EarthKeepers II: Interfaith Energy Conservation and Community Garden Initiative Across the Upper Peninsula to Restore Native Plants and Protect the Great Lakes from Toxins and Airborne Mercury Under the EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative

EarthKeepers II Logos Collage medium

The EarthKeepers II Initiative is sponsored by 10 U.P. Faith Communities With Assistance From Students at Northern Michigan University, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, native garden technical assistance from the U.S. Forest Service Midwest Botanist Jan Schultz and the Native American (Anishinaabe/Ojibwa) Communities of Northern Michigan including the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community.

(Marquette, MI) – An Interfaith Energy Conservation and Community Garden Initiative across the Upper Peninsula of Michigan will see the creation of 30 native plants gardens and free energy audits for 40 churches/temple plus grants to help make repair to reduce airborne mercury from entering Lakes Michigan and Superior in an effort named EarthKeepers II and made possible by the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

A January 18 press conference announcing the plans Marquette, MI was hosted by the Northern Michigan University EarthKeepers II Student Team: Katelin Bingner, Tom Merkel and Adam Magnuson.

The NMU students are planning to write and record public service messages with energy conservation tips, information on protecting the Great Lakes and about the importance of native plants restoration – with assistance from U.P. radio stations, newspapers and television stations.

The EarthKeepers II Initiative is sponsored by the churches/temples of 10 faith traditions that were involved in the original Earth Keeper Initiative (2004-2009): Roman Catholic, Episcopal, Jewish, Lutheran, Presbyterian, United Methodist, Bahá’í, Unitarian Universalist, Zen Buddhist.

Speaking at the press conference will be the Bishops and other denominational leaders from these 10 faith communities plus U.S. Forest Service (USFS) Regional Botanist Jan Schultz, Delta Green Ex. Dir. Doug Russell and Cedar Tree Institute Ex. Dir. Rev. Jon Magnuson.

Over the next two years, the EarthKeepers II projects include energy conservation audits at 40 U.P. churches/temples plus grants ranging from $500 to $1,000 for each site to assist in changes/repairs.

These faith communities are demonstrating the importance of energy conservation to lower utility bills and reduce and prevent toxins/pollution including airborne mercury from entering Lake Superior as part of the EPA Great Lakes Restoration Initiative.

Congregations will be given information on energy conservation kits and utility company rebates to lower household bills.

Among the energy conservation costs/analysis involved in the audits are insulation (walls/roof), lighting fixtures, ventilation, and heating systems like boilers/furnaces including whether they units can be updated with new controls, repaired or replaced.

The project includes 30 community gardens (approx. two per county/more possible). These gardens will grow native (indigenous) plants and vegetables for community distribution and food pantries.

The nonprofit Cedar Tree Institute in Marquette has been extensively involved in U.P. native plant restoration to fight invasive species that are vital to the health of all wildlife. For example, the U.P. is on a flight path for migrating Monarch butterflies who depend on milkweed for food and reproduction.

Project participants include the nonprofit Cedar Tree Institute, EPA, USFS Eastern Region 9 technical assistance, nonprofit Delta Green and U.P. Ojibwa (Anishinaabe) communities.

Religious community leaders signed the northern Michigan Earth Keeper Covenant in 2004 pledging to actively participate in environment projects, build bridges with other faiths and reach out to Native American communities.

EarthKeepers II is the next phase of the Earth Keeper Initiative that held three Earth Day Clean Sweeps involving 150 churches/temples plus planted 12,000 trees during a summer that saw several severe forest fires across the U.P.

The U.P. Earth Keepers Clean Sweep events (2005-2007) involved free Earth Day collection sites across a 400-mile area of northern Michigan.

Over 15,000 residents turned in 320 tons of e-waste (old computers/cell phones), 45 tons of Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) including car batteries, oil-based paint, pesticides, liquid mercury, and other common poisons; and over one ton of pharmaceuticals including $500,000 in narcotics.

The hazardous waste was either recycled or properly disposed.

