Kudos to a grant of nearly $ 600,000 over five years from the Federal Drug-Free Communities Support Program to a local anti-drug coalition.
Adolescent Chemical Wellness Advocates is a group of representatives from area schools, health care organizations, law enforcement agencies and others working to address substance use among children. young people in the region. The grant will be used in part to hire a coordinator dedicated to advancing coalition initiatives.
As more and more drug overdoses multiply in the region, it is clear that more attention needs to be paid to this growing problem among adolescents and young adults.
Among Minnesota residents in 2020, 14,475 non-fatal drug overdoses were treated in hospitals, according to