Monday, October 25, 2010

Residential Ash Tree Inventory and 2010 Tree Distribution is Completed!

HMEG's 2010 Residential Ash Tree Inventory  has long been completed, but we want to share the final reporting on the project.  Over 25 neighbor volunteers (including a 4-year old, 6-year old, and 2 dogs) counted trees on residential properties and identified how many of those are ash. There are over 6,700 trees and approximately 680 ash trees making our residential ash population about 10% as compared to the public (boulevard, park) ash population of 17%. Also collected were how many properties had space for tree plantings and these addresses were given first chance at HMEG shade tree distributions.  No other neighborhood in St. Paul has conducted this kind of survey and it could not have happened without the efforts of neighbors Tanner Larsen (as part of an internship) and Barb Spears.  Thanks to all volunteers!

To see a full write-up of the project, see an e-copy of the Shade Tree Advocate Winter 2011 issue:

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Help Wanted Hamline Midway Recycles Blogmaster

Help Wanted
Hamline Midway Recycles

The Hamline Midway Environmental Group identified a need for a information source for our neighborhood. There is a lot of information about recycle, reuse, or reduce on the internet but where are the LOCAL drop off places so we can also save energy? We began to build to fill this need. We now need to find a neighbor who is passionate about recycling who will continue this site development and get the word out to our neighbors.
Take a look at what we have done so far and contact to find out more. Thank you for your help. HMEG

Monday, October 18, 2010

Rain Fall Summer 2010 at the Midway Green Spirit Community Garden

HMEGer and community gardener, Everett, set-up a rain gauge this season at the Midway Green Spirit Community Garden. The rain gauge is located inside the bee hive enclosure. This is a table of the weekly rain fall for 2010 as measured each Sunday for the previous week.

  • 6/27 - 3.75"
  • 7/4 - 0.25"
  • 7/11 - 1.50"
  • 7/18 - 1.50"
  • 7/25 - 0 .75"
  • 8/1 - 0.4"
  • 8/8 - 0.4"
  • 8/15 - 4.4"
  • 8-15-9/12 - 1.25"
  • 9/19 - 1"
  • 9/24 - 3"
  • 9/24-10/17 - 0"
Average about 1.1"/week during prime growing season.

Thanks Everett for your diligence in collecting this data. For comparison, or more climate data (this year and historical) the University on Minnesota has collected measures on this page.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Climate change bike ride: Send-off the 350 Solutions Revolution bikers on Oct 16th

350 Solutions Revolution is a bicycle journey across America filming the story of local communities’ working to solve the climate crisis. They started biking from Portland, Oregon to Washington, D.C. and along the way, they are filming a documentary of local communities’ solutions to the climate crisis. On November 16, they will meet with senators in D.C. to share the homegrown solutions with them. Then they will take a train to Florida and sail to Cancun, Mexico for the United Nations Climate Change Conference November 29 – December 10, 2010.

Everyone is welcome to join! You are invited to ride for a day or the whole way. The next ride is on:

Participation Pedal: Sendoff Bike Ride – Oct. 16, 10am @ Walker Sculpture Park
Further, there is a Reception and Fundraiser on October 13, 5-8pm
Celebrate the halfway mark of our journey! Minneapolis, Minnesota! Riders Alec Neal, Katherine Ball, and Malkolm Boothroyd will share stories, solutions, photos and videos about the journey thus far. We will also have art for sale and light refreshments provided by the fabulous pastry chef and author Zoe Francois (
This reception is also a fundraiser, but their is no obligation to contribute.
Please RSVP: 313.605.2924,
Wednesday, Oct. 13, 5-8pm
Home of Craig and Patricia Neal, 3600 Zenith Avenue S. #101, Minneapolis, MN 55410

What does the number 350 mean?

