Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Green Monona Tour Returns

Hot off the press release.....

Take the 2nd Annual Green Monona Tour

On Sunday, June 13th, from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., take the second annual “Green Monona Tour” and visit seventeen sites – homes, businesses, two city buildings, a school, and a church showcasing environmentally-friendly steps taking place in Monona. Speak with those who have employed green measures, and learn how they have worked in practice, not just theory. Exhibits and representatives from organizations and companies helping people take green steps will also be on hand. The City of Monona Sustainability Committee is organizing the free tour.

The Green Monona Tour can be self-guided, with tour-goers visiting one stop on the tour or many. The tour continues, rain or shine. A complete tour description and map will be available either at Ahuska Park on the day of the tour or at Monona City Hall, 5211 Schluter Road the week prior to the tour. A full description and map can also be found on the city’s website: www.mymonona.com.

People interested in building or renovating their homes, putting in a rain garden, looking into renewable energy or the like can look at a variety of ideas. The tour is an opportunity to see small projects that can be copied the next day, and get ideas for larger scale projects, too. At noon, Parks & Recreation staff will install a rain barrel at the Monona Community Center. They haven’t installed one before, so if you’ve been reluctant to attempt it, come see just how much effort it takes the unpracticed.

Jenn Jindrich, tour host at 601 W. Dean Avenue hopes to inspire newcomers to take the first small steps towards sustainable living. Jindrich states, “It can feel overwhelming when we start to think about how our actions and inactions impact the environment, but it doesn’t have to be. Taking the tour is a wonderful opportunity to see some simple changes that we can all make, and to be inspired by some of the larger measures people have taken.”

Visitors to St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church & St. Stephen’s Community Gardens at 5700 Pheasant Hill Rd. can see what plot-holders are working on. Pastor Nick Utphall commented on what has been the most rewarding part of church’s “green” measures, “St. Stephen’s has been part of Monona since the 1950’s, but we are understanding our connection to this place in better ways these days, in being part of sustaining this community and our whole global community.”

A goal of the tour is to show how sustainable practices can be taken in small steps, easily accomplished by most residents. “Often the whole issue of going green seems daunting,” noted tour participant Suzanne Wade. “We hope that when people leave, they realize that they can take realistic and meaningful steps to reduce runoff into our lakes. If just ten or so houses on a block took the same simple steps we would reduce the amount of runoff by 12,000 gallons. What a difference it would make,” Wade added.

Nine homes, three businesses, one church, and two city buildings are on the tour. Exhibitors present at specific sites on the tour are: BurOak Designs/Kittleson Landscape, Focus on Energy, Habitat ReStore, The Natural Step Monona, Madison Area Permaculture Guild, Madison Gas & Electric, Full Spectrum Solar, Sustain Dane, MPowering, Dane County Office of Lakes & Watersheds, and Olbrich botanical Gardens.

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