A tar sands mine in Madison ??

Madison has its own version of the tar sands--an asphalt and concrete recycling operation near the corner of the Beltline and Verona Rd.  Next door is a staging area for the stormsewer work going on along the beltline.


Time to end "business as usual"

Tornado over Stoughton.

At the climate talks now underway in Poland, the Philippine delegate, Naderev Sano, said:

"To anyone outside who continues to deny and ignore the reality that is climate change, I dare them -- I dare them to get off their ivory towers and away from the comfort of their armchairs. 

I dare them to go to the islands of the Pacific, the Caribbean, the Indian Ocean, and see the impacts of rising sea levels; to the mountainous regions of the Himalayas and the Andes, to see communities confronting glacial floods; to the Arctic, where communities grapple with the fast-dwindling sea ice sheets; the large deltas of the Mekong, the Ganges, the Amazon, the Nile, where lives and livelihoods are drowned; to the hills of Central America, that confront similar monstrous hurricanes; to the vast savannas of Africa, where climate change has likewise become a matter of life and death as food and water becomes scarce -- not to forget the monstrous storms in the Gulf of Mexico and the Eastern Seaboard of North America, as well as the fires that have raged Down Under.

And if that is not enough, they may want to see what has happened to the Philippines now."

We are entering a crisis of epic proportions.  We caused it.  It's no longer enough to make one token effort for climate change.  Everyone has to make multiple efforts.

Our current lifestyle is what caused this crisis.  We have to change how we live.  There's no other way.

For the sake of your grandchildren.


Catholic Multicultural Center plans a community rain garden

The UW Arboretum has an established and successful program called Earth Partnership for Schools (EPS).  They help schools around the country build restorations of native communities, and then incorporate those natural plantings into their lessons.

Now the EAP has a new grant to expand their program to include other cultures and languages.  Maria Moreno. who is leading this new program, said they are beginning to work with Community Centers, because that's where you reach Latin Americans.

Recently, I learned that the Catholic Multicultural Center(CMC) is planning to involve their community in building a rain garden on the Center's grounds.

Numbers show potential community rain garden sites.

The first public meeting will be on  Nov. 12, 6-7 pm, at 1862 Beld St. (If you want to attend, contact Laura Green at 441-1180 (volunteer@cmctoday.org).

Laura is planing educational programs related to the garden once a month over the winter, with "construction day" on May 14.  They hope to make construction day a "community event," with activities, including speakers and a dance group.  They hope to create a "ripple effect--the rain garden will be one activity helping to foster pride in the neighborhood.

Your organization or business can help

Laura is hoping that many organizations and businesses can help.  Early commitments of support can help the CMC expand their plans, to make the project an example of how an organization can improve their stormwater management, to improve the health of our lakes.

Laura Green, Antonio, Steve Glass, and I talked about the potential for creating a "ripple effect" by creating pride in the community.

One possibility is to offer three free plants to volunteers to help construct the rain garden.   Those volunteers would take the plants home to build a "mini rain garden" at the end of their downspout.

To provide incentive, the CMC would conduct a raffle--all volunteers with a "mini garden" would be entered in the raffle.  The winner would receive a valuable gift certificate from a local business.

Two potential sites for the community rain garden are shown here.  The above photo is the current top choice, since it's visible from the dining area.

However, this location might be better, since it receives more runoff, and is more visible to the community.