Matthew’s Musings: September-October, 2014
By Matthew Schaut
You may have already heard the good news about the upcoming action at the Minnesota River Valley National Wildlife Refuge. 2.3 million dollars has been designated this year to construct a 12-mile section of multi-use, handicap accessible trail between the Old Cedar Avenue Bridge and the Bloomington Ferry Bridge. The Old Cedar Avenue Bridge itself will also soon be restored. I hope that the primary focus of the refuge, preserving wildlife habitat for wildlife, will not be forgotten. There is also hope that increased accessibility will increase the constituency for the refuge and for environmentalist core values. Handicapped access will be improved and areas that are accessible will be increased, and perhaps more children will discover the antidote to nature deficit disorder.
I can’t stop thinking of the methane holes suddenly appearing in the Siberian permafrost – three that are known so far. The photos are frightening; runaway climate change.
Corporate blindness handed us a major summer dust-up when the Vikings organization informed us interested citizens that they just couldn’t afford to put bird friendly glass on their latest monument to corporate welfare. I’m pretty certain that birds are not blind, nor do they willfully fly into structures they never evolved with, but they do need to migrate, even through downtown Minneapolis. 1.5 million dollars extra for bird-friendly glass on a building that costs over a billion, it’s not too much to ask of the 1%. National Audubon quickly entered the fray, publicizing the issue and using it as a fund-raising opportunity. The Minneapolis City Council has endorsed bird-friendly glass (unanimously!), and the governor likes the idea, so long as a funding mechanism is identified upfront. (Didn’t I already say “1%”? Is funding really an issue?) Maybe we’ll have a resolution by the time this Trumpeter goes to print. Minneapolis, Minnesota has a reputation of being environmentally friendly and responsible. Maybe it’ll live up to that reputation and carry the NFL along with it.
Change the Glass Now!
New Vikings stadium deadly for migrating birds
The Audubon Chapter of Minneapolis has partnered with award-winning filmmaker and producer Jim Gambone in the making of this short and informative film. The clear glass called for in the stadium design will be deadly for migrating birds. But it’s not too late to change the design and incorporate bird-friendly glass.
Take action! Make a phone call and tell our leaders to “Change the Glass Now!”
- Michele Kelm-Helgen, Chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority: 612-335-3319
- Governor Mark Dayton: 651-201-3400
Holiday Auction November 20
Put November 20, 2014 on your calendar and plan to attend our fall fundraiser at the Refuge Visitor Center in Bloomington. If you have something to donate or are willing to contact companies or organizations who might make an in-kind contribution, please contact Anne Hanley at 952-936-0811. (We’d also be delighted to have an auction coordinator to set up the tables on the night of the auction.)
Join the Environmental Action Committee
Help MRVAC make a difference for birds and wildlife – and the special places we like to visit. Learn more.
MRVAC in the community
Our chapter has been a proud sponsor of the Audubon Adventures (AA) program for many years. This program provides materials to elementary school classrooms in the area. Read more about the 2013/2014 school year.
Treats needed for upcoming meetings
We always need treats! If you can bring a few dozen cookies, bars or some easy-to-eat snack to share at the September or October meeting, please call Jan at 952-858-8604.
Fire codes affect seating in Refuge Visitor Center auditorium
At upcoming MRVAC meetings (the 4th Thursday of the month, during the school year) you may be asked to fill up empty seats or move in towards the center to allow others to sit down in the auditorium. We cannot bring in extra chairs and sit in the back when the room starts to get crowded, due to fire regulations.
Please help us comply with the rules and allow us to continue meeting at the Visitor Center by switching seats if necessary and by not carrying chairs into the auditorium. Thanks.