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Posts Tagged ‘community roots’

A generous member has offered to match end-of-year contributions to KEA, dollar for dollar, up to $5000. For the next week, your donation goes twice as far. So here are the top ten reasons why you should click over to our nice new website and donate today.

1. Tubbs Hill and Cougar Bay. KEA is the leading defender of our local jewels. This past year we defended Tubbs Hill from unnecessary intrusion and we saved Cougar Bay for habitat and quiet wake-free recreation.

2. Who else will save the Dike Road Trees?

3. 40 years. We’re the oldest non-profit conservation organization in the State of Idaho. Next year, 2012, will mark our 40th anniversary. Help us kick off the next 40 years.

4. Tax deduction. We sometimes forget to remind people, but we are a charity organized under section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code, which means your donations to KEA are tax deductible. And tax season is coming up.

5. Board and Staff. We got a truly talented and dedicated team, and we’re really good at what we do.

6. Who else is calling out the nonsense in Bonner County?

7. Community Roots. Our successful local food program is expanding every year. Our first-in-the-region charitable CSA, and our local food share system are delivering local fresh food to families who need it.

8. Effective and Efficient. We are, out of budget necessity, a scrappy, low-overhead, grassroots, volunteer-dependent organization. Very little of our budget earmarked for fundraising expenditures and we hope to keep it that way.

9. We do the work so you don’t have to. There are so many meetings, hearings, and events to attend. There is so much research to do, comments to write, and phone calls to make.  As the grassroots community voice for all things conservation in North Idaho, we are tireless, principled, and wholly dedicated to our mission “to conserve, protect and restore the environment in North Idaho.” Because that’s what you’d expect.

10.   Our community depends on us, but we depend on you. Our natural and scenic environment and our beautiful sense of community is what makes this such a great place. It is all very much worth defending.  As you consider your end-of-year contributions, consider giving generously to KEA.

 

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The one thing we know all too well in our small office, we can’t do what we do without community support. And we have a remarkable community we have in North Idaho. This Thanksgiving holiday, we’d like to point out some of the ways that people have come together this year to make our great region even greater.

With an outpouring of support from paddlers, anglers, and local residents, we were successful in securing more permanent protection of Cougar Bay on Coeur d’Alene Lake for wildlife and quiet recreation. Community members and KEA pitched in with Kootenai County Parks and Waterways to better delineate a no-wake zone across the bay while protecting many of the historic pilings for osprey habitat.

KEA and community members rallied – as we always do – to protect Tubbs Hill from unnecessary intrusion, but we also worked cooperatively to create new opportunities for wheelchair access to Coeur d’Alene’s amazing natural amenity. Currently, KEA is working with literally thousands of local residents who want to protect the trees along the dike road and who oppose the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decision calling for their removal.

This past summer, community members joined us at KEA in launching the region’s first “floating treatment wetland” in a pond above Hayden Lake in a demonstration pilot project to restore water quality. If our water monitoring shows success, these wetlands may be employed along docks and shorelines to help clean up Lakes and other waters throughout North Idaho.

Beyond traditional conservation and restoration, our volunteer-fueled Community Roots local food program just completed another great growing season. Thousands of pounds of local fresh food from backyard gardeners and local farms were distributed to food assistance facilities throughout Coeur d’Alene through our Local Food Share program. A good portion of the shared food was harvested in the Shared Harvest Community Garden at 10th and Foster, which completed its third successful volunteer summer. And our unique Roots CSA completed another successful year in Dalton Gardens, helping to make community supported agriculture subscriptions available to low-income members of our community.

We point all of this success out to make a broader point. There will always be lakes and waterways to clean up, landscapes and resources to be protected and, unfortunately, people in our community who will be hungry.  In that sense, our work is ongoing and endless. But what makes it most rewarding for us at KEA is our community’s capacity for making things better.  With every year, with every project, and with every challenge, people in North Idaho step up and help out. Ours is a great community. And for this, this Thanksgiving, we give our sincere thanks.

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Korrine Kreilkamp, our Community Roots founder, organizer, and local-food all-around all-star has been invited to the prestigious Patagonia Tools for Grassroots Activists Conference this fall at Lake Tahoe, Nevada. The invitation-only conference is an extraordinary training opportunity for young grassroots organizers from across the country, and we’re incredibly proud that Korrine got an invitation. Patagonia – the great outdoors retailer, wonderful corporate citizen, and a very generous supporter of KEA in past years – picks up the tab for training and room and board, but we need to get Korrine to Tahoe.

