Let's Get Composting!
On October 15, certified Master Composter Rick Eilertson presented a free program about the basics of starting, maintaining, and making use of composting in your backyard. Rick discussed best practices for composting, the benefits of static vs. dynamic composting systems, and DIY compost system options. This program was co-sponsored by Powered Up Baraboo and the Sauk County Land Resources and Environment Department.
Time for Solar?
Powered Up Baraboo sponsored a free information session featuring the latest information about installing solar at your business or organization, including updates on new federal incentives. Speakers Mark Hanson, Director of Sustainable Services for Hoffman Planning, Design, and Construction, and Niels Wolter, owner of Madison Solar Consulting, drew upon their 50 years of experience in energy-related projects to present this program.
Want to Do S’more for the Climate?
Powered Up Baraboo supporters and interested community members were invited to the Greg Wise Pavilion at the Maxwell Potter Conservancy in Baraboo for an evening of celebrating PUB’s recent accomplishments, networking, and brainstorming ideas for PUB’s next actions to promote the use of renewable energy, energy conservation, and sustainable practices in our area. We recognized two Climate Champions for Baraboo: City Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Director Mike Hardy for his climate-conscious accomplishments in his department; and Baraboo School District Board Vice President Mike Kohlman for his efforts to get solar electric panels installed on both the Jack Young Middle School and the Baraboo High School. S'mores over a campfire and other treats made the event even sweeter.
Rain Barrel Basics
On September 10, the public was invited to a free presentation about the benefits of using rain barrels. Attendees could register for a chance to win one of eight rain barrels to be given away during the program. Baraboo resident Rick Eilertson, a stormwater engineer, discussed the reasons for using rain barrels, how to set up and use a rain barrel in your yard, and how to maintain and winterize rain barrels. Eilertson has been involved with planning, designing, inspecting, and maintaining stormwater facilities throughout Wisconsin and other portions of the United States for the past 25 years. These facilities have varied in size from 10-acre stormwater treatment systems to the rainwater harvesting and infiltration system on his 0.2 acre residential property in Baraboo. This program was co-sponsored by Powered Up Baraboo, Carnegie-Schadde Memorial Public Library, Sauk County Land Resources and Environment Department, and the Rooted in Conservation Fund of the Community Foundation of South Central Wisconsin.
LED Lightbulb Exchange
On August 20, the Home and Business Action Team hosted a free LED lightbulb exchange at the Powered Up Baraboo booth during the Baraboo Farmer's Market. Powered Up Baraboo, along with a generous PUB volunteer, purchased LED bulbs to give away for this event in exchange for incandescent light bulbs.
"Why Yards Matter" Garden Tour
The Green Spaces Action Team presented a free tour of Baraboo area properties that reduce dependence on lawns and demonstrate the beauty, utility, and practicality of sustainable landscape design. Baraboo Landscape Designer Marcy Huffaker and Sauk County Land Resources and Environment Soil Conservation Technician Serge Koenig discussed sustainable design techniques that homeowners and landowners can use, and the reasons the landscapes in these locations were converted from typical grass lawns to more sustainable plantings of native plants. Marcy and Serge also discussed factors people should consider when converting lawns to sustainable or productive space, including plant choices and maintenance. Attendees traveled to the model properties where the techniques have been implemented.
Residential Energy Audits
Torrance Kramer of Accurate-Airtight Exteriors discussed factors homeowners should consider when choosing an Energy Audit practitioner, and typical areas of a home's construction where energy is lost. This program was sponsored by Powered Up Baraboo and recorded via Zoom on March 22, 2022.
Why Farmers Matter to Folks in Baraboo
On February 26, 2022, Serge Koenig, Sauk County Land Resources and Environment Conservation Technician, and Roman Miller, Baraboo area farmer and practitioner of Management-Intensive Grazing, presented a program "Why Farmers Matter". In their presentation, Koenig and Miller described how switching from conventional farming to Management-Intensive Grazing can benefit the grazing ruminants who eat nutrient-rich forage; the wildlife returning to the pastures; the soil which becomes richer, denser, full of life, and remains in place instead of eroding; the nearby waterways which become cleaner and life-sustaining because they are not inundated with runoff from the fields; the atmosphere from which carbon is being sequestered into the healthy soil; the farmer who spends less time tilling and harvesting in the fields or worrying about profits and losses; and the consumer who can purchase safe, healthful food products at a fair price while helping to support local farmers.
Why Trees Matter
On September 30, 2021, Mike Hardy, Director of the City of Baraboo Parks, Recreation, & Forestry Department, told what makes the trees on City property so important in helping to mitigate the effects of climate change, and how the City manages its urban forest. This presentation was co-sponsored by the Dept. of Parks, Recreation, & Forestry, the Carnegie-Schadde Memorial Public Library, and Powered Up Baraboo.
Jump Up Your Energy Savings
New info from local resources to boost your monthly energy savings. Find out what all 4 ACTION TEAMS are up to!
Celebration of Powered Up Baraboo
A celebration of the successful establishment of Powered Up Baraboo and the formation of new Climate Action Teams! Baraboo area residents kicked off a new phase of renewable energy and environmentally sustainable practices in the Baraboo area. This meeting was the follow up to the “Baraboo 2030: Creating a Roadmap for our Carbon Neutral Future” programs held at the library this fall. This program was co-sponsored by the Baraboo Public Library and Powered Up Baraboo and was free and open to the public.
Roadmap for Our Carbon-Neutral Future
Baraboo 2030 was a program and action project series to help the Baraboo area take steps to go carbon neutral by 2030. To give us insight into how communities in Wisconsin are taking action at a local level, we invited visionary leaders from Madison and Eau Claire to tell about their local journeys toward carbon-neutrality. Michael Vickerman, Policy Director at RENEW Wisconsin, told about current options in Wisconsin for generating and investing in renewable energy that are available to municipalities. More information is available at www.renewwisconsin.org. Stacie Reece, City of Madison's first Sustainability Coordinator, described the evolution of Madison's sustainability policies and the current status of municipal projects designed to decrease energy use and encourage generation and use of renewable energy. See cityofmadison.com/Sustainability/ for more information. Kate Beaton, Eau Claire City Council member, told about her community's inclusive approach to tackling energy use and generation, which goes beyond the municipal level to include area businesses and residences. Find out more about Eau Claire's sustainability initiatives at eauclairewi.gov/government/our-divisions/sustainability.