Environmental stewards to be honored at Barker’s IslandThe Lake Superior Binational Forum announces nine American and Canadian recipients of its ninth annual Environmental Stewardship Awards Program. Many of the U.S. recipients are honored at a public presentation during a Lake Superior Day event at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Barker’s Island Pavilion, 122 Marine Drive.
The Lake Superior Binational Forum announces nine American and Canadian recipients of its ninth annual Environmental Stewardship Awards Program.
Many of the U.S. recipients are honored at a public presentation during a Lake Superior Day event at 1 p.m. Sunday at the Barker’s Island Pavilion, 122 Marine Drive.
A binational panel of judges chose nine award recipients that accomplished significant and successful actions that minimize negative impacts or restore the natural environment in the Lake Superior basin. The awards program pays tribute to recipients in the Lake Superior basin that have demonstrated a commitment to environmental stewardship through outstanding leadership in one of five categories: Youth, Individual Adult, Business, Tribe or Organization.
Two recipients were from Wisconsin.
Drummond Area School District received first place in the Youth/School category. This K-12 school district set a goal to become a “Green and Healthy School” several years ago to increase students’ environmental awareness and to help make the school a safe, clean and “green” learning environment. Since the inception of the program, eight new practices or initiatives have been held to reduce environmental impacts and lower costs including replaced inefficient heating units with high efficiency units; installed energy efficient light bulbs throughout the school; eliminated paper report cards, school menus and other reports by posting the information on the school web site; enhanced the environmental curriculum to surpass state standards; planted a school vegetable garden on site; annual roadside trash pickup; and other projects in classrooms. Administrator John Knight estimates an energy cost savings of about $5,000 a year, and more students have gotten involved in environmental actions due to the new curriculum.
Tom Nelson, owner of Tom’s Burned Down Café in LaPoint started a comprehensive reuse and recycling program at his tavern back in 1992, which has aggressively kept at least 40,000-50,000 pounds of materials out of the island’s waste stream. Even more materials have been put back into use or deconstructed to be returned to the manufacturing process as raw materials to be recycled. Nelson actually purchased the island’s former landfill at which he has constructed a reuse site and a place to store scrap metals that are reused in an annual public event for artists called “Sculptors Wrestle Steel.” This business sets high standards for waste reduction as not just good business practices but as a lifestyle.