Eco-friendly apartments proposed for Eagle Plumbing building in Stevens Point

From an article by in the B. C. Kowalski in the Wausau Daily Herald:

If all goes according to plan, the former Eagle Plumbing building is in for a makeover.

The Stevens Point Plan Commission on Monday will consider allowing a plan to build apartments at 1000 Third St., the former Eagle Plumbing site. The plan also would encompass adjacent property at 941 Portage St.

Arc Central has proposed converting the existing structure into a two-story, eco-friendly apartment building, company co-owner Jim Lucas said.
“Our interest is to build an energy-efficient building,” Lucas said. “The brick walls tend to lend themselves to that.”

Lucas said Arc Central also is considering amenities such as catching rainwater, solar panels, tilled gardens and outdoor bicycle storage.
“I think most building owners want energy-efficient buildings,” Lucas said. “It’s not a matter of promoting green; it’s just a matter of good design. Nationally, more energy is consumed from heating and cooling than transportation.”

Couple Nurtures Green Living in Walworth County

From a story by Susan Bence on WUWM radio, Milwaukee:

Catherine McQueen and Fritz Kreiss describe themselves as partners in life and business, who decided to put their money where their green talk is.

I’m invited to their home to see for myself.

You drive into their five acres – it’s a former mink farm – through lush trees. A circle drive pulls you into their brightly white-painted home, surrounded by perennial beds.

Then WHAM, you spot the 50 kilowatts wind turbine throwing giant shadows along a line of trees.

Fritz says they’re goal is to use no more energy than they consume. They seem to be off to a good start.

“The 50 KW is about enough electricity for 15 homes,” Fritz says.

When the couple transplanted from Illinois five years ago and took on the fixer-upper, Catherine says they weren’t on an environmental mission.

“This was our Shangri-La. We were going to go out toes up from this house,” Catherine says.

They had just rolled up their sleeves to tackle the project, when Fritz says they learned their quiet country road was slated for development.

“We went to a town meeting and the town basically said, listen Highway 50 is meant to be a commercial corridor in the long term plan,” Fritz says.

Catherine says after pulling their jaws off the floor, they started brainstorming. Why not transform their vision to a B&B? Next summer they hope to welcome their first guests.

“`Where you’re sitting is going to be the area where people can get their breakfast and I’d like to serve tea at 4:00 and we’ll have like a cookie of the day,” Catherine says.

7th Annual Kickapoo Country Fair, July 24-25, 2010

Now in its seventh year, the Kickapoo Country Fair is the Midwest’s largest organic food and sustainability festival. In La Farge, Wisconsin, nestled among the ancient hills of the Kickapoo Valley, the fair serves up a generous helping of fun for all in celebration of family, culture, and community, all the while looking toward a healthy, sustainable future.

Held July 24-25, 2010, on the grounds of Organic Valley headquarters Kickapoo Country Fair will bring together thousands of attendees for two fun-packed days of food, music, bike and farm tours, cooking demonstrations, theater, kids’ activities, dancing, author readings, and speakers—all offered at an affordable price for families.

*Authors, activists and innovators including Temple Grandin, author of Animals Make Us Human
*Live music all weekend on two stages
*Musical headliner Miles Nielsen — Good ol’ heartland rock ‘n’ roll, main stage, Saturday night
*Wisconsin Author Michael Perry reading from his latest book Coop and performing with his band, the Long Beds
*”Green Village,” green building and lifestyle workshops
*Delicious local and organic food
*Farmers market
*Farm tours and exhibits
*Vendors and artisans
*Fourth-annual Butter Churn Bike Tour
*Children’s activities
*Stiltwalkers and other surprises!

Milwaukee Public Library installs green roof

From an article by Don Behm of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

The roof of Milwaukee’s Central Library sprang to life, and went to work, in Friday’s steady rain.

Thousands of sedum, a ground-covering plant, and clumps of chive and ornamental grasses – all perennials – were planted Friday in a six-inch layer of small gravel and soil spread across 30,000 square feet – nearly seven-tenths of an acre – to create a green roof atop the historic building, said Taj Schoening, business operations manager for the Milwaukee Public Library.

Its job is to mimic nature. The living roof will collect and store thousands of gallons of rainwater during a downpour, rather than allowing the clean water to drain immediately to a street sewer, Schoening said.

Each gallon of fresh water kept out of the pipes decreases the risk of sewer overflows, according to Kevin Shafer, executive director of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District.

Combined sanitary and storm sewers on Wisconsin Ave. in front of the library quickly fill with rain in a deluge and begin spilling into the district’s deep tunnels. Pipes draining street sewers into the tunnels are closed as the underground caverns fill, causing street sewers to overflow to local rivers and Lake Michigan.

Green roofs can become saturated after hours of heavy rainfall, and additional rain would slowly begin to drain to a street sewer. But that delay in draining to a sewer buys time for the district’s system of tunnels and sewage plants to treat earlier flows.

An added benefit for taxpayers is the durability of the library’s green roof, Schoening said.

“This will double the life expectancy of our flat roof,” she said. “We won’t have to do this again for 40 years.”

3M Cumberland Joins Green Tier Companies

From a story on WQOW-TV, Eau Claire:

CUMBERLAND, WI. (Press Release) – 3M Cumberland was formally welcomed into the Department of Natural Resources’ Green Tier program today, during Earth Week, at a celebration event at their facility in Cumberland, Wisconsin. DNR officials congratulated 3M for its commitment to environmental protection during the celebration, which included staff and management from the facility, local officials and 3M Corporate officials.

“The Department of Natural Resources is proud to add 3M Cumberland to the growing ranks of Green Tier companies,” Department of Natural Resources Secretary Matt Frank said. “They have proven that they are leaders in their community by managing operations to protect our shared natural resources for future generations.”

Frank said it is fitting the company is welcomed into Green Tier during Earth Week when so much is being done to enhance the natural resources of the state.

3M has a long-standing corporate commitment to three pillars of sustainability, also known as the triple bottom line: environmental protection, social responsibility and economic progress. 3M uses this philosophy to reduce their environmental footprint while continuing to grow their business. To do this, 3M pioneered the concept of pollution prevention with the creation of the Pollution Prevention Pays (3P) program in 1975. The 3P program is based on the reality that pollution prevention is more environmentally effective, technically sound and economical than conventional pollution control equipment. 3P seeks to eliminate pollution at the source through product reformulation, process modification, equipment redesign and the recycling and reuse of waste materials. By 2009, 34 years later, 3P ideas and initiatives from employees have prevented 2.9 billion pounds of pollutants and saved 3M nearly $1.2 billion.