Green My House: Energy Savers Edition With Experts From The Clean Energy Coalition

Thursday August 25, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Downtown Library: Multi-Purpose Room

Have a home improvement that you need assistance with starting or completing? Want to know how to make the improvement energy friendly? The energy efficiency experts at Clean Energy Coalition invite you to this session where they will tell you what to do, how to pay for it and where you can get more help on your project.

Using efficient energy throughout the house ultimately saves money on energy bills, reduces dependency on fossil fuels and cuts pollution. It helps your house and the environment!

Located in Ann Arbor, Clean Energy Coalition is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to promoting clean energy technologies as a way to create healthier, energy independent communities.

Save Water, Save Energy, Save Money!

Start with the Rain Barrel Truckload Sale on Sat., July 30, 9am-3pm at 37137 Marquette, Westland, MI (just east of Newburgh Road). A barrel costs $60, and the sale is sponsored by Alliance of Rouge Communities. Then on Tuesday, August 2, 8-9am, the Huron Watershed Council and Clean Energy Coalition are teaming up at a before work breakfast to teach easy techniques and show affordable tools that can help a family of four save up to $300 annually on utility bills. The event is free with coffee and bagels provided. It takes place at the NEW Center, 1100 North Main St., Ann Arbor. Contact Pam Labadie at or 734-769-5123 x 602.

Outdoor Survival Training 101 With Bivouac


Wednesday, July 13, 2011: 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm -- Malletts Creek Branch: Program Room AB

Ever wondered what to do during emergency situations while camping, hiking and exploring out in nature?

Outdoor experts from Ann Arbor's Bivouac Outdoor Clothing and Gear store will give you the basic survival tips and tricks to keep yourself alive if stranded - rain, snow or shine. They'll also talk about extreme survival tips for the most dangerous scenarios.

Be sure to attend and be prepared for your next wilderness adventure!

The 11th Annual Mayor's Green Fair

Join us on Main Street, Ann Arbor for the Mayor's Green Fair this Friday, June 10th from 6 - 9 pm. Visit environmental exhibits (such as the Ecology Center and Lunasa) while enjoying free entertainment (The Tsars) and food (Pilar's Tamales and Silvio's Organic PizzaAnn Arbor Area Earth Day TreeAnn Arbor Area Earth Day Tree). Learn more about Clean Energy (for example, Hybrid Electric Home and BGreenToday), Green Commuting (for example, Michivan and Zipcar), and Biking (Ann Arbor Bicycle Touring Society, Michigan Mountain Biking Association, Potawatomi Chapter, and more).

For more information, please call the Mayor's Office at 734.794-6161 x 41602.

Take a Hike @ Black Pond Woods

Pond at Black Pond WoodsPond at Black Pond Woods

Thursday, June 16 | 7:00-8:30 p.m. | 1831 Traver Road | All Ages

Meet at the Project Grow Garden of the Leslie Science and Nature Center, 1831 Traver Road and join a naturalist from Natural Area Preservation (City of Ann Arbor) on a nature walk. Learn about native plants and trees, ecological restoration, and responsible use of public lands, as well as volunteer activities in Ann Arbor Parks.

Black Pond Woods is named for a small, vernal pond whose basin was carved by receding glaciers. Tannins and humic acids from leaf litter cause the water color to be dark brown, thus giving rise to the name “Black Pond.” This pond provides favorable conditions for frogs and salamanders. The land around the pond includes an oak-hickory forest, a savanna, and a wet meadow.

Going Solar In Michigan: Donna Napolitano, CEO Of Mechanical Energy Systems, Inc., Presents Solar Energy Success Stories

solar AAsolar AA

Thinking about going solar? Discover the benefits of outfitting your home with solar panels when Donna Napolitano, CEO of Canton's Mechanical Energy Systems, Inc., discusses how and why solar DOES work in Michigan and tells of her many success stories with Ann Arbor area installations.

Donna will also discuss: types of solar that work best in Michigan; the many different styles and options; new efficiency models and what to look for when deciding to go solar. There will be ample opportunity for questions.

