Weekend Links

If the rain has put a damper on attending any of the weekend events we posted to Facebook at the end of the week, here are some links you may find interesting to peruse:

Kitchen Stewardship: Family Camping Handbook
Tree Hugger: Green Spring Cleaning Tips
Gentlemen’s Quarterly: The Carnivore’s Guide to Cooking Vegetarian
Haagen Dazs: Help the honeybees
Keep Indianapolis Beautiful: 2,012 Trees by 2012

Here’s a thought worth repeating: “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” A. Einstein

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Wordless Wednesday


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“The Winds of Change”

Recently, KSBB was driving through Benton County, Indiana along highway 65, and was struck by the wind farm now residing on either side of the route.  Row upon row of large wind turbines dotted the wide swatches of flat agricultural landscape.  Roughly 583 of them, actually that generate reportedly between 600-750MW of power.  Having been constructed in early 2010 (according to Wikipedia), the Fowler Ridge Wind Farm is only the second wind farm in Indiana.  Interestingly, the second farm named “Goodland I”, is also in Benton County (which is about 90miles Northwest of Indianapolis).

While sustainable/green energy is all the buzz right now, especially with steeply rising gas prices, wind energy has been around since the 1st century AD in ancient Greece (we’re not really surprised by this) and later in the form of windmills.  Commonly, windmills were used to grind grains for bread making and such, though, they were widely used in the Netherlands as drainage mills to control water.  In the United States, wind-pumps were extensively used and became a fixture in the rural landscape.  For more information on windmills click here.

So let us know what you think: would you like to see more wind farms dotting the Indiana landscape near South Bend?  What about other forms of sustainable energy?

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Earth Week

We’re kicking off Earth Week here in South Bend.  Earth Day/Arbor Day events are scheduled for this weekend with opportunities to suit every sort of environmentalist.  To bolster that further, we’re promoting a “Screen Free Week” as well.  The basic premise is to avoid the TV at all costs this week (which includes Hulu viewing on the laptop!!).  We first heard the idea through the Simple Kids blog, which thankfully gives 20 tips for the week for those with children.  In this way, we might explore, engage, and enliven our lives while reducing our electric consumption (at least in a small way).  From the Screen Free website, “It’s a time to unplug and play, read, daydream, create, explore, and spend more time with family and friends.”  If you can’t manage for the whole week, we do encourage limiting some of the screen time; every little bit helps.

Some additional items of note:

Be sure to check out KSBB’s booth at South Bend’s Celebration of Earth Day/Arbor Day this Saturday from 9:00am-2:00pm at Potawatomi Park.  There will be activities aplenty including, from what we’ve heard, a lift bucket to get a bird’s eye view of the park and various bird nests.

Check out the official Earth Day website, which is promoting “A billion acts of green” this week.  The website has many great tips for going green this week and offers visitors the option of making a public pledge to do something with an environmental twist.  One such pledge we can’t support enough is to “minimize or eliminate driving” and to ride bikes or take public transportation as a substitute.  Locally, South Bend has made great strides in promoting bike paths and trails, so use them!  The more we do, the more (and better) paths/trails we’ll see.

Unity Gardens of Michiana has some great events planned for this weekend as well.  Which includes plantings for Friday and organic gardening workshops from 9:00-3:00 on Saturday.  They didn’t have an events page on their blog, but Facebook had them listed.

Hope to see you out doing something clean, green, or beautiful this week!

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KSBB and the City Beautiful Movement

In anticipation for Friday’s kick-off event, “White City Principles in Northern Indiana Cities”, we at KSBB thought we’d provide some background to our topic. 

The title of the presentation refers to the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, called the White City because the buildings were made of a white stucco, which, in comparison to the tenements of Chicago, seemed illuminated (also because of the extensive use of street lights).  It was this impact that inspired L. Frank Baum’s take on the Emerald City in “The Land of Oz” and Walt Disney’s theme parks. 

Notably though, it was the recognized start to the “City Beautiful Movement”, which spawned a new appreciation for public spaces in the United States.  It was the design approach taken at the Exposition, also known as the World’s Fair, that brought about many of the recognizable public plans in the US, specifically the McMillan Commission Plan for Washington DC and Daniel Barnum’s renowned plan for Chicago.

The City Beautiful Movement had four main components: Civic Art, Civic Design, Civic Reform, and Civic Improvement.  Not merely a bit of aestheticism, each of these aspects was aimed at uplifting society through communal benefits.  A perspective echoed in the mission of KSBB which unites people to build community, improve health, and transform public spaces through aesthetic and environmental improvement.

Hopefully, this entices you to join us on April 1st for the great presentation sought to energize all in attendance toward more civic engagement.  We look forward to so many encouraging events taking place this April across Indiana (and the United States) and we are excited to be at the epicenter of such a powerful movement in our local community.

