The local foods movement continues to grow throughout the country, and it is becoming particularly prevalent in Washtenaw County. This weekend, Ann Arbor's 6th annual Homegrown Festival will take place at the site of the Farmers market in Kerrytown.

Our guest this week is Jason Frenzel. Jason is Co-Chair of the Planning Committee of the Homegrown Festival, and also serves as  stewardship coordinator at the Huron River Watershed Council. 

Washtenaw County Department of Public Health

Ann Arbor City Council has unanimously passed a resolution asking the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to update clean-up standards for 1,4 Dioxane Plumes.  

The issue is important to the city because of the dioxane plume that started at the Pall Gelman facility west of town.  City Council member Sabra Briere says the resolution is important just because it gets people thinking about the issue again.

The city has applied a surface application of lime to kill any remaining bacteria. This lime product appears as a white, powdery substance. Because the sewage reached the Huron River, the City of Arbor took the immediate precaution of closing canoe livery trips in the vicinity, from Argo to Gallup, on Thursday and through Friday. Any body contact is not recommended for at least 24 hours after a known release of raw sewage to waterways. The City of Ann Arbor has completed testing and will evaluate water quality samples over the next 24 hours for presence of harmful bacteria in the Huron River. The determination whether to resume canoe livery operations between Argo and Geddes Dam will be made at 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 31, based upon water sampling results.

Barbara Lucas

Open natural areas such as meadows, prairies, and "oak openings" are declining habitats, which spells trouble for the species that depend on them.

Barbara Lucas reports:

Today, we'll  focuses on butterfly species in Washtenaw County. There are more than you might think, and these delicate creatures can be a good indicator as to the health of the local environment.

This week's guest is John Swales,  the North American Butterfly Association  population survey coordinator for Washtenaw County and U-M Professor Emeritus of Linguistics. We'll be discussing his long-standing participation with the NABA butterfly counts, and what the surveys tell us about the status of different butterfly species in Washtenaw County. 

pigliapost / Foter / CC BY-SA

To many, Ann Arbor is Tree Town.  In this week's installment of Issues of the Environment, we will explore the current health status of Ann Arbor's tree population and the city policies aimed at maintaining its lush canopy. 

David's guest this week is Lynn Borset. Lynn is a founding member of the citizens group, The Ann Arbor Tree Conservancy.  The group is pushing Ann Arbor officials to make a stronger budgetary and policy commitment to the city's trees.


A local author is writing a book that focuses on the changing automotive culture.  

Micki Maynard of Ann Arbor is a Forbes Magazine contributor and former New York Times Detroit bureau chief.  Her book is titled Curbing Cars: Rethinking How We Get Around

WEMU's Bob Eccles spoke with her about the book, and her Kickstarter campaign to get it funded.


Growing Hope/Facebok

The City of Ypsilanti continues to explore how best to incorporate urban farming into it's vision for the future. 

In this week's installment of  WEMU's  Issues of the Environment David Fair talks with Amanda Edmonds. Amanda is the executive Director of Ypsilanti-based, Growing Hope.

James Marvin Phelps / Foter / CC BY-NC

In this week's installment of WEMU's Issues of the Environment,  we explore the June 27th incident in which 10-thousand gallons of untreated waste water were discharged into the Huron River. 

WEMU's David Fair talks with Earl Kenzie and Jennifer Lawson. Earl is Plant Manager for the Ann Arbor Waste Water Treatment Services Unit and Jennifer is  the city's Water Quality Manager.

Jason W Lacey / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND

This week marks three-years since an Enbridge pipe-line burst and spilled roughly a million gallons of oil in the Kalamazoo River. As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports, all of this time later, and the expensive clean-up is still underway. 

Barbara Lucas

Washtenaw County continues to be a leader in environmental stewardship. Among the ideas and initiatives underway is an increased commitment to wind energy.

In this month's installment of WEMU's The Green Room, reporter Barbara Lucas explores the myriad of issues surrounding wind energy. Barbara travels to communities where wind energy is more prevalent, and then returns to Ann Arbor to see where we are, and where we are going.