350 is the most important number in the world—it’s what scientists say is the safe upper limit for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Right now we’re at 387 parts per million of CO2 in the atmosphere. We need to get below 350ppm to stabilize the climate and prevent complete disaster. Our friends at are supporting this ride and working to get our leaders to craft policies that will put the world on track to 350. Visit for more information on the science behind 350.
“The Solutions Revolution: Here’s a team that’s spreading the most important number in the world–350–one mile at a time across the middle of the nation. The ride is waking up a country that needs waking up, because our Congress holds one of the keys to solving the climate conundrum!”

- Bill McKibben, Founder of

Free Home Energy Efficiency Workshop for St. Paul Residents

Saturday, October 16, 2010 from 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM

St. Paul residents are saving money and energy by participating in Neighborhood Energy Service. The program, a joint effort by Metro CERT and the Neighborhood Energy Connection, educates residents about energy use and then sends a crew to their home to install basic energy saving materials. Once doors have been weather stripped, light bulbs changed, and thermostats replaced average participants have been saving an average of $192 per year on their energy bills. Participants will receive personal energy reports in the mail after their home visit and are eligible for additional rebates up to $400 for air sealing/insulating and up to $250 for a new furnace/boiler.

Materials installed may include:

  • Door weather stripping
  • Compact Flourescent Light (CFL) bulbs
  • Low flow showerheads
  • Faucet aerators
  • Hot water heater blanket
  • Programmable thermostat

Must attend workshop to qualify for discount and rebates. Program only available to St. Paul residents (renters are welcome!)

Program sponsored by the Environment and Natural Resource Trust Fund. Other partners include Center for Energy and Environment, Xcel Energy, City of St. Paul, and Minnesota Conservation Corps.

Event is FREE, RSVP at

Central High School Auditorium
275 Lexington Pkwy
Saint Paul, MN 55104

Can't attend on Oct 16th? Check out

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

HMEG Bulletin: Fall Leaf Recycling for Mulch and Compost

The Hamline Midway Environment Group has adapted information from the MPCA, Master Gardeners and from their own experience to get the word out that your autumn leaves are a valuable resource. Autumn leaves have nutrients or can fulfill function that is required by your lawn, compost pile, chicken run, or gardens. Sure, you can always take the material to the county yard waste compost site, but here are several eco-smart options that will benefit you for 12 months until the next fall:

  • If you have a backyard compost bin, or plan to start one, save your dry leaves to use as a carbon source, or "browns". "Browns" are essential to non-smelly, active compost and must be added to vegetable scraps (aka "greens") for compost success. You cannot avoid finding a "browns" source while composting, so why not use what falls onto your yard?
  • Create free and convenient garden mulch from your leaves by collecting your autumn leaves in a hoop of wire or plastic fencing. They will breakdown partly over the winter and come next summer, you will have a valuable mulch to use in your garden beds. Leaf mulch (sometimes called leaf mold) works especially well in vegetable gardens because it breaks down quickly in one season. If these leaves are mowed first they will fit into a smaller hoop, but this step is not necessary.
  • Use a mower to break leaves into tiny pieces and leave them on your lawn. A leaf layer that is thin enough to still see some grass is fine for lawns and returns valuable nutrients back to the grass plants.
  • If you have pets, or backyard chickens, dried leaves are a source of free and sustainable bedding. By storing bagged leaves in a sheltered location, you can omit the need to purchase and transport animal bedding.
  • Whether you compost your own leaves or take them to the county compost site, it's important to make sure that you are not raking up dog waste. Dog and cat waste can carry disease and need to be disposed of properly.

You can also help keep our water and air clean by what you don't do with that pile of leaves:

  • Don't throw yard waste in the trash. Mixing yard and tree waste with your trash is illegal in Minnesota.
  • Don't rake leaves onto a city street or sidewalk. It washes too many leaves, and therefore nutrients, into the Mississippi River via the stormwater sewers.
  • And last, don't burn large piles of leaves. Burning of twigs and yard debris releases large amounts of air pollution in to the atmosphere.
Click here if you would like a printable copy of this flyer (pdf)