Youngsters learn recycling: NMU EarthKeeper Student Team Eco-Christmas

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Teaching Michigan youngsters to creatively recycle: Northern Michigan University EarthKeeper Student Team Eco-Christmas
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Caption for photo on lower right:

Tara Strong of downstate Grand Blanc (left) helps her daughter four-year-old Anja Strong make a recycled holiday card as Catholic EarthKeeper team member Kyra Filmore holds her baby son, Llewellyn, as her daughter Eileen also makes a card.
The youths made holiday cards and homemade herbal green tea at the NMU EarthKeeper Student Team Eco-Christmas Workshop held Saturday, December 12, 2009 at the Peter White Public Library in Marquette.

(Marquette, MI) – Dozens of youngsters from across Michigan created recycled holiday cards and homemade tea bags for gifts this weekend during the Northern Michigan University EarthKeeper’s Eco-Christmas Workshop at the Peter White Public Library in Marquette.
The Northern Michigan University EarthKeeper (NMU EK) Student Team hosted the workshop from 1-4 p.m. across from the children’s library attracting several mothers from the Lower Peninsula and a teacher from Paradise in the eastern Upper Peninsula who plans to bring the idea into her classroom.
While finding ways to entertain and educate her children while her husband checked out job offers in Marquette, Tara Strong of downstate Grand Blanc brought her young daughter and baby son to the Upper Peninsula Children’s Museum and then the Peter White children’s library.
“My husband is here interviewing for a residency position for after med school,” said Strong. “We just found out about the project from the librarian.”
“I love it. I love the recycling idea. We’re also on a very limited budget and so I really like the idea of recycling and hand making things. I think it’s great.”
Strong said she and her daughter “are having great fun.”
“I’ve been making crafts,” said four-year-old Anja Strong. “I made a tea bag and I have a honey bear stick”

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16-year-old Negaunee High School junior Phil Lindblom, left, watches as volunteers iron wet recycled construction paper for youngsters to make holiday cards at the NMU EarthKeeper Student Team Eco-Christmas Workshop held Saturday, December 12, 2009 at the Peter White Public Library in Marquette.
Pictured ironing are Escanaba native Carole Beck (center) and 18-year-old NMU EK Student Team member Ellen Lindblom.
Visiting the Lindbloms in Negaunee for the weekend, Beck, who teaches in third through fifth grade at the White Fish Township Community School in Paradise, said she’ll take the NMU EarthKeeper’s idea into her classrooms and maybe make Valentines Day cards

Joined by her brother and a friend, 18-year-old NMU EK Student Team member Ellen Lindblom said the end of the semester meant lots of scrap paper lying around the university.
“School just ended and people have lost of papers left over” that was cut into tiny pieces by NMU EK team members, said Lindblom, an NMU freshman “You put it in the blender with a little bit of water and you blend it until it looks a little bit chunky like this.”
“You put it in a screen flatten it out – pat the water out,” said Lindblom, while using a towel and iron to dry and flatten the multicolored wet paper as 21 year-old NMU EK Student Team Director Ben Scheelk of downstate Charlevoix used a small hair dryer to speed up the process.
“We took a towel and pressed the water out to speed up the drying process a little bit,” she said. “Then flattened it out a little harder with an iron. I think it looks nice.”Photobucket

Caption for top right and lower right:

Mike Robinson, a 21-year-old NMU senior geography major, from downstate Grosse Pointe, uses a blender to mix red, blue, purple and white bits of paper for youngsters to make into Christmas cards at the NMU EarthKeeper Student Team Eco-Christmas Workshop held Saturday, December 12, 2009 at the Peter White Public Library in Marquette.
“We are taking some scrap paper from various places and construction paper and making it into some pulp in a blender with some water,” said Robinson, a member of the NMU EK Student team.

His hand atop the lid on a blender that whirred with red, blue, purple and white bits of paper, Mike Robinson, a 21-year-old NMU senior geography major, from downstate Grosse Pointe, said the project is a “good holiday craft.”
“We are taking some scrap paper from various places and construction paper and making it into some pulp in a blender with some water,” said Robinson, a member of the NMU EK Student team.
Pressing the bits of soggy paper into a screen with borders, 16-year-old Negaunee High School junior Phil Lindblom said “this is what they call extreme pulp.”
“I am taking this wet paper and putting it on these screens and pushing water out of it,” said Lindbloom, whose sister is a member of the NMU EarthKeepers. “I am making new paper which is pretty exciting.”
Escanaba native Carole Beck, who teaches in third through fifth grade at the White Fish Township Community School in Paradise, said she’ll take the NMU EarthKeeper’s idea into her classrooms and maybe make Valentines Day cards.
“We’re trying to figure out how we could create the screen there that would be the only thing that we would need extra,” Beck said. “We should be able to do that.”
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The students put out bowls with spearmint, raspberry leaves, juniper berries and rose hips that the youngsters used to “make a green tea – a detoxifying beautiful beverage,” said 21-year-old NMU EK Student Team Event Coordinator Amanda Emerson of Cary, Ill. “We also have honey sticks to go along with the tea.”
The herbs were donated by Catholic EarthKeeper Kyra Fillmore and the Marquette Food Co-op.
“You just wrap those up herbs in an eco-friendly coffee filter and tie it with a string in a nice little bow and there you go,” said Emerson, an NMU Senior Majoring in International Studies (emphasis on Latin America) and Earth Science (emphasis on rocks and minerals). “There’s your gift – a homemade card and homemade tea bags.”
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Protecting the earth and teaching the young to respect the planet are major goals of the EarthKeepers, said 21-year-old NMU EarthKeeper Leandra Dziesinski of Alpena, MI.
“It’s very important to care care of your things and the earth is absolutely our thing – it’s where we’re at – so we have to take care of it we only have one earth, said Dziesinski, an NMU senior graduating in May with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. I think if we have a happy, safe and a clean place to live that just makes our population that much more happy.”
In September, the NMU EarthKeepers cleaned up hundreds of pounds of litter at the Upper Dead River Falls, a popular student hangout, Scheelk said.
The NMU EK Student Team is the youth wing of the Upper Peninsula EarthKeepers, 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

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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."
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