Turning the corner on Great Lakes clean-up

The St. Louis River used to look bad. And smell bad. Dead fish were belly-up in the water, and industrial foam covered shorelines. The river looks a lot better these days, but that doesn’t mean it’s healthy yet.

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Planting the new Raymond Avenue: Volunteer initiative sows lasting results

When it comes to improving the beauty and environmental friendliness of any neighborhood, there’s no better way to get things done and done in the right way than through the power and initiative of

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TCE lawsuit inches on, Southeast Como organizes outreach

While Southeast Como neighborhood residents’ concerns about harmful vapors in their homes continue to linger, a lawsuit against General Mills is moving forward.

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Group files Suit over Southwest LRT

A group of Minneapolis environmental activists, concerned residents, and lawyers gathered at the Hennepin County Government Center to unveil a lawsuit against the city of Minneapolis and the Federal Transit Administration.

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After population decline, researchers optimistic about monarchs

(Photo by Zachary Bielinski) Graduate student Amanda Stephens shows Lydia a monarch butterfly before it’s tagged and released at the Minneapolis Monarch Festival on Sept. 6, 2014, in the Nokomis neighborhood. School researchers say monarch populations have dropped in recent years, but they’re optimistic about reversing the decline.

Against a backdrop of milkweed, flowers and bright orange wings, monarch butterfly researchers and educators gathered Saturday to enlist the public’s help in saving the delicate insects.

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The social life of yards with Ursula Lang

The podcast this week is a conversation with Ursula Lang, a PhD candidate in geography at the University of Minnesota who is just completing her dissertation on the social life of yards; I know Ursula through my experience in the same Geography Department. I sat down with her the other day at Cahoots Coffee Shop in Saint Paul to talk bout her research, in which she interviewed and studied people who “practice their yards” in three different neighborhoods in Minneapolis. Ursula explained to me about the history of yards as an idea and a physical space, how people view and experience yards differently, and why thinking about yards might reveal something important about the value of overlooked aspects of everyday life.

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Report calls for more public space along Green Line

(Photo by Bruce Johansen)

The opening of the Green Line light rail has environmental advocates and others evaluating the University of Minnesota’s amount of green space.

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Touring Green Line green infrastructure

This past Saturday I participated in a tour of Green Line “Green Infrastructure” as part of Public Art Saint Paul’s City Art Collaboratory Program. We are a group of multidisciplinary artists and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) professionals who embark on monthly field trips together, exploring the living systems of the City of Saint Paul. One of our cohort is Matt Kumka, a landscape architect at Barr Engineering. He and his coworker, green engineer Nathan Campeau, guided us on this three-stop tour looking primarily at the stormwater management features.

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In historical move, MPCA orders EIS on proposed factory farm

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Citizens’ Board ruled this week that Riverview LLP’s proposed 8,850-cow dairy operation in Stevens County must undergo an in-depth Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). To my knowledge, this is the first time that the MPCA has ordered an EIS of a factory farm.

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Tar sands, trade rules and the gutting of human rights for corporate profit

A new report released today from IATP takes an in-depth look at how tar sands have developed from an unconventional, inefficient energy source to the spotlight of the corporate agenda as conventional oil supplies dwindle. Tar Sands: How Trade Rules Surrender Sovereignty and Extend Corporate Rights follows the development of energy policy from NAFTA up to current free trade negotiations to illustrate that while energy sources evolve, one trend remains constant: The protection of corporate profits at the expense of human rights, sovereignty and the environment. With new free trade agreements in negotiation, the time for action is here: The public needs a seat at the negotiating table.

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