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Three-part series to focus on environmental topics

Friday Memorial Library will host a three-part series focusing on environmental topics in the area, including recycling, compost, the NR Solar Garden and local food options starting with part one on Friday, May 6, at 1 p.m., followed by the second session on Friday, May 13 (1 p.m.) and the final session taking place on Friday, May 20 (1 p.m.).

“There is a rising awareness of how lifestyle changes that include composting, recycling and reducing the carbon footprint can benefit not only yourself but your community,” said Friday Memorial Librarian Paula Meisner. “So a series of classes with a tie-in to Earth Day seemed natural. It is a good fit for the time of year as well as a good fit for our adult visitors. As the temperatures warm up, we think of getting outside so Think Outside with an Earth Day theme was born.”

According to Meisner, the library picked the topics and organizations who would talk about them based on previous collaborations with the St. Croix County Extension Office, New Richmond Utilities and the Threshing Table Farm.

“A library has several roles in a community,” Meisner said. “First, it is important for libraries to raise awareness of resources in our own communities and to provide free materials to educate people on what our city and county have to offer. We can accomplish that by providing equal opportunity access to education about important topics that some people may not otherwise have access to.

“Another role of libraries is to connect with the community so this series is a perfect fit. If you take care of your environment, you take care of your community. Friday Memorial Library has a lot of pride in New Richmond and wants to let others know how they too can make it a better place by taking part in proper disposal of materials, owning a piece of the solar garden, and by supporting local food businesses.”

All of the sessions in the series are free and door prizes will be given away, including a countertop compost bin, Threshing Table Farm gift certificates to be used at local farmers markets, a library bag made from recycled materials, and more.

Which Bin Do I Put It In?

This Friday Memorial Library event is the kickoff of a three-part series focusing on environmental topics in the area, including recycling, compost, the NR Solar Garden and local food options. The first part of the series will be held on Friday, May 6, at 1 p.m. The session will be presented by Megan Hines a St. Croix County Recycling Specialist.

“I always love talking to people about recycling and it fits right in with the sustainability theme of this series,” said Hines. “My presentation will focus on recycling, composting and garbage guidelines in St. Croix County. Sometimes it is hard to know ‘what bin to put it in’ so I’m here to help and answer any questions people have about recycling, composting and garbage!”

According to Hines, recycling is something that most of us do every day and the rules seem to always be changing.

“Can labels be left on? Do the recyclables have to be fully rinsed? Do caps need to be taken off?” Hines said. “These are just a few of the questions that I get asked often and hope to provide answers to at this presentation.”

Own the Sun

This Friday Memorial Library event is the second part of a three-part series. The second session of the series will be held on Friday, May 13, at 1 p.m. The event will be presented by Wes Arndt from New Richmond Utilities.

“I’ve very excited to partner with the library and especially to offer a series that promotes learning about the outdoors,” Arndt said. “What a great opportunity for members of the community to learn about actions that can make New Richmond a better place to work and live.”

The New Richmond Community Solar Garden went live this winter and is generating clean, local, renewable energy. According to Arndt, New Richmond Utilities is continuing to try and get the word out to the community about the project, which is part of the reason he will be presenting as part of the series.

“I think people like learning about renewable energy and there is definitely a curiosity about the community solar garden,” Arndt said. “It is important for us to understand our impact through how we produce and consume energy.”

Connect to the Land

This Friday Memorial Library event is the last part of the three-part series. The final session of the series will be held on Friday, May 20, at 1 p.m. The event will be presented by Jody Lenz of the Threshing Table Farm.

“I wanted to be a part of this series because it gives me a chance to share what I am passionate about with others that have an interest in local foods,” Lenz said. “It’s also a great way to support the library and their programming. I will be talking about connecting with nature through local foods. I will share why nature and local foods go together, why it’s important to the health of our community and what opportunities are available in our community.

According to Lenz, the series is a great opportunity to see a little bit of what the world has to offer and it also shows us how we can safely be connected to and use the gifts it provides.

We all have a physical, emotional and spiritual need to connect with nature.We all eat many times a day,” Lenz said. “If we can combine the two together, it’s a much healthier circle...Local food access often means a healthier diet of fruits and vegetables for our community as well. If people are to value green space, agriculture and real food, we need to connect them to nature through their food.”

For more information, visit, email or call 715-243-0431.

Jordan Willi
Jordan Willi is a reporter for the New Richmond News. Previously, he worked as a sports reporter at the Worthington Daily Globe in Worthington, Minnesota. He also interned at the Hudson Star Observer for two summers and contributed to the Bison Illustrated sports magazine at North Dakota State University.
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