Twenty-plus years ago, Diane Conners saw an opportunity to trade her work in journalism for a more diverse career. She began working with farmers, conservationists, policy makers and others committed to protecting the land, the environment and a way of life she’d come to treasure in Leelanau County. Turned out, it was turning to the land. She shifted gears and began working for the Michigan Land Use Institute—now the Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities. Conners authored the book “Shared Abundance: Lessons in Building Community Around Locally Grown Food” just prior to her retirement. Groundwork Center dubs it “Part gorgeous, story-filled coffee-table book and part local food economy strategy manual.”

The U.S. Senate has passed its historic climate change legislation, and the House of Representatives is expected to soon follow suit and send to President Biden to sign the bill. The political victory comes not a moment too soon, with a rapidly warming planet striking communities with one climate-related disaster after another. Leelanau County, too, is enjoying the momentum of the clean energy movement. Earlier this summer, Leelanau Energy launched its “Energize Leelanau Challenge” initiative to locate clean energy or energy efficiency projects in the county that are shovel-ready and that benefit communities, and help fund them with seed money totaling between $250 and $15,000 per project.

The Envirothon team at Glen Lake Schools is raising money for an 8kW, adjustable solar array at school. They will kick off an innovative fundraising drive based on the nonprofit clean energy crowdfunding website SolaRISE at halftime during tonight’s varsity basketball game against Leland.

Just before Christmas, Ian Olmsted and a team from Peninsula Solar completed the installation of 70 rooftop solar panels above the Art’s Annex, the former gas station turned t-shirt shop next to the popular tavern in downtown Glen Arbor. The solar array will generate 30,000 kilowatt hours annually —satisfying 15-20 percent of Art’s energy load.

Taste the Local Difference (TLD), Michigan’s local food marketing agency and a social enterprise of the Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, is facilitating a state funded grant called Building Healthy Communities (BHC) that creates local change for better health.

Cherry Republic president Bob Sutherland and his sons Colebrook and Hawthorn bite into Michigan Apple Crunch Day on Oct. 25 at Glen Lake School. The event was sponsored by Cherry Capital Foods, Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District, and the Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities, which celebrated 15 years of catalyzing the farm to school movement in northern Michigan.

Thousands of children and adults statewide will crunch into fresh Michigan apples on Wednesday, Oct. 25, in the fifth annual Michigan Apple Crunch, sponsored by Cherry Capital Foods.

By Jacob Wheeler Sun editor When Gary Cozette and Joe Lada climb the ladder to the roof of their “Tower House” in Burdickville, they behold a breathtaking view of the Glen Lakes, with the Sleeping Bear Dunes and Lake Michigan in the distance. In their immediate foreground is an array of recently installed, cutting-edge solar […]

Northern Michigan’s largest brand puts on one of the best athletic events of the year. At 8 a.m. on Saturday, June 10, 900 racers will line up for the ninth annual M22 Challenge. The race includes a 2.5-mile run, 17-mile bicycle ride, and 2.5-mile paddle — making it the most unique “tri” event in northern Michigan.

The Michigan legislature is considering whether to continue, or expand, a new state pilot project that is increasing business from schools for a significant number of farms and related food companies throughout the state and in Leelanau County.