Thursday, September 21, 2006

Tour's First Day Offered Inspiration in Waterloo, Cedar Falls, and Decorah

We began the Tour yesterday by biking on Waterloo/Cedar Falls’s very good bike trail system. Our first rally was at Washington Park in Waterloo where we met with Mark Kresowik a conservation organizer for the Sierra Club. After the rally, Mark led our group on to UNI where we toured the Center for Energy and Environmental Education and spoke with the director, Bill Stigliani. We were interviewed by Greg Shanley of KUNI and a reporter from the student newspaper, The Northern Iowan. After biking about 20 miles we loaded up the bikes and headed north to Decorah.

When you see the Grimstads’ home in Decorah, Iowa you would not imagine it contains two such socially conscious individuals. Larry and Diane Grimstad live to reduce energy waste and produce their own. Their website describes the energy they gather from the sun, the wind and the ground. Their two hybrid cars have bumper stickers that state “Please learn about global warming” and their website says the same:

The Green Bikers joined with Prof. Jon Jensen and two Luther students at the Grimstads’ to ride to Luther College campus. There we heard a good speech from President Richard Torgerson. He explained the college was meeting several of its energy reduction goals. He also acknowledged that several students and teachers on campus were pushing the College to install a wind turbine. State Representative Chuck Gipp described the law that will make Luther’s wind turbine more possible. Environmental Concerns Organization, the environmental group on campus used the Green Bike visit to advertise the work they are doing. Luther College is a place where energy efficiency and renewable energy are valued!

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The Green Bike Tour is sponsored by The University of Iowa's Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, The Iowa Policy Project, and The Fred & Charlotte Hubbell Foundation, and Kelly Webworks.