSU’s Sustainability Office.

For more information, contact Caitlyn Schuchhardt at 755-3765 or Simone Senogles at 751-4967.

With peace,