Mar 08

Upcoming Sustainable Tuesday on “Septic Systems and Water Quality”

Happy Friday, Bemidji friends! I hope you’ve all had a great week!

We unfortunately had to cancel this week’s Sustainable Tuesday event for the Mississippi River Water Walk.  The walkers had been planning to drive back to Bemidji and join us for the evening, but the winter weather complicated things! We’d rather that everyone be safe and warm at home rather than attempting to make it to our event.

Even though we weren’t able to have last week’s fundraising event, we would still like to do all we can to support Sharon Day and those who are participating in the Mississippi River Water Walk.  This is an incredibly important journey to raise awareness about the pollution of the Mississippi River and the important connection that we all have to water.

You can listen to Sharon talk about the significance of the water walk in a feature on PRX Public Radio Exchange, and if you’d like to learn more about the history of the water walk tradition, check out this video featuring elder Josephine Mandamin as she describes her experiences with the Mother Earth Water Walk:

This video is first in a series of three, so click here for Part 2 and Part 3.

For updates on the water walk, be sure to join their Facebook group, where you can view pictures of the walkers, follow their location, and see a map of where they are and where they’ll be heading!

Water Walkers on Hwy 2 near Bemidji (from the Mississippi River Water Walk 2013 facebook page)

We encourage you to support the Mississippi River Water Walk even further by sending a donation to assist the walkers as they make their way to the Gulf of Mexico.  Donations can be sent to:

Indigenous Peoples Task Force: Water Walk

1335 E. 23rd St

Minneapolis, MN 55404

This is a wonderful cause and I hope that you will continue to follow the story of the Mississippi River Water Walk and support in any way possible.

Next week, we hope you join us for a presentation by Shirley Nordrum, a University of MN Extension Water Resource Educator, as she speaks with us about “Septic Systems and Water Quality”!  Tuesday, March 12th from 5:30 to 7:30pm at the Rail River Folk School!

In the words of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, “a poorly functioning septic system is a threat to human health and the environment because it may not remove pathogens, nutrients, and other chemicals from the used water before it enters our groundwater or lakes.”  This means that it’s crucial for residents to know how to properly maintain their septic systems!

If you’re interested in learning more about how septic systems work, join us for Shirley’s presentation.  She’ll be addressing septic systems and maintenance, local environmental concerns surrounding septic systems, and the importance of protecting water quality.  We hope to see you there!

When: Tuesday, March 12th from 5:30 to 7:30pm

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

Are you interested in renewable energy options? Would you like to see Minnesota progress even further on this front? There is a bill currently being proposed to the State legislature to increase the MN Renewable Energy Standard to 40% by 2030 and it needs your support!

Visit the Power of Wind website to learn more about the Minnesota’s Renewable Energy Standard (RES) and how the state could possibly expand their renewable electricity supply.

As stated on the site, “This legislation would maintain a strong foundation of skilled jobs in Minnesota, provide long-term affordable electricity rates, bring millions in investment and tax revenues, and ensure that Minnesota continues moving toward a more sustainable energy future.”  Visit the page to learn more about how you can contact your elected officials and share your support.

Looking for something to do this weekend?  Head over to the Headwaters Science Center and help celebrate their 19th anniversary! 

Saturday, March 9th from 9:30am to 5:30pm is a Free Day at the Headwaters Science Center! This will be a fun-filled day with a free pass to the exhibit floor and a super-discount in The Science Store. There will be a huge birthday cake and other treats, floor demonstrations by HSC staff and an opportunity to become a member or renew your existing membership before the prices go up in May.

That’s all for this week!  Enjoy the hockey games tonight and tomorrow, and have a great 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,