Official EarthKeepers II website
http://EarthKeepersUP.org

Nonprofit Cedar Tree Institute in Marquette, MI
http://www.CedarTreeInstitute.or

EarthKeepers II social sites:

www.facebook.com/EarthKeepersII
https://vimeo.com/EarthKeepersII
www.youtube.com/EarthKeepersII
http://EarthKeepersII.blogspot.com
www.twitter.com/EarthKeeperTeam
http://pinterest.com/EarthKeepersII/
http://pinterest.com/EarthKeepersII/EarthKeepers-II-and-the-EPA-Great-Lakes-Restoratio/
http://pinterest.com/EarthKeepersII/Great-Lakes-Restoration-Initiative

Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
http://www.greatlakesrestoration.us
http://www.epa.gov
http://www.epa.gov/greatlakes/qmp/presentations/Quality_Program_Tracking_Dec2010.pdf

Great Lakes Binational Toxics Strategy (GLBTS)

Deborah Lamberty
Program Analyst
US Environmental Protection Agency
Great Lakes National Program Office
77 W. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL
60604-3590

Lamberty.Deborah@epa.gov
312-886-6681 (wk)
312-692-2974 (fax)

“If someone shows you who they are, believe them” – Maya Angelou

http://www.facebook.com/dlamberty

Those appearing at the EarthKeepers II kick-off press conference in January 2013:

We thank Bishop Alexander K. Sample for all his support over the years.
Sample is now the Archbishop of Portland, Oregon
Roman Catholic Diocese of Marquette
Appointed in 2005 as 12th Bishop of Marquette by Pope Benedict XVI.
http://www.dioceseofmarquette.org/index.php?pageid=508
http://www.dioceseofmarquette.org
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_King_Sample

Bishop Thomas A. Skrenes
Northern Great Lakes Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Elected in 1999 as the third NGLS Bishop
http://www.nglsynod.org
http://www.nglsynod.org/bishop_reflections.html
ELCA Lutherans support apologies for past injustices and reach out to Native peoples/Native Americans:
http://www.elca.org/Who-We-Are/Our-Three-Expressions/Churchwide-Organization/Communication-Services/News/Releases.aspx?a=5263
http://www.noodls.com/view/6739F728FE66FC0D872635F12857915EBA2DA724

Dr. Michael Grossman, representing Jewish Temple Beth Sholom in Ishpeming, MI
Helen Grossman, representing Jewish Temple Beth Sholom in Ishpeming, MI
http://www.templebethsholom-ishpeming.org
http://www.templebethsholom-ishpeming.org/tikkun
http://www.templebethsholom-ishpeming.org/aboutus

Episcopal EarthKeeper team member and Michigan Tech University Biology Professor Nancy Auer, representing the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan
http://www.mtu.edu/biological/department/faculty/auer
Bishop Rayford Ray is the leader of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan
The Rt. Rev. Rayford Jeffrey Ray was consecrated the 11th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan during a May 21, 2011 celebration of baptismal ministry held on the campus of Northern Michigan University in Marquette.
Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan has supported Earth Keeper projects from the start in 2004.
A founding member of the first Earth Keeper Initiative is late Episcopal Bishop James Kelsey, the Earth Bishop
Kelsey served as bishop from 1999-2007 – until his death in June 2007

Episcopal Diocese of Northern Michigan
131 East Ridge Street
Marquette,  Michigan
49855

906-228-7160
http://www.upepiscopal.org
http://www.facebook.com/pages/Episcopal-Diocese-of-Northern-Michigan/224886262563
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Episcopal_Diocese_of_Northern_Michigan
http://www.episcopalchurch.org
http://episcopaldigitalnetwork.com/ens/2012/10/09/northern-michigan-diocese-finds-its-voice

Rev. Tesshin Paul Lehmberg
Lake Superior Zendo Zen Buddhist temple
Longtime Earth Keeper Team Member
Marquette, Michigan
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Superior_Zendo
https://sites.google.com/site/lakesuperiorzendo
http://auroradharmagate.blogspot.com
http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474977364041

Doug Russell
Delta Green Ex. Dir.
drussell@deltagreenusa.org

Keweenaw Bay Indian Community
http://www.kbic-nsn.gov/content/natural-resources
http://www.ojibwacampground.com

Charlotte Loonsfoot
KBIC Natural Resources Committee chair

Evelyn Ravindran, KBIC NRC
eravindran@kbic-nsn.gov

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 Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s