Mechanical Energy Systems (MES) specializes in High Efficiency Energy solutions for retrofit and new construction heating and lighting needs. MES is not only the oldest headquarters for the distribution of solar systems in Michigan but they also are educating and training the next wave of green collar specialists.

Saturday June 4, 2011: 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm -- Traverwood Branch: Program Room

Author Birthdays: Chesterton, White, Ehrlich

May 29th marks the birthday of authors G. K. Chesterton, T. H. White, and Paul R. Ehrlich.

G. K. Chesterton was an English author. He wrote mysteries, essays, biographies, and general fiction. His works on Father Brown, a Catholic priest and detective, were even adapted for television in the 70s.

Chesterton also wrote a biography of his friend and "rival" George Bernard Shaw, and the novel The Man Who Was Thursday, which involves seven anarchists in London who give themselves the names of the days of the week.

T. H. White was an English author best known for his Arthurian works The Once and Future King and The Sword in the Stone. The musical Camelot and the Disney film The Sword in the Stone were based on his works.

White also wrote the children's story Mistress Masham's Repose, about an English orphan and her interactions with Lilliputians, a race of people described by Jonathan Swift in Gulliver's Travels.

Paul R. Ehrlich is an American writer and biologist, as well as a professor at Stanford University. His works focus on the environment and population growth. His latest book, The Dominant Animal: Human Evolution And The Environment, published in 2008, examines the relationship between the two.

Ehrlich's first big work was The Population Bomb, which discussed overpopulation and its effects on society. His later book, The Population Explosion, considers the topic further, more than 20 years afterward.

No Impact Man

No Impact Movie

Can individual action and sacrifice make any difference to the immense environmental stresses we find in the world today? This is the very question No Impact Man - environmental super-hero Colin Beavan – along with his wife, baby daughter and dog, in their ninth-floor flat in Manhattan, proposed to explore for one long year of the No Impact Project.

During that year, while still going about their daily obligations, they committed to make no net impact on the environment – no garbage, no fossil fuel use, only local foods from within 100 miles and with zero packaging, no electricity, no new purchases and, the ultimate sacrifice, no elevator to the ninth-floor. What difference could any of that make? Quite a bit as it turns out. Read this hilarious book to discover how and why they did it and to get inspired how to reduce your own impact.

Word of the project got out, through Colin's blog and through word of mouth, and, before they knew it, a documentary film team was following them through the year recording the high and low moments of their adventure (and, believe me, there were lows). Find the No Impact Man movie here. The result is humorous and agonizing and entertaining and challenging and surprising.

Buhr Park Children's Wet Meadow Project

Buhr Park Wet Meadow ProjectBuhr Park Wet Meadow Project The Buhr Park Children's Wet Meadow Project supports meadow ecosystems in Buhr Park. Meadows are an educational natural habitat and storm water filter. On Sunday, May 15, from 10 am to 4 pm, folks from the community will gather to plant over 1,000 plants. The new meadow will connect via a grass path to the original meadow that was planted in September of 1997. The project invites you to join in on the planting fun. Park in the main lot by the pool and ice rink. If you are interested in planting your own meadow, check out these books available at the Ann Arbor District Library:
Urban & Suburban Meadows: Bringing Meadowscaping To Big And Small Spaces
The American Meadow Garden: Creating A Natural Alternative To The Traditional Lawn

Earth Day Festival Comes to WCC


Come join the fun on Sunday, May 1, noon ~ 4 p.m. at the Ann Arbor Area Earth Day Festival in the beautiful Washtenaw Community College Community Park. All the events are free and this year will feature a concert at 2 p.m. by local singer/songwriter and environmentalist Joe Reilly. Joe is encouraging festival goers to wear costumes representing their favorite plants and animals and join Joe in song and dance.

Visitors may also enjoy free face painting provided by Ann Arbor Cohousing, and
recycled-content crafts sponsored by The Scrap Box. Stop in to see the Bubble Man and
be sure to make time for the Leslie Science and Nature Center’s Birds of Prey and Brian
Cressman’s reptiles.

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