Make A Difference Day 2009: NMU EarthKeeper Student Team cleans along Dead River

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Northern Michigan University EarthKeeper Student Teams Makes a Difference by removing trash from a favorite youth party spot on a Lake Superior tributary in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula

(Marquette, Michigan) – A student environment group from Northern Michigan University honored “Make A Difference Day” by picking up hundreds of pounds of litter and garbage at a favorite youth party spot around the Upper Dead River Falls in Marquette, Michigan.

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The rubbish collected by the Northern Michigan University EarthKeeper (NMU EK) Student Team on Saturday (October 24, 2009) included rusty box springs, a smashed vehicle windshield and a plethora of beer bottles and cans. Some of the beverage containers were very old because they had the old pull-top design.

Redux Collage NMU EK Student Team Clean Dead River Make Difference Day

The Upper Dead River Falls is a rugged area with sandy hills, steep trails, rocky cliffs, a lengthy series of waterfalls and the obvious remnants of many campfires.
“I just found a used diaper, a lot of glass, broken bottles, cans and cigarette wrappers,” said Ben Scheelk, 21,  of Charlevoix, MI, director of the NMU EK Student Team.
“What really disappoints me is all the big things we are finding like bed springs and other rusty old metal things,” Scheelk said.

Redux Collage NMU EK Student Team Clean Dead River Make Difference Day

While looking at the rushing water, NMU EK Student Team Event Coordinator Amanda Emerson said “water is an important entity of the world and even though we have so much of it around here we have to cherish it that much more.”
“We been out here so many times there is no one out here ever picking it up their trash,” said Emerson, 21, of Cary, Ill. (NW Chicago).
NMU Senior Chelsey Cebulsky said she was proud to participate in “Make A Difference Day” and “picking up this trash is a good thing to do for the environment.”

Redux Collage NMU EK Student Team Clean Dead River Make Difference Day

“I have been out here many times for the party scene but I was always the one carrying around a plastic bag telling everyone to put their cans in it – sadly not very many people listened,” said Chelsey Cebulsky, 22, a physical geography major from of Adrian, MI. “Get a trash bag and get rid of trash yourself.”
NMU junior Ben Youren used gloves to carefully separated hundreds of pieces of shattered glass from the muddy soil on a hillside along the river.

Redux Collage NMU EK Student Team Clean Dead River Make Difference Day

“It looks like it is part of a windshield,” said Youren, 26, an English major. “I am trying to dig the glass out of here.”
The NMU environment group is the student wing of the interfaith Upper Peninsula EarthKeeper Team that holds annual Earth Day environment projects across northern Michigan including planting over 12,000 trees this past spring.
Prior to the collection, the group sat in a circle at the NMU University Center and got a lesson in the importance of clean water from the co-founder of the Upper Peninsula EarthKeeper Initiative.

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“Almost 80 percent of the world is water and our bodies are 80 percent water, said Rev. Jon Magnuson, co-founder of the EarthKeeper Initiative and campus pastor for NMU Lutheran Campus Ministry.
“There is a delicate balance when it comes to pH or the amount of acid in water and if that balance gets thrown off we can die.”
Magnuson said people who grow up in northern Michigan sometimes “take it for granted because we have so much water.”
“If you go to other places in the world you will see people who have to travel miles to get fresh water,” Magnuson said. “Their whole life is centered around accessing good water.”
The students clean up project may of had a preventative effect.
While the students were cleaning up the area, a pickup truck pulled up with a load of tires in the back. After talking briefly to the students, the two men in the truck pulled away.
“It looks like we prevented them from dumping a whole load of tires along side of the river,” Scheelk said.
Background on EarthKeeper Initiative:

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The EarthKeepers are an interfaith environment group involving over 150 churches and temples across northern Michigan.
The EarthKeeper Initiative is co-sponsored by the nonprofit Cedar Tree Institute, the nonprofit Superior Watershed Partnership, the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and 10 faith communities: Catholic, Episcopal, Lutheran, Presbyterian, United Methodist Church, Unitarian Universalist, Baha’i, Jewish, Quakers (Religious Society of Friends) and Zen Buddhist.
For more information on the Michigan EarthKeepers email or call the following contacts:Ben Scheelk, Director of NMU EK Student Team
bscheelk@nmu.edu
231-675-0121

Rev. Jon Magnuson, Co-Founder of EarthKeeper Initiative
magnusonx2@charter.net
906-228-5494

