By: Kate Schramm & Tasha Caswell
One of the great things about working at CHS is the organization’s commitment to the legacy of the past, as well as paying attention to the legacy we are leaving to the future. The CHS Green Committee is made up of a rotating group of members who are interested in helping to promote environmentally friendly practices throughout museum operations. Each member of the committee has big dreams for what CHS can do within its everyday business practices, as well as what CHS can contribute to the local ecosystem where our building is located!
Since 2018, CHS staff have participated in an annual Earth Day Cleanup on the CHS grounds. Situated on 7 acres that backs up to wooded areas along the North Branch of the Park River, we regularly see wildlife pass through like turkeys and red-tailed hawks (big fans of the resident squirrels and rabbits) and have even had visitors like bobcats and bears! On Earth Day, staff volunteers take their lunch breaks to don gloves and haul trash bags to pick up the wooded and less-trodden corners of our grounds.
This year, we faced Spring snow and gusty winds—yikes!
The Green Committee has a number of indoor projects in the works, including improving paper use and recycling efforts, pushing for reduced plastic use, and seeing where more energy-efficient lighting can be put to use in the CHS!
As part of enjoying and utilizing our beautiful grounds, the Green Committee is trying to find new ways for us to enjoy the outdoors at CHS! We’re excited to see the outdoor concert series return this summer on our lawn, and there are many family programs that will include outdoor components!
As part of helping our local pollinators, one of the CHS raised beds will feature a number of native wildflowers this year—stop in to see what kinds of butterflies and bees drop by! We hope eventually to have a full-scale pollinator garden on the CHS grounds—if you would like to support this effort, please contact Kate Schramm at Kate_Schramm@chs.org.
The Green Committee will continue to explore ways that the CHS can be a good neighbor to our human community as well as our natural environment.
It just goes to show that you can love history AND nature—the two are mutually compatible!