This, of course, is the kind of opportunity that we didn’t budget for but that is also way too good to pass up. So we need your help. We’d like to raise about $500 to pay for airfare, travel expenses, and have a little left over so that we can implement whatever Korrine learns on her trip. An anonymous donor has offered to donate the final $100 if we raise the other $400 on-line.

So, help us send Korrine to camp! Click on the button to donate $10, $25, $50, $100 or more (pay pal or credit cards accepted through pay pal) toward this great investment.

UPDATE: 8/29 4:00 pm:  A great response, but still a ways to go

UPDATE: 8/30 9:00 am: More than half way to meeting the match!

UPDATE: 9/1 9:00 am: We made the match! Thanks everyone!

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Big milestones were reached this past week with our wonderful Roots CSA  in Dalton Gardens.

First, after a late start to the growing season, the CSA team delivered a first round of produce to regular and low-income subscribers: bitter greens (bagged), Asian greens, kale, mustard greens (twine bundle), broccoli, bunching onions, lettuce, spinach, salad greens mixed assortments, cabbage, raddish, and red leaf lettuce. As a result, some totally awesome salads are being made throughout North Idaho this week.

Second, the first annual Roots BBQ Cook-off event is sold out.  One possible explanation — that there’s a mid-summer BBQ shortage – could explain the demand for tickets. Mostly, we think our volunteers did a great job with ticket sales. Buy them early next year. (Same goes for the upcoming and always-sold-out Dinner Under the Stars at the Shared Harvest Garden.)

 

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Roots CSA coordinator and all-around local food hero Korrine Kreilkamp provides this breaking news update:

In May, the Roots Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), a program of the Kootenai Environmental Alliance, partnered with Dalton Elementary for a second season to provide a hands-on learning experience for the first grade students.  In the classroom, Roots CSA volunteers educated students about the vocabulary and process of growing from seed, then helped them sow their very own pumpkin seeds.

This coming week those first graders will get to trek over to the Roots CSA garden, which is just a block away, to plant their seedlings in their very own pumpkin patch. In the fall, those same students will return as second graders, to tour the CSA garden, learn about harvesting and finally harvest the same pumpkin they had begun from seed in the spring. 

By inviting young students to participate in the process of supporting and re-building our local food systems and reducing our environmental footprint, we hope they will become more connected with the land and the community that feeds them. We hope this will also make them more likely to view fruits and vegetables as a nutritional gift to be enjoyed.

The Roots Pumpkin Patch is made possible with the support of The Kiwanis Club of Coeur d’Alene, Lowes Do-It-Yourself Center, and DOMA Coffee Roasting Company.

The Roots CSA is unique in that a large portion of the CSA shares will be accessible to families of limited means. These low-income subscriptions, offered at a discounted rate will be supported by full-price subscriptions, low-income household sponsorships, and a significant percentage of volunteer labor. With a waiting list of 50 families, The Roots CSA garden is working to secure more land in Dalton Gardens to expand its number of food shares as well as its educational outreach in area schools.

If you would like to see and support The Roots CSA head out to the garden on Saturday, June 11th from 10 am– 4 pm for their annual Yard Sale fundraiser, located at 6039 Davenport Dalton Gardens.  For more information contact Korrine Kreilkamp at 659-0287, or rootscsa [at] kealliance.org

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Finally, there’s some sunshine and warmth in the air. For our Community Roots program, that’s the signal for a very busy spring season. Even though it’ll take a while before delicious fresh food gets harvested out of our CSA farm and the Shared Harvest Garden, there’s plenty of activity in preparation.

This week, our own Roots CSA will be out at the Kootenai County Farmers Market this Saturday in Hayden. Come out to purchase some early-season seedlings and meet our new CSA team, Sue Selle and Kara Carelton. Proceeds go back into our Community Roots efforts.

Also, you’ll want to mark your calendars for the annual yard sale fundraiser for the Roots program. It’ll be held out at the CSA in Dalton Gardens on June 11th for all of your yard sale purchases this spring. However, between now and then if you’re doing your spring cleaning and you come across stuff you’d like to unload contribute to the sale, contact Korrine at rootscsa [at] kealliance.org to make a donation and arrange for a pickup.

Purely for the fun of it, our Roots program is working with Coeur d’Alene’s Bike-to-work Week to sponsor the 2nd annual Roots Pursuit bicycle challenge, Saturday May 21. This amazingly fun friends & family event pits teams of two or three riders against each other in bike and brain challenges around town. Pick up a registration form on our website, or at Java on Sherman. Even if you’re not part of a team, come down and watch the fun at one of the challenges from 10:00-12:00 at Tubbs Hill, City Park, or Phippeny Park. Check out all the other Bike-to-work week events too.