Greg Peterson, news reporter and volunteer media advisor for the EarthKeepers and other projects
earthkeeper@charter.net
906-401-0109

U.P. EarthKeeper Team:
http://www.upearthkeepers.org

Nonprofit Superior Watershed Partnership in Marquette, MI
http://www.superiorwatersheds.org

Nonprofit Cedar Tree Institute in Marquette, MI
http://www.cedartreeinstitute.org

Make A Difference Day:
http://www.makeadifferenceday.com
http://www.facebook.com/makeadifferenceday
http://www.usaweekend.com/diffday/index.html

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About yoopernewsman

I am a news reporter, writer and investigative journalist and began my career about 40 years ago as a young teenager in Augusta, GA after moving south during the middle of high school. I'm a news reporter, writer & investigative journalist specializing in street news, plus Indigenous, civil rights & environment reporting. Currently volunteer media advisor for numerous American Indian & environment related nonprofits that include the Navajo Lutheran Mission in Rock Point, AZ & its executive director Rev. Dr. Lynn Hubbard, the nonprofit Cedar Tree Institute (CTI) in Marquette, MI & its many projects founded by Rev. Jon Magnuson, Author Joy Ibsen of Trout Creek, MI, Celtic Christianity Today (CCT) founded by Rev. Dr. George Cairns, the Turtle Island Project founded by pastors Hubbard & Cairns. In its third summer, the CTI Zaagkii Wings & Seeds Project & its volunteers built a16-foot geodesic dome solar-powered greenhouse that was built in this summer at the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) in an effort to restore native species plants to northern Michigan. It's located at the tribe's Natural Resources Department north of L'Anse along Lake Superior. During the summer of 2010, Zaagkii Project teens built & painted 25 beautiful reliquaries that are boxes made from pine & cedar that are used to store seeds for planting & included samples of Native American medicine including sweetgrass, cedar, sage & tobacco. From April-June 2009, I promoted the EarthKeeper Tree Project that planted 12,000 trees across northern Michigan. Co-edited "Unafraid," the second book by Author Joy Ibsen of Trout Creek, MI that was printed in May 2009 based on her father's handwritten sermons she found in shoebox. I edited numerous videos for nonprofit CCT. Began career 35 years ago as teenager in Augusta, GA after moving south during middle of high school. I was co-coordinator of the 1986 original James Brown Appreciation Day in Augusta, GA, where the Godfather of Soul was always trashed by local media who didn't report anything positive about the music icon. Mr. Terence Dicks was the other co-coordinator & most recently served as chair of the Augusta Human Relations Commission and serves on the Georgia Clients Council. Mr. Brown taught us to "fight the good fight" by battling all forms of racism & evil while not uttering a bad word about those who try to block justice, respect, fairness & kindness to all. As a child, I lived in the Harbert, Michigan home built by late poet Carl Sandburg, where the legendary author penned some of his greatest works including his Chicago works & Lincoln papers. The four-story home had a sundeck on the top & a cool walk-in safe in the basement. The neighborhood (Birchwood) has numerous cottages used for other purposes by Sandburg like the milk house where they milked goats. My parents remodeled fourth floor of the home that stands atop the Lake Michigan sand dunes/bluffs. They found items that belonged to Mr. Sandburg concealed in the walls including prescription bottles with his name, reading glasses, & a small, thin metal stamp with his name. I've worked for dozens of newspapers & radio & TV stations in GA & MI. I'm volunteer media advisor for several interfaith environmental projects involving Native Americans across Upper Peninsula of MI including the Turtle Island Project, The Zaagkii Project, the Interfaith Earth Healing Initiative, EarthKeeper Initiative & the Manoomin (Wild Rice) Project. The Zaagkii Wings & Seeds Project restores bee & butterfly habitat to help pollination of plants following death of billions of bees. Keweenaw Bay Indian Community youth & Marquette teens built butterfly houses, planted/distributed 26,000 native plants to help pollinators. The Earth Healing Initiative assisted EPA Great Lakes 2008 Earth Day Challenge. EHI helped organize interfaith participation across eight states for the 100 plus recycling projects (April 2008) involving recycling millions of pounds of electronic waste & proper disposal of millions of pills/pharmaceuticals. EPA goals were exceeded by 500%. Under an EPA grant, EHI provided free media services for the cities/groups/tribes including videos & press releases. The EarthKeeper environment projects include an annual Earth Day Clean Sweep (2005-2007) at 24 free drop-off sites across a 400 mile area of northern Michigan that collected over 370 tons of household