Bee Informed: Honey Bee Science and How to Help

beeinformed

On Tuesday, May 7, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, at the Douglas UCC Friendship Hall, 56 Wall Street in Douglas, Michigan, Anne Marie Fauvel, Tech Team Coordinator for the Bee Informed Partnership based at the University of Maryland, will share the latest data on Honey Bee populations in Michigan, and how we can manage our own landscapes to help these important populations thrive.

Grand Haven-based Fauvel is charged with the logistics of five mobile regional technical-transfer teams working directly with commercial beekeepers, to bridge the gap between industry and academic research.

The Tech-Teams lead the sampling effort to collect copious amount of data on colony health, management and treatment data and act as consultant with their regional and national perspectives. Fauvel also teaches at Grand Valley State University and is the apiarist on campus managing the small GVSU Meijer Campus Apiary in Holland Michigan.

She will build the case for the importance of the honey bee and their current population state in the United States and Michigan.

Are honey bee populations declining? And are pesticides to blame? Fauvel will discuss the many causes of colony losses and give example of local and national programs, and research efforts to better understand colony health and improve colony survivorship through best management practices.

Learn more about Fauvel and the Bee Informed Partnership at https://beeinformed.org/.

This program is free and open to the public.

New Ways to Love Trees, February 23

New Ways to Love Trees

Douglas, Michigan — On Saturday, February 23, Drs. Greg Murray and Kathy Winnett-Murray, professors of biology at Hope College, will talk trees at the Douglas Congregational United Church of Christ. The event is free, open to the public, and runs from 6:30 to 8:30pm.

These zoologist-biologists have been studying trees (and the things that live in them and near them) since they came to Hope College in 1986. As ecologists, they love exploring interactions among creatures in all sorts of environments. Hope students often join them in their research, particularly in Hope’s splendidly forested dune forest preserve, and in Costa Rica, where Greg has studied forest dynamics for 37 years. Greg and Kathy have also led May Terms in Ecuador, the Galapagos, the Sonoran Desert, and Tanzania.

Drs. Greg and Kathy explain, ”Even trees standing outside your window in the dead of winter are providing you with ecological, economic, and health benefits that most folks take for granted.” All while “just standing there.”

During the summer of 2018, the Murrays and an eclectic group of tree-lovers — biology student Katelyn DeWitt, Hope’s sustainability coordinator Michelle Gibbs, partners from the City of Holland, and computer science professor Dr. Mike Jipping and his app-savvy students– found new ways to love trees. They’ll share the story of what they learned together and how they hope it will promote the value of trees to our communities. It’s a story about the benefits of trees now and in the future.

The professors will share several resources for people to take home/link to/download as part of the presentation.

Attendees should feel encouraged to bring their cell phones in case they want to try out some of the apps presented during the talk.

The presentation is free to the pubic, light refreshments will be served.

This talk is part of the education series conducted by Douglas UCC’s Creation Justice Team. To follow the series and the work of the team online, visit https://ducccreationjusticeteam.blog/.

See You Tuesday for Part II of Death and Life of the Great Lakes Community Read

On Tuesday night, November 13, at 6:30, we will continue our Community Read discussion of The Death and Life of the Great Lakes by Dan Egan.

For this evening’s discussion, we will focus on Part II: The Back Door. If you haven’t had a chance to read it now, there is still plenty of time before we meet. This section of the book travels quickly from the southern tip of Lake Michigan through the Mississippi River Basin and beyond, beginning with the undividing of the continental divide between the two great water systems. A historic whodunit!

Tuesday evening’s format will be much like our last session. We will break into groups, talk about the section of the book, share our perspectives, share with the whole group, and then wave our new scepters as Czars and Czarinas of the Great Lakes to decide how we will fix things.

Our last session in November will be a different sort of evening. We have a 20-year NOAA biologist joining us along with representation for various water action groups with our focus on Part III: The Future.

Looking forward to seeing you on Tuesday. Snacks to share are welcome. Bring your own beverage if you’re not into Coffee, Tea, or water.

Community Read: Death and Life of the Great Lakes

deathandlife

Former State Senator Patty Birkholz, in the year or so before she passed away, served as a great mentor to the DUCC Creation Justice Team. During that time she pressed into our hands — as she did everyone she met — Dan Egan’s amazing and award-winning book, The Death and Life of the Great Lakes.

