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Archive for July, 2013

Jul 26

American-Made Stainless Steel Water Bottle Initiative

Published in 2013

We are currently trying to work with stainless steel manufacturers who would partner with BSU and other universities and distributors to help produce the first ever American-made stainless steel waterbottle! Currently all stainless steel waterbottles are made elsewhere besides the U.S.A. and we would like to change that! This supports local American manufacturing jobs and reduces the dependence on plastic water bottles. This is a really cool project started in the Sustainability Office and includes working with manufacturers in the U.S.A., distributors (Gander Mountain, REI, Klean Kanteen, etc.), and other universities across the nation.

Have questions or comments? Contact the Sustainability Office at 218-755-2560 or stop on in. More to come!


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Jul 11

Summer is in full swing

Published in 2013

Now that the June 21st summer solstice has past, Northern Hemispherians alike can join together and rejoice that winter is over and summer has finally arrived! From Bemidji tourism, summer school sessions, and local vacations, Bemidji has been all hussle and bussle. And although some say the summer is fading back to 8 hour days, we at the Sustainability Office prefer to think that summer has just started! Here are some of the things we have been up to…

We’ve been busy planting 25 different kinds of trees on campus so far. From crabapple, apples, plums, and cherries, we noticed Bemidji State’s tree diversity was lacking after last year’s 80 mile-an-hour wind storm knocked out older key tree species. Some of these trees were over 100 years old! To replace, rejuvinate, and beautify the BSU campus, the Sustainability Office decided to plant flowering and fruiting trees that attract birds, pollinators, and hungry college students. In a few (many) years, towering oaks, maples, and pines will dominate previously lawned space and Birchmont Drive will be full of pink and white cherry blossoms while Walnut Hall will have delicious fruit!

Another project the Sustainability Office has been working on is inventoring all of Bemidji State’s trees. Three of BSU’s finest (including myself) are going around campus categorizing trees and taking measurements.  This goes directly in hand with our tree planting and provides useful information on tree information, such as height (using a hypsometer), diameter, canopy size, species, health, and GPS coordinates. This way we can make properly informed decisions regarding tree diversity, species, age, and health in the future. The goal is to track changes in tree dynamics and plan for future plantings.

Always a fun project during summer is gardening! We have continued our work on the Gitigan Garden and this year twenty eight people have rented out all twenty eight plots (without any resident rabbits!). Everything in the garden is looking great and people are starting to harvest their leafy greens such as lettuce, kale, swiss chard, and arigula as well as strawberries, rhubarb, and ever-ripening raspberries. We have been mowing this summer (with our very own mechanical mower!) and have plans to fully maintain the garden lot for future years to come. If you have any ideas about how to improve the experience of the Gitigan campus garden, please let us know!

 That’s all for now. Til next time.


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"We must strive to become good ancestors."
~ Ralph Nader