hazardous waste. The 2007 EarthKeeper Pharmaceutical Clean Sweep collected over one ton of drugs plus $500,000 in narcotics in only three hours. Some 2,000 residents participated & many brought in pharmaceuticals for their family, friends & neighbors. In 2006, 10,000 people dropped off over 320 tons of old/broken computers, cell phones & other electronic waste, all of which was recycled. In 2005, residents turned in 45 tons of household poisons & vehicle batteries. The Manoomin (Wild Rice) Project teaches teens to respect nature & themselves by having American Indian guides escort them to remote lakes & streams in northern Michigan to plant/care for wild rice. The teens test water quality to determine the best conditions for the once native grain to survive. The Turtle Island Project was co-founded in July 2007 by Rev. Lynn Hubbard of Rock Point, AR (Ex. Dir. of the Navajo Lutheran Mission) & Rev. Dr. George Cairns of Chesterton, IN, United Church of Christ minister & research professor for the Chicago Theological Seminary. TIP promotes respect for culture & heritage of indigenous peoples like American Indians. TIP is a platform for American Indians to be heard unedited by whites. Rev. Hubbard says whites don't have the knowledge or right to speak on behalf of Native Americans. I specialize in civil rights, outdoor, environmental, cops & courts reporting thanks to my late mentor Jay Mann (Jan Tillman Hutchens), an investigative reporter in Augusta, who lived by the books "Illusions" & "Jonathon Livingston Seagull." Love to fish, hunt, camp & skydive. Belong to Delta Chi national fraternity. I was active in Junior Achievement, band played cornet. With my dear friend, the Rev. Terence A. Dicks, we were the co-coordinators of the 1986 original James Brown Appreciation Day in Augusta, GA, where the Godfather of Soul was always trashed by the local media who found no reasons to print or report anything positive about the music icon. I am honored to help the human rights activist Terence Dicks - with some of his projects including the nonprofit Georgia Center for Children and Education - and the economic initiative he founded titled "Claiming A Street Named King." I am the volunteer media advisor for several environmental projects across Michigan's Upper Peninsula including EarthKeeper II - an Initiative of the nonprofit Cedar Tree Institute in Marquette, MI. EarthKeepers II is an Interfaith Energy Conservation and Community Garden Initiative across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Goals: Restore Native Plants and Protect the Great Lakes from Toxins like Airborne Mercury in cooperation with the EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, U.S. Forest Service, 10 faith traditions and Native American tribes like the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Previously known as the Earth Keeper Initiative - that project included many environmental projects including an annual Earth Day Clean sweep at two dozen free drop off sites across a 400 mile area of northern Michigan. The target of the 2007 Earth Keeper Pharmaceutical Clean Sweep are all kinds of medicines. In 2006, some 10,000 people dropped off over 320 tons of old/broken computers, cell phones and other electronic waste, all of which was recycled. In 2005, residents turned in 45 tons of household poisons and vehicle batteries. The Manoomin (Wild Rice) Project taught at-risk teens (just sentenced in juvenile court) to respect nature and themselves by having American Indian guides escort them to very remote lakes and streams in northern Michigan to plant and care for wild rice. The teens conducted water quality and other tests to determine the best conditions for the once native grain to survive. I have always specialized in civil rights, outdoor, environmental, cops and courts reporting thanks to my late mentor Jay Mann (Jan Tillman Hutchens), an investigative reporter in Augusta, who lived by the book "Illusions."
This entry was posted in air, animals, Bahai, bed springs, Beer, beer bottles, birds, bottles, Catholic, Cedar Tree Institute, Chicago, Christian, college, culture, Dead River, e-waste, Earth, Earth Keeper Initiative, EarthKeeper, ecology, electronic waste, environment, Environmental Protection Agency, EPA, EPA Great Lakes National Programs Office, Episcopal, extinct, fish, GLNPO, global warming, Great Lakes, groundwater, HHW, human race, Jewish, lake, Lake Superior, Lutheran, Make A Difference Day, Michigan, Mother Earth, NMU, NMU EK, nonprofit, Northern Michigan University, Northern Michigan University EarthKeeper Student Team, pharmaceuticals, pollution, Presbyterian, Quakers, religion, Religious Society of Friends, Reverend Jon Magnuson, stream, students, Turtle Island Project, Unitarian Universalist, United Methodist Church, Upper Dead River Falls, Upper Peninsula, water, youth, Zen Buddhist and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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