Documentary about the making of the Traverwood Branch now online

Up From AshesUp From Ashes


Hidden Gems: Books Unjustly Dusty #2

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With the advent of the Global Positioning System (GPS), a U.S. space-based radio navigation system that provides reliable positioning, navigation and timing services, the exciting history of voyages of discovery and famous explorers is fading from the public eye.

Orion Book Award Winner: Trespass by Amy Irvine

The 2009 Orion Book Awards have been announced. Orion is one of the best magazines you will find, whose byline – nature/culture/place – reveals its focus. The editorial board reads like a who’s who of contemporary luminaries in the environmental movement, such as: Wendell Berry, Bill McKibben, Edward O. Wilson, Barry Lopez, Jane Goodall. Orion manages to be artistic, literary, probing and provocative, with cutting-edge articles on the politics, ethics and practice of environmentalism, farming and forestry and featuring the work of artists, poets, and storytellers. It inspires personal commitment to change the world, one short shower, cloth bag, bike ride and community garden at a time.

Every year the editors acknowledge books that, “deepen our connection to the natural world, present new ideas about our relationship with nature and achieve excellence in writing”. The winner of the award this year is Trespass: Living at the Edge of the Promised Land by Amy Irvine. The finalists are: The Wild Places by Robert Macfarlane, The Bridge at the Edge of the World by James Gustave Speth, Inventing Niagara by Ginger Strand and Finding Beauty in a Broken World by Terry Tempest Williams. The Reader’s Choice Award went to Man Killed by Pheasant by John Price.

Sustainability Safari

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On July 8 at 6:45pm, this 1.5 mile walking tour of sustainable techniques in Ann Arbor, led by the Ann Arbor Chapter of Wild Ones will include a look at the sustainable elements of Malletts Creek Branch, The Buhr Park Children’s Wet Meadow, and Mary Beth Doyle Park, among others. This event is held in conjunction with the Library’s summer reading program, Local Motion - which encourages the use of local neighborhoods, organizations gyms, recreational facilities and outdoor areas to move and get fit.

Music for a cause

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Help support the activities of the Huron River Watershed Council this Saturday, June 27 at 11300 Island Lake Rd. (off Dexter-Pinckney Rd. just west of downtown Dexter). "Black Train," a local roots band that features country vocal harmonies, will be playing. Bring a blanket or a chair. Gather round a huge bonfire after dark. Music starts at 7:30 p.m. Suggested donation is $10. Phone 769-5123, ext. 19 for more information.

Take a Hike! @Lakewood Nature Area

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Tonight at 7pm, join the City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation staff in a botanical walk through Lakewood Nature Area. Meet in the parking lot of Lakewood School, 344 Gralake. This event is held in conjunction with the summer reading program, Local Motion, which encourages the use of local neighborhoods, gyms, recreational facilities and outdoor areas to move and get fit!

Up the Rouge!

Author Joel Thurtell and photographer Patricia Beck, veteran Detroit Free Press staff, collaborated to produce this wonderful book about canoeing on the Rouge River—yes, the Rouge River!! The Rouge--not as well-known as the Cuyahoga River and Lake Erie catching fire in 1969, but confident in its reputation as a famously polluted body of water.

Mayor's Green Fair is a Go This Friday

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The 9th Annual Mayor's Green Fair will be held this Friday, June 12, 6 ~ 9 p.m. on Main Street in beautiful, green Dowtown Ann Arbor. Foot and pedal traffic only for this celebration of renewable energy, environmental stewardship and sustainable living. Look for organic "light fare" from food vendors, music and crafts for all ages, walking tours and the ever-popular BikeFest.

Prince's Rainforest Project

Another contender has entered the arena in defense of the rainforests: the Prince's Rainforest Project founded by Prince Charles. The Prince hopes to raise awareness of the effects of the massive loss of rainforests and form an online community to respond to the issue. To start off the project they created a ninety second video with Prince Charles' sons, Harrison Ford, Daniel Craig, Robin Williams, Pele, the Dalai Lama, and more. The video features the celebrities and important persons speaking with CGI frogs--it sounds strange and it is, but the CGI is impressive and the video entertaining and informative.

To view the video or learn more about the project head to Prince's Rainforest Project. And if you want to learn more about the rainforests head to the library and check out our selection.

Making Dirt

When I grew up, my family had a vegetable garden behind our house and we kept a compost bin for all of our food trash. After I got my own place, I felt guilty for throwing food into the trash, but the bins that I saw in stores were kind of pricey. So, when this past weekend turned out to be so warm and sunny, I went into the backyard and dug a pit for a compost heap. There are lots of variations on the compost bin, and all of them are very easy to do. Whether you are a gardener or just want to cut down on your trash output, here are some books to check out.
The Compost Heap
Backyard Composting: Your Complete Guide to Recycling Yard Clippings
The Complete Compost Gardening Guide

But be sure to remember one thing that I forgot; if you dig a hole near a tree, you’re going to run into roots. Oops.

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