Finally, Korrine and the Community Roots team will be presenting all the big plans at the regularly scheduled Lunch and Learn at the Iron Horse at noon on the 19th.

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On Friday, Earth Day, friends and members of Kootenai Environmental Alliance will be celebrating at our first annual, and SOLD OUTEarth Gala at the Hayden Lake Country Club.  Not just celebrating the Earth, we will also be celebrating some great citizens who help us protect what makes North Idaho a wonderful place to live and work and play. Here is the second of two posts on our awardees.

KEA's Korrine Kreilkamp at Roots meeting at Art Spirit Gallery, photo by KEA BlackberryCam

As one of our Board members put it last month, “if Korrine Kreilkamp isn’t honored with an award this year, there’s something terribly wrong.”  The Board member is right, and nothing is wrong, Korrine Kreilkamp is being honored with our first “Young Environmentalist” award for her amazing work on KEA’s Community Roots program. Started in 2007, Roots has grown into a dynamic and innovative local food movement. First, in 2007, Korrine organized the Roots Local Food Share, assisting local backyard gardeners and small farmers donate fresh produce to local food assistance facilities. Then, Korrine was instrumental in the partnership at Shared Harvest to create Coeur d’Alene’s first community garden — with a portion of the garden and a portion of the harvest going to the Community Roots local food share effort. And now, Korrine is coordinating the second growing season at Roots CSA in Dalton Gardens, the region’s first and only charitable CSA.  She’s done the fundraising, the outreach, the volunteer recruitment, and she’s turned more than a few shovelfuls of dirt. We’re pleased and proud she’s working with us at KEA.

The Art Spirit Gallery

Also, for the first time, we are presenting a Business Award for their commitment to the environment, the community and to KEA. And our first award winner, the Art Spirit Gallery, deserves the recognition. An early sponsor of our now-famous Junk2Funk fall fashion event, Art Spirit helped foster a connection between the arts community and the conservation community that will make both communities stronger.

Steve Gibbs

Always and enthusiastically supportive of our efforts — in ways large and small — Art Spirit Gallery and proprietor Steve Gibbs are generous in their time, their donations, and their gorgeous gallery setting. We’re pleased to honor the excellent Art Spirit Gallery for their excellent support.


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KEA’s Adrienne Cronebaugh and Korrine Kreilkamp report:

The Community Roots and Shared Harvest gals have eagerly been awaiting spring so they could dig in and get their hands dirty.  Although it’s still a bit rainy and gray outside, the programs are already flourishing due to the renovation of a new greenhouse at the The Jewitt House. With the wonderful people at the Jewitt House, along with more wonderful people at the City of Coeur d’Alene’s Parks Department, Waste Water Treatment Facility, and Water Department, a dilapidated shed has been renovated into a gorgeous community greenhouse, and we’ve put it to use for Roots charitable food purposes.

This past week, we planted seeds that will serve as starter plants for the Community Roots CSA, Shared Harvest plot owners, and city Xeriscape (water conservation landscaping) efforts.

The Community Roots CSA is a charitable Community Supported Agriculture program that is entering their second season in Dalton Gardens.  The CSA allows the community to be involved with the production of locally grown, environmentally friendly food, while promoting sustainable farming methods and the reduction of our carbon footprint in “food miles.”

Shared Harvest is a volunteer run community garden located at 10th and Foster in downtown Coeur d’Alene. A once vacant lot was transformed into garden plots where neighbors sow individual plots while learning environmentally friendly gardening and water conservation techniques.  Excess produce is also collected and donated to local food assistance facilities in the area.

Xeriscapes are water efficient landscapes that help protect our scarce water resources. Xeriscape plants use only a fraction of the water needed by thirsty lawns and some require little to no supplemental watering once established.  Xeriscape seedlings will be handed out free to the public at the upcoming Wednesday Farmers Market along with additional water-wise information.

Next weekend our gardeners will finish up planting. However, we are still looking for volunteers to help with weekly watering at the greenhouse through May.  If you or someone you know may be interested in getting more involved, please contact Kara at kldg@me.com.

 

 

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KEA's Korrine Kreilkamp, pleased with the meeting -- photo by KEA BlackberryCam

As if they just knew that the groundhog would be calling for an early spring, KEA’s Roots CSA scheduled their meeting for last night at the ever-supportive Art Spirit Gallery to begin preparations for the new growing season.  With a few of last year’s shareholders and some new CSA team members, the meeting kicked off the planning for what we hope will be another successful season for our region’s only charitable community supported agriculture (CSA) effort.

