The Rise of Extreme Rain

It’s raining in Monroe County.

While our rain is a blessing, it goes without saying that the deluge in Texas and Florida as a result of hurricanes Harvey and Irma are catastrophic. The vast amount of water dumped on these communities is something that we haven’t seen before.

David Leonhart wrote an excellent piece in the New York Times on why we are seeing this now, entitled “Irma, and the Rise of Extreme Rain.” He shows why warm air carries more moisture than cool air. Naturally as the water warms with climate change, the hurricanes and tropical storms will continue to drop large amounts of water on these coastal communities.

The article ends with these words: “Welcome to the era of extreme rain. We can continue to pretend it’s all a coincidence and watch the consequences mount. Or we can start to do something about it — by using less of the dirty energy that’s changing the climate and by preparing for a future that’s guaranteed to be hotter and rainier.”

The Monroe County Environmental Commission is working locally to do something about it!

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The Age of the Human and Shifts in Thought

The Anthropocene is here (if you are like me and didnt know that much, click the link to watch some great TED talks). This global phase is felt locally and has garnered action, paricularly from local Monroe County churches, who continue to reflect their concern for the environment.

 St. Thomas Lutheran (ELCA) is one of these, celebrating a month long push. Season of Creation takes place throughout September at St. Thomas. Themes of this month permeate the church’s liturgy, education, advocacy, and community outreach. Many of the tools used comes from church web resources. A book recommended is titled Season of Creation.

A part of the past week’s service included adult education looking at the creation story in Genesis through the lens of the Anthropocene. In addition, phone calls to the Governor were urged by members who also belong to the Indiana Forest Alliance

Efforts like these are now common locally. In fact, there are many other houses of worship who are similarly engaged in environmental and sustainability initiatives, making Monroe County a green haven in Indiana.

Time is Runing out on Solar in Indiana

With net metering being altered at the end of this calendar year, many in Monroe County are taking the opportunity to learn more about solar power on their homes and places of worship. Already, Trinity Episcopal, Unitarian Universalist Bloomington, Friends Meeting Bloomington, and Columbus Unitarian are expanding their solar arrays ahead of the deadline. These places of worship are saving up to 10% on installation costs through a program called Solarize Bloomington Phase 2. This program is run by the City of Bloomington and SIREN.

There is an upcoming informational session this Tuesday, August 22 at 7pm invite Bloomington Council Chambers in the Showers Building downtown Bloomington. This is an informational session for those interested in taking advantage of this timely opportunity. 

If you Have questions, please contact the City of Bloomington or SIREN.

Time is Running Out to Save up to 10% on Solar

If you have thought about solar energy for your home, business, or pergola, time is running out for you to save up to 10%! This program is called Solarize Bloomington Phase 2.

Monroe County residents will need to take part in an informational session which will take place this Thursday, August 17 at 7:00pm at the Ellettsville Public Library. If you can not make this session, there are only two more before the September 15th deadline! 

This program is run by the City of Bloomington and SIREN.

Green Parking Garage

Great picture of the Monroe County Employee parking garage at this morning’s farmers market. You can see the solar panels on the roof soaking up the sun, and the living wall on the right of the building is looking colorful! Just another example of the green efforts of County Government!

Top 5 Green Events for March

As Monroe County, Indiana seemed to start spring early, March 20th is still the official Spring Equinox. There are plenty of opportunities to learn about and enjoy emerging spring this month, and we have whittled it down to our Top 5 Green Events in March. For even more, make sure to visit the regularly updated Green Events Calendar.

Frog Watch Spring peepers are starting to call. Curious about frogs and toads? Learn more at a Frogwatch workshop, March 20-21, 6-8:30 PM at Karst Farm Park. We’ll talk about the value of wetlands, amphibian biology and life cycles, population declines, and the species found in our area. You’ll find out how to become a volunteer frog monitor and collect data to submit to Frogwatch USA. Cost is $5 for both nights and registration is required.

Marsh Madness The Marsh Madness Sandhill Crane Festival is a community-based event timed to coincide with the peak Sandhill Crane and waterfowl migration at Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area in Greene County, Indiana. Events include a kick-off banquet, craft fair, live birds of prey on display, informational and educational presentations, bus tours, self-guided tours, kids activities, and much more. March 03rd and 04th.

bgm_herb_gardenBetter Preparation, Better Results in the Spring Garden Ready to get started in your garden? By putting in a little effort at the beginning, you’ll save time and work, enjoy a better looking garden, and have a more productive harvest. Learn how to test and prepare your garden soil, pick up tricks that will help prevent weeds, disease, and pest problems, acquire strategies around watering and nutrient delivery, become a savvy mulcher, and make the most of your available space. March 25th at 1pm.

Green Drinks Green Drinks Bloomington is a lively, informal social networking event for people from all walks of life who are interested in making a greener world.  Folks gather every month to share libations and ideas, discuss, debate, explore and make new friends and business connections. March 22nd at 5:30pm.
Ducks and Donuts Come join us at our 8th installation of Ducks & Donuts on Saturday, March 25th, 2017 at the Stillwater Marsh Overlook, off State Road 46, east of Bloomington. We will serve coffee and donuts and hopefully there will be plenty of waterfowl and other birds to look at. We will start at 8am and finish at 11am.

Members of the Monroe County Environmental Commission compiled this list. Their charge includes “educating the community and engaging residents and businesses in supporting initiatives which will help ensure a healthier and more economically viable future for the County.” The public is welcome to attend these meetings the second Wednesday of every month at 5:30pm.