Pioneers for the Planet: The High Wind Story

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On a windswept acreage overlooking a lush valley in mid-eastern Wisconsin, a small group of committed visionaries sowed a seed for change called High Wind, an “intentional community” that grew and blossomed in the late 1970s and 1980s. Although its life as an intentional community formally ended in 1992, the ecovillage legacy of High Wind […]

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A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold

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Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) was a philosopher. Though an accomplished scientist and expert in wildlife management, his greatest contribution to the environmentalism movement has been philosophical or moral in nature. He is widely considered one of the most influential environmentalists of all time, right up there with Rachel Carson, whom he predates. His great reputation and influence belies the fact that it rests primarily on one book, the slim, artful A Sand County Almanac.

First published posthumously in 1949 by his son, Luna (the name of an environmentalist’s child if there ever was one), the book was little noticed by the public at large until the environmental movement of the ’60s and ’70s took off (partly as a result of the work of Carson, Leopold’s intellectual heir). There are now over two million copies of the work in print, and its influence is still felt in the American conservation movement and in the vital school of environmental thought known as Deep Ecology. A Sand County Almanac is considered one of the seminal texts of environmentalism….

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Rescuing Hartland Marsh – A Six-Year Labor of Love

October 5, 2009 by  
Filed under Biodiversity, Blog, Forest, Front Page, Volunteers, Water, Wetland, Wisconsin

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When Paul Mozina takes on a project, he doesn’t give up until it’s finished. That’s not an unusual characteristic, necessarily. Yet Mozina’s dedication is anything but ordinary.

For the past six years, Mozina, with the unfailing support and frequent help of his wife, Pati Holman, has been waging a battle against buckthorn, an invasive plant that once covered most of Wisconsin’s Hartland Marsh. Today, buckthorn is all but eradicated from the marsh, and Mozina and Holman are the team that did it.

Their work began on property owned by the Ice Age Trail, a 1,000-mile trail that follows the furthest edge of the glaciers that formed much of Wisconsin’s landscape. The glaciers pushed silt and debris ahead of them, then left behind their footprint, in the form of lakes and moraines, when they melted. The land is rich and fertile, providing healthy soil for the many forests that cover much of the state….

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Earth Day Founder Gaylord Nelson Inspires Us Still

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Gaylord Nelson, the founder of Earth Day, passed away in 2005, leaving a legacy that resonates within every article you will read in this environmental magazine. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, back before I ever imagined running a magazine — or had the slightest hint of the electronic revolution yet to come — I was engaged in campus protests against the Viet Nam War. Though our main concern was the war, my fellow student activists and I took began to take on an additional focus, a whole new cause: the environment.

For many of us, pollution was just another symbol of how out of touch our government was with its people. By turning a blind eye to the egregious environmental crimes of big businesses, the government was slowly killing us. If “The Man” didn’t get us killed in Viet Nam, he was allowing us to be poisoned by the industrial machine. Our air, our water, our soil were being sold to the highest bidder. And our voices were being suppressed to keep us in check….

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Take This House (and Float It Away) Flooding Play on Midwest Tour

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In the heart of levee-protected suburbs along California’s American River, a middle-aged couple think they’re immune to anything nature blows their way — catastrophic flood included — only to find themselves terribly deluded. This original theatre piece, Take This House (and Float It Away), spirals into the tragicomic world of Stu and Marlene’s floodplain living room, where the couple is unable to comprehend nature’s effect on their safe, suburban sphere. As Stu hides behind “groundbreaking” research into bird gestures, Marlene extrapolates caffeinated solutions to newspaper headlines, conflating staying informed with staying afloat…

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Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) Announces Free Workshops

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Are you a farmer who’s been thinking about going organic, but you’re just not sure if it’s for you? Then check out these workshop offerings from Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Services (MOSES). We heard about MOSES from our friends at the Barr Mansion, and just learned about the following events. (Sorry about the late notice on Friday’s workshop, but there’s plenty of time to get registered for the April event.) Find out more details at the MOSES field days/training page of their website.

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A “Missionary” for Sustainable Energy

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“I want my life to make a difference,” says John Bahr, Ph.D. An active man in his early 70s, Bahr has enriched his retirement years by involving himself in environmental issues. Starting out with very little knowledge, he has become a powerful advocate for Wisconsin’s sustainable energy movement. “This work satisfies my desire to do something worthwhile with my life while I have the opportunity,” he says. I spoke with Bahr from his Wisconsin home. I wanted to learn more about the work that he does and how it fulfills him as a retiree.

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Legacy of a Green Artist and Dreamer

November 20, 2008 by  
Filed under Artists, Blog, Ecopreneurs, Front Page, Wisconsin

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Jeanne Freymiller was a fiber artist, an unconventional quilter, and a dreamer. She was “green” before it was fashionable, collecting thousands of pounds of castoff and scrap fabric that otherwise would have been sent to the landfill. But she didn’t hoard it selfishly; Jeanne had a vision for how the rescued fabric could be used to help others.

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Green Charter Schools Conference

October 31, 2008 by  
Filed under 2008, Blog, Wisconsin

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Want to know what’s going on in the green school movement? Find out at the Green Charter Schools Conference in Madison, Wisconsin, November 7 – 9, 2008.

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