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Keeping South Bend Beautiful

Greetings all from the Keep South Bend Beautiful crew!

April is going to be an exciting month for all who think green. Here at KSBB we are celebrating National Keep America Beautiful Month as well as National Landscape Architecture Month and National Volunteer Month. Seems like the perfect storm of events to us!

In the spirit of forming new partnerships, we have been working closely with the Indiana Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects to plan local and statewide events that highlight these national month long celebrations. Please take some time to look over these events and consider attending as many as you can. The more we are actively involved in our community, the more vibrant and positive our community will be. As our theme for the year states: “Everything starts somewhere. This is your somewhere.”

Please see our upcoming events for more information!

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Vegetarian Month

February 2011 is Vegetarian Month for Keep South Bend Beautiful.  Starting tomorrow, February 1, KSBB will be adjusting our diet in the spirit of the PB&J Campaign (see website).  Don’t get us wrong, we like meat as much as the next person, but the environmental impact of a plant based diet cannot be denied.  According to the PB&J website, “Each time you have a plant-based lunch like a PB&J you’ll reduce your carbon footprint by the equivalent of 2.5 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions over an average animal-based lunch like a hamburger, a tuna sandwich, grilled cheese, or chicken nuggets. For dinner you save 2.8 pounds and for breakfast 2.0 pounds of emissions.  If you have a PB&J instead of a red-meat lunch like a ham sandwich or a hamburger, you shrink your carbon footprint by almost 3.5 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions.”

Think about how much food, water, land, and energy it takes to raise livestock; far greater than what it takes to sustain a human being (see how it works).  Every time you eat a plant based lunch (no cheese), you would save 40% of the emissions saved by driving around a hybrid car for a day, not to mention far cheaper.

So please, join KSBB in making a huge impact on our planet by going vegetarian for a month.  It’ll give you the opportunity to explore new foods and perhaps make some great health related changes.  Remember, it’s only a month.

Post here and show your support.  If you have questions or would like to see our meal plan for the next 4 weeks send an email to ksbbinfo@gmail.com 


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Everything Starts Somewhere… This is Your Somewhere

As we get set to start a new calendar year, we just wanted to take a moment to again say “thank you” for making KSBB’s first year a enjoyable and productive one.  Here’s to a great 2011!

We are currently working on many exciting projects for the new year including re-energizing the City Beautiful Movement, a park crawl (think pub crawl goes green), a recycled landscapes garden, and many more clean-up opportunities.  We look forward to seeing you!

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SB Parks and Rec Volunteer Reception

Tonight at 6:00pm, South Bend Parks and Recreation Dept will be hosting their annual Volunteer Reception at the Chris Wilson Pavillion in Potawatomi Park.  KSBB will be honored as will many others.  We just wanted to take this opportunity to say thank you to the many people who helped make our two events this year so successful.

Park(ing) Day garnered much attention for KSBB and for our emerald parks.  We really enjoyed working with the City of South Bend, Fiddler’s Hearth, Ampco Systems Parking, Foegley Landscape, and Ren Hen Turf farm.  Participating in a world wide phenomenon was a great way to kick-off KSBB’s involvment in the South Bend Community.

The same great things can be said of our experience with “The Great South Bend Clean-up”.  KSBB had over 40 volunteers, representing a variety of organizations, working at 4 of the major parks in the area.  Volunteers from Memorial Hospital, Riverbend Credit Union, the Troyer Group, St. Joseph Catholic Parish, Michiana Watershed, and many others cleaned up portions of Leeper Park, Howard Park, Potawatomi Park, and Rum Villiage.  We look forward to an even bigger impact next year.

Photos for these and all our events can be found at our Picasa web gallery: http://picasaweb.google.com/KSBBinfo.

Thank you for your support, your continued enthusiam, and your dedication to all things clean, green, and beautiful.  Together, we will do great things!

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The Great South Bend Clean-up

As we approach the weekend, and KSBB’s first Great South Bend Clean-up, we briefly wanted to touch on the importance of events like this.  While the intended focus is to improve the general aesthetics of our community, specifically our beautiful parks, the systemic benefits are easily missed.  By participating in the Great South Bend Clean-up and events like it, individual facets of health (physical, mental, social, and environmental) are improved as well.  The activities involved encourage physical activity, social interaction, urban respite, and improve our natural resources.  So get out, enjoy the outdoors, and rain or shine, we’ll be building community and improving health on Saturday.

The Great South Bend Clean-up is being held on Saturday, October 2nd, from 9:00am-11:30am, at Leeper Park, Howard Park, Rum Villiage/Bowman Creek, and Potawatomi Park.  Contact us at KSBBinfo@gmail.com for more information on how you can participate!

 KSBB_great sb clean-up flyer

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