Fresh Food, Fresh Ideas

You can still join Community Farm of Ann Arbor and get plenty of fresh, local food this growing season. There is even a kitchen tied to the farm. Need more green ideas? Check out the new book Go Green, Live Rich: 50 Simple Ways to Save the Earth and Get Rich Trying.

For the Birds

As I drove home from work one day I saw a starling get struck by a vehicle. When I noticed that the bird was still alive and struggling to get out of the road...I had to help. After catching the bird I contemplated what to do next while I comforted the bird and marveled at her beautiful iridescent feathers. I remembered once hearing of a place in Washtenaw County to go for help with injured birds, so I drove back to the library to get more information. After some excellent work on behalf of the information desk I had the number for the Bird Center of Washtenaw County. What a relief when the bird center staff answered my call and quickly directed me to their location near central campus. They met me at the door and took the bird into care. There is no fee for the service but donations are welcome. We left our number with the center and asked them to keep us updated. Although the starling didn't make it, I was glad that her last hours were in a warm comfortable place with good care and no pain. What a good thing the bird center is! Although some folks might be happy about one less starling.

Get a Sneak Peek of the new Traverwood Branch!

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Missing your neighborhood branch this June? Head over to UM’s Art, Architecture and Engineering Library in the Duderstadt Center on North Campus for a sneak peek at AADL’s new Traverwood Branch. Featuring photographs of the construction process and material samples from inside and outside the branch, the exhibit covers many fascinating aspects of the building’s design, such as the extensive incorporation of ash trees from the site. The exhibit is on display in the central atrium on the second floor of the Duderstadt Center, located just over a mile from the site of the new branch. Stop by and get ready for June 30!

It's Raining Rain Gardens!

I see rain gardens. Rain gardens are popping up all over town. Rain gardens are beautiful, self-sufficient and a great conversation piece. Read more about how the Washtenaw County Office of the Drain Commissioner is involved.

Going Solar

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The Who will not be there, but plenty of VIPs local and otherwise will be as the Farmer's Market celebrates Going Solar on Monday, June 2, at 4 p.m. 156 solar panels on the market's roof -- enough to power the entire Market -- are being installed as part of the Market re-do, courtesy of the DDA.

My car curbed itself in May

Amazing how those handy 12-A and 12-B AATA buses always show up right when you need them, and how the drivers are so friendly when you show them your GoPass. Yes, embarrassing, but my car had been driving downtown a little too much in April, dragging me with it. When it landed in the shop in early May, well, I found myself suddenly, magically, and completely aligned with Curb Your Car Month! Good news: My bus rides downtown are generating more green ideas, including a plan to read the new book Climate Solutions: a citizen’s guide by Peter Barnes with a foreword by Bill McKibben. At 93 pages, this book looks like good bus reading. I'm also planning to go to The Mayor's Green Fair on Main Street June 13. Maybe in my car, probably not.

State of Ann Arbor's Environment

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More than 60 environmental indicators for Ann Arbor are tracked in the City's State of Environment report. The report is packed with data on topics like air quality, landfills, creeks, sidewalks and renewable energy. This interactive site lets you see the relationship between the goals we, as a community, have set and where we stand in achieving those goals. Don't forget that you can begin positively impacting Tree Town's environment today by walking, biking or busing to work during Curb Your Car Month.

Alternative Commute Testimonials

Everyone is invited to hear four local citizens who walk, bike, carpool or take the bus to work explain why their commute is important to them. Audience members will also have a chance to talk about their favorite way of commuting. Click here for more information on this program, which takes place Thursday, May 8, 2008, 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm in the Downtown Library Multi-Purpose Room. It's a great opportunity to get to know many people who want to make Ann Arbor a better place and live healthier by burning less fossil fuel. Cosponsored by getDowntown and the Ann Arbor Area Chamer of Commerce.

Roll Out the Rain Barrel

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We'll get the rain, it won't run (away.) It's time for the Huron Rivers Watershed Council's annual Spring Rain Barrel Sale. Buy your rain barrel online from HRWC and pick it up on Sunday, May 4, 2008, between 1 -4 p.m. at Huron High School. You'll get a credit on your storm water bills, water for your gardens and help reduce the overflow into the storm sewers.

Gelman Cleanup Update

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The Coalition for Action on Remediation of Dioxane (CARD) and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will hold a public meeting on Monday, April 28, 7:00 p.m., at the Washtenaw Intermediate School District Center to update citizens on the status of the dioxane contamination cleanup. The groundwater contamination has expanded in Washtenaw County to an area over three miles long and one mile wide. The remediation of this site is likely to take an additional 20 years or more based on Pall Corporation and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality estimates.

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