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  • Jenny Hill

Nature, Conservancy, & Miscellaneous

More than 45 workshops make up the 18th Annual Back to Basics. From Zero Waste to Gardening to Clean Energy, you can get your sustainability questions answered and learn some amazing new things. See the full line-up here. This post is the last in a series delving into the workshops in more depth.  

This week we feature workshops focusing on nature and conservancy in several ways as well as a few miscellaneous topics such as personal financial sustainability, journaling, growing tomatoes and Medicare.

Nature and Conservancy

Since 2015 Melissa Olson has been guiding trips to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Her Boundary Waters 201 workshop will cover BWCAW  history, route planning, points of interest, gear & equipment, cooking & menu options, site selection, & safety. Olson, who is also a Master Naturalist, has a deep love of the outdoors and says, “In understanding nature, we understand ourselves.”

The National Loon Center and partners offer Intro to Loon Watching & Loon-Friendly Lakes which will focus on innovative ways you can maintain a loon and lake friendly shoreline. “I look forward to offering this workshop because: the Common Loon is such a special bird and we as lake residents/visitors can do so much to protect the freshwater habitats where loons thrive” says Natasha Bartolotta, stewardship & outreach manager. “We will also hear different perspectives on loon and lake conservation as this workshop is led by the National Loon Center, MN DNR, and Whitefish Area Property Owners Association.” 

Two loons on blue water

For in-depth information on shoreline maintenance, don’t miss Great Roots for a Healthy Shoreline with Laura Mendoza of Great Roots Minnesota, “It can be surprising to learn how deep some native plant roots grow, and how this can benefit our land and lakes. Besides mentioning the benefits of native vegetation, we will also learn about some of the plants that grow along the shorelines, mentioning not only those that are native, but also some considered invasives.”

Explore the Seasons! Part 1 features KAXE/KBXE Northern Community Radio’s staff phenologist John Latimer with a glance through the last 40 years of seasonal changes in Minnesota. Latimer will discuss the trends he’s seen & discuss how studying phenology has changed his life. He will be joined by Charlie Mitchell, punny editor of the station’s popular Season Watch newsletter. Option to attend Part 2 (see below) and explore real-time outdoor sights.

Colorful logo with words Season Watch

In Explore the Seasons! Part 2 KAXE/KBXE Northern Community Radio’s staff phenologist John Latimer and Charlie Mitchell of Season Watch newsletter will take a stroll outside to the PR-B School’s Forest. Join them to look for seasonal changes & notable events happening outdoors. Dress for the weather & expect to do plenty of standing & looking in addition to walking. You do not need to have attended Part 1 to attend Part 2.

Build Resilience, Reduce Stress

Lisa Haberman presents Building Financial Resilience: Strategies to Navigate the Unexpected

“My workshop will help participants develop their financial resilience by discussing the steps they can take to prepare for and manage events that contribute to financial stress,” says Haberman. “People might be surprised to learn that the steps to financial resilience are easier than they think and provide greater peace of mind.”

Muffie Davidge who had many years experience as a feature writer for magazines and newspaper is offering Journal Writing Using Prompts which will be a new creative boost to brighten personal writing skills. ”Journal prompts can help you become unstuck,” says Davidge. ”I love to work with other writers in a positive environment.” Also expect tips on writers’ block and freshening your writing practice.

Rachel Cobb of Brambling Rows Farm will share “all the tricks to get really tasty, productive tomatoes” in Tomato, Tomahto, Let's Get it All Worked Out. “This workshop is for people who want to grow great tomatoes without frustration! Did you know there are ways to grow tomatoes that can actually activate their flavor genes?” Expect to learn row prep, seed selection, transplanting, maintenance, disease prevention & more. “Growing tomatoes can be either a nightmare or a joy, so let's make it a joy!” says Cobb. 

Sharon Notch who works with UCare offers Understand Medicare A,B,C,D “This is for people who are aging into Medicare, or planning on retirement past age 65,” says Notch. “People might be surprised to learn how much is simplified.” Notch finds that in her workshops even people who felt they understood everything about Medicare A,B,C,D come away with something new. “I look forward to offering this workshop because someone always learns something they did not know before.”

Find registration information here. Registration continues to be brisk and several workshops already have waitlists. Find the schedule for the whole day and more details here:


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