Patty wanted everyone in the states and provinces that border the Great Lakes to read it, to understand better the challenges our waters have faced and will face, so we can be better equipped to fight for the survival of the largest freshwater system in North America.

So we have decided to read this book together as a kind of community-wide bookclub Event.

Will you join us?

The book is divided into three parts, the Front Door, the Back Door, and the Future. We will gather at the DUCC Friendship Hall, 56 Wall Street, Douglas, MI on these dates to discuss these sections of the book.

The Front Door, September 18, 6:30p.m.

The Back Door, October 23, 6:30p.m.

The Future, November 13, 6:30p.m.

The Saugatuck-Douglas District Library has hard copies and electronic copies of the book available on loan. Cabbages & Kings in Douglas, will be stocking copies of the book.

THIS EVENT IS FULL. Follow this link to Evite.com to put your name on the waiting list!

http://evite.me/REn7yWny9p

 

 

Gardening is Giving Recap

What a wonderful evening we had! Creation Sarah Swift Morgan shared the DUCC’s plan for sharing our harvests with each other and the Christian Neighbors Food Bank. She showed us her method of getting remarkable yields from tiny gardening containers, and many ideas for making them.

Compost Ken, our dear friend, came back to give us a crash course on making the best loamy, nutritious soil from our yard and food waste without a lot of effort or fuss. In particular we saw his invention — a good looking compost container for any yard — that is very easy to use and maintain. See pics of the bin below and email Ken if you’d like to buy or build one for your yard.  Here’s a crib sheet of Ken’s best compost tips.

Together we watched this, which we recommend watching more than once:

And we explored all the kinds of plants and flowers and shrubs and trees we can be planting in our own yards to keep our bee populations healthy and strong. This is a world-wide effort underway, like a global victory-garden movement, if you know what we mean. And we encourage everyone with a pot to plant in or a yard or acreage to landscape to consider planting to bring back the bees.

Here are the slides from Sarah and Ken’s presentations. Please take the time to review them.

Growing is Giving Presentation

DIY Composting Workshop.EDIT

Planting for the Bees 2

Sarah also recommended this book, because Mason Bees are wildly good pollinators, and it’s easy to host homes for them, which can be easily made or purchased in gardening stores in real life and online:

And Ken wanted to point out the so-cool seed library at Herrick District Library in Holland:

https://herrickdl.org/hdlseedlibrary

And he asks that we find ways to support the Holland Area Beekeepers Association, and find ways to thank them:

http://www.hollandbees.org/

We are gathering a mailing list, if you would be interested in hearing about our Creation Justice Programs by email. It’s easy to sign up, just send us an email at ducccjt@gmail.com, or subscribe to this blog using the link above, and we will make sure to alert you of upcoming events.

Happy planting, people.

Please share this post with the gardeners you love!

Namaste!

 

GreenMichiganCompostBin

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Honor Thy Mother (Earth)

Our Earth Day celebrations began with a few sore backs and shoulders after dozens of our members showed up to clean 4 miles of highway around our town. See the article all about it, featured on the National UCC newsletter, and more great team photos on the DUCC Instagram account. Special shoutout to Pastor Sal for winning the Michigan Interfaith Power and Light sermon contest for his beautiful Earth Day Message. Stay tuned for announcements of our spring programs. Great work ahead!

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What a Waste: Food Waste and Our Future

What a Waste: Food Waste and Our Future
Thursday, March 15, 6:30pm
Douglas UCC Friendship Hall
56 Wall Street, Douglas, MI
Program is free, public is welcome.

On Thursday, March 15, the Creation Justice Team’s next environmental education program entitled What A Waste: Food Waste and Our Future, presenting local and national Environmentalist Tracey Shafroth, who will teach us about the impact of food waste on our environment and steps we can take at home and in the world to help curb it. Tracey serves on the Michigan Advisory Board of the Environmental Law and Policy Center, on the Midwest Council of the National Parks Conservation Association, is a fellow and member of the Keller Science Action Center at the Field Museum, a strategic advisor to the Vital Lands Program of the Grand Victoria Foundation, and a volunteer for Freshwater Futures. We will open the doors of the Friendship Hall at 6:30pm for dessert and coffee. Tracey’s talk will begin at 7pm, with time afterward questions and more conversation. This event is open to the public. Please encourage your friends and neighbors to join us.