Damian Gadal / Foter / CC BY

What would be the benefit of electronically tracking our beef supply from the birth of a calf to its arrival on our dinner plate? 

Potentially, the benefits are numerous. In this week's installment of  WEMU's Issues of the Environment,  Morning Edition host David Fair talks with Dr. Dan Buskirk.

Dr. Buskirk is Associate Professor and Beef Extension Specialist with the Department of Animal Sciences at Michigan State University. 

He contends that the electronic tracking can help facilitate creation of regional food systems, better connect consumers to farmers and increase revenues for local, small and mid-sized farmers.

Huron River Watershed Council Executive Director Laura Rubin has been named a 2013 River Hero by the River Network. 

Rubin says she's thrilled by the honor, and proud of the work the Huron River Watershed Council has done over her 15-year tenure as Executive Director. 

She points to programs like Adopt-A-Stream, the Bioreserve Project and the council's stormwater and pollution management work as highlights. 

NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center / Foter / CC BY-NC

On the first Friday of every month, WEMU Morning Edition host David Fair is joined in-studio by Michigan League of Conservation Voters Executive Director Lisa Wozniak. together they bring in the experts that can speak to issues of environmental importance. In this month's installment, the guest is Jon Allen. Jon heads up the Michigan Department of environmental Quality's Office of the Great Lakes.

 It is peak season for the ticks that carry Lyme Disease. In this week's installment of Issues of the Environment, WEMU's David Fair talks with Erik Foster. Erick is Medical Entomologist with the Michigan Department of Community Health's communicable Disease Division. They discuss how to protect yourself from contracting Lyme Disease, what to look for if you suspect you've come in contact with an infected Tick, and how climate change may increase the areas where the ticks are found.

Pall Life Sciences is  leaving the Ann Arbor area this summer, prompting many to become concerned about the company's commitment to ongoing remediation of 1-4, Dioxane contamination. 

RambergMediaImages / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

  A University of Michigan professor says improving the fuel efficiency of cars is a good thing, but he warns that alternative fuel vehicles are not the greenhouse gas "silver bullet" some make them out to be.  WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story.

  On the first Friday of every month, WEMU sets aside 20-minutes to thoroughly discuss an issue of environmental importance.  WEMU's David Fair and Michigan League of Conservation Voters Executive Director co-host the segment, and this week the guest is Ann Arbor's own Lana Pollack. Lana has served as State Senator, President of the Michigan environmental Council and is currently the U-S Chair of the International Joint Commission, as appointed by President Barack Obama.


In this week's installment of "Issues of the Environment", WEMU's David Fair talks with Scott Spooner about the the environmental initiatives underway at the public golf courses in Ann Arbor. Mr. Spooner is the Superintendent of Golf Courses for the City of Ann Arbor.


The American Hiking Society on Saturday will  host an event as part of National Trails Day.  As WEMU's Andrew Cluley reports it will be an opportunity for the community to acquaint itself with the Water Street Trail and progress being made on the Border to Border Trail in Washtenaw County.



The Huron River Watershed Council is embarking on a series of "resident conversations" to hear concerns and answer questions from those who live along the water's edge.  WEMU's Bob Eccles interviewed HRWC Executive Director Laura Rubin about the effort.


In this week's installment of "Issues of the Environment" WEMU's David Fair talks with the Clean Energy Coalition's Rebecca Filbey. Rebecca is the Program Supervisor for the City of Ann Arbor's Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE program

Agricultural Experiment Station / © Bugwood.org / CC-BY-3.0-US

Hemlock trees in Michigan face an insect threat similar to the bug that wiped out most of the state's ash trees.  WEMU's Bob Eccles has the story. 

Downtown Ann Arbor, on Saturday, will be the site of a protest march and rally. The "March Against Monsanto" will begin at 1 pm on the University of Michigan central campus Diag, and proceed to Hanover Square Park for the rally.  On "Morning Edition" today, WEMU's David Fair caught up with the woman who organized the protest, Kryssi Jones.


In this week's installment of Issues of the Environment, WEMU's David Fair explores the importance of prescribed ecological burns in our area parks. The guest this week is David Borneman. David is Natural Areas Preservation Manager for the City of Ann Arbor.