The three finalists to receive the $5,000 Midwest Mountaineering Environmental/Wilderness Grant are the Superior Hiking Trail Association, The Beez Neez, LLC, and the Honey Bee Club of Stillwater. Read about them here, and then cast your vote for the organization you'd like to receive the $5,000 Midwest Mountaineering grant. One vote per person, please. Please cast your vote by noon, Thursday, August 21st. You'll find the link to cast your vote at the end of this email after the three proposals.
A. The Superior Hiking Trail Needs Help to Re-build Bridges and Boardwalk at the Northern End of the Trail The Superior Hiking Trail Association needs funding (and will need volunteers!) to help build two new bridges and boardwalk at the northern end of the Superior Hiking Trail. One bridge was damaged in a rain storm in 2013 – it’s on a tributary flowing in to the dramatic and remote Devil Track River Canyon (photo #1). The second bridge was washed away when an old beaver dam broke and water pouring from the beaver pond behind the dam sent the bridge downstream. In addition to the bridge being lost, helpful beavers in the area started building new dams right where the Superior Hiking Trail was located (photo #2). The trail will need new boardwalk through this area. Since the area is so remote, SHTA will set up work weekends for volunteers and will provide camping and meals to get these projects done. Thanks for your support for these projects!
B. The Beez Kneez, LLC,is a honeybee education and advocacy organization with a mission to Revive the Hive for Healthy Bees, Healthy Lives. Working closely with our community, we recognize that bees are vital to our food system and strive to raise awareness around the health and protection of pollinators. ?We keep bees in both urban and rural areas, deliver raw, local honey by bicycle, and teach in-hive education classes at Twin Cities community gardens, parks, schools, museums and urban farms. We also operate the first ever pedal-powered community beekeeping center, The Beez Kneez Honey House, at 2204 Minnehaha Ave S, Minneapolis, MN. In September of 2013, we suffered a pesticide kill on one of our teaching hives at a school in Minneapolis. In response, we started a campaign called Healthy Bees, Healthy Lives to influence pollinator friendly legislation and further educate the people on the issues surrounding bees. The money allotted from this grant will help us continue our mission to Revive the Hive for Healthy Bees, Healthy Lives in three ways: 1. Fund the bees and equipment for 3 more education hives for programming with urban apiary partners who would not otherwise be able to afford it, increasing the audience we serve through experiential honeybee education. 2. Add another bicycle to our fleet for year round delivery of honey, growing our capacity to hire more pedaling feet to expand the community we serve. 3. Providing the winter gear needed to keep us flying/pedaling down a more determined and focused path towards keeping bees alive and people more connected to their food all year round.
C. Honey Bee Club of Stillwater - The Honey Bee Club of Stillwater. Part of the mission of the founders has been to increase public awareness about the critical issues facing the honeybee population, and how their survival affects the global food supply through their pollination activities (one third of the food consumed by humans). The Honey Bee Club of Stillwater (HBCS) conducts monthly meetings open to the public at no charge to members, who now number 198. All support activities for maintaining the group are conducted by volunteers. Activities have included presentations for state beekeeping groups, participation in Earth Day community fairs, hosting a lending library on beekeeping related topics, mentoring new beekeepers, hosting public showings of the film “More Than Honey” about the plight of beekeeping around the world, and now opening up the discussion with city leaders about removing one of the most widely used pesticides in the world, a chemical class known as “neonicotinoids,” or “neonics,” from use on city-owned and maintained properties.
Grant funding will make the following things possible: 1. Our group receives requests from municipalities all over the metro area as well as the state seeking guidance in working with their local governments on beekeeping issues. We are also asked to participate in local events such as 4-H fairs, farmers markets, school and garden club events, etc. To date, members of the Honey Nee Club of Stillwater have volunteered their time, equipment, and personal funds for creating flyers and other educational and display materials. Funding will be used to create enduring materials for these types of events. 2. In conversations to date with city council members about the possibility of planting northern hardy wildflowers for pollinators along public rights-of-way and publicly maintained properties, and in eliminating toxic pesticide applications, we will be presenting to many groups ranging from local and county government to state agencies. Funding will be used to create enduring print and other media materials for these groups as well as for the general public. 3. The actual planting materials for these projects – from “guerilla gardener” seed bombs to seed packets to soil ingredients – will also be purchased with this “seed” money.
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