In the Roots CSA, half of the subscriptions are specifically reserved for low income subscribers, whose subscriptions were subsidized by donations and fundraising efforts. A central premise in our CSA model is to provide access to fresh nutritious local food to anyone, including those in need.

Roots CSA 2011 Team: Kara, Susan, and Korrine -- photo by KEA BlackberryCam

The new Roots CSA team was introduced: Along with KEA’s local food wizard Korrine Kreilkamp, Susan Selle is our enthusiastic new farmer, and new addition Kara Carleton will be assisting with new outreach and educational components to the CSA.

The evening’s brainstorming session first identified some new ideas and improvements for this growing season. For example, last year’s subscribers to the CSA got a big box of fresh vegetables every other week. Among the ideas at this brainstorming session was to make a smaller box of veggies available every week. But the brainstorming also led into a discussion of what an expanded CSA might look like. More food, for more people, sustainably, organically, and locally, of course, but so many details to work through.

Although the temperatures haven’t really rebounded, the sunlight is sticking around a little longer in the afternoons. No better time than now to think about summer.

 

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We sent a version of this post to our friends and members earlier this week, and we thought we’d share our thoughts on 2010 here as well. We’ve had a pretty good year at KEA.

As this end-of-year letter is being written, the Kootenai County Commissioners are finally completing work on the long-awaited comprehensive plan. As you know, KEA has been involved at every step of the way. Although the final product is not all that we would have liked it to be, the new plan is still a vast improvement over the hopelessly out-of-date version currently in effect. KEA’s friends and members can take credit for most of the improvements within the new plan, and for fending off attempts to derail those improvements by developers, builders and misguided business interests.

In other 2010 accomplishments, KEA’s Community Roots program started up Kootenai County’s first, and only, charitable CSA in Dalton Gardens, making CSA fresh produce accessible to food stamp recipients. Meanwhile, the Roots program also maintained our plot at the Shared Harvest community garden and continued our fresh food deliveries to food assistance facilities in Coeur d’Alene.
KEA continues to comment on U.S. Forest Service proposals in the region, and was successful this past summer in pressuring the local USFS office to release overdue monitoring reports. We continue to be engaged in very preliminary collaborative conversations about forest management throughout the Panhandle, and we increased our coalition and coordination efforts with fellow conservationists and forest activists throughout the region.

In the past year, KEA spent a great deal of time and effort on difficult and controversial water quality concerns. With our partnership with the Environmental Law Clinic at Gonzaga Law School, KEA was successful in forcing the Federal Highway Administration to correct serious deficiencies in its Fernan Lake Road reconstruction project. KEA also provided substantial comments into the Spokane River cleanup process and EPA’s proposed cleanup for the Upper Coeur d’Alene Basin.

We know that the most successful strategy for environmental protection is a well-educated community. This is why KEA has worked hard to improve our communications and outreach efforts.  We have utilized social media to extend our reach to a wider audience than ever before via Facebook, Twitter and this KEA blog and we continue our work to improve our newsletters, e-news, and website.  Also, our 38th year of noon meetings at the Iron Horse may have been our best so far.

In October, our Second Annual Junk2Funk Eco-Fashion Show bigger, better, and more successful than the previous year. With more than 35 artists participating in this chic eco-fashion event, our annual event has made environmental/conservation awareness positively fun.

Looking ahead to 2011, we expect to make more progress, and new progress. This spring and summer, look for KEA to begin a new phase of our Hayden Lake Project with some demonstration projects in collaboration with local schools.

Look to KEA to gain greater protections for beloved Cougar Bay. And look to KEA to lead the efforts to re-write the zoning and development regulations in Kootenai County to protect natural and scenic resources, maintain rural areas, stop sprawl, and protect our quality of life.

If you’ve heard me speak about KEA, you’ve probably heard me say it it before, the most important prerequisite for environmental protection in our region is a healthy KEA. The strength, breadth and commitment of our grassroots members and supporters are what gives us influence and power to do the critical conservation work that none of us can do alone.


Please consider an end of year contribution. If you’re not a member, consider joining. If you are a member, consider an additional contribution. If you’re a contributor, consider contributing a little extra this year. We know that this economy is tough and your household finances are stretched thin. At the same time, the threats to our environment and quality of life remain, while KEA’s already-tight budget is projected to be even tighter in the new year.

We accomplish what we accomplish because of your support.

From all of us at KEA, our very best for 2011.

Terry Harris
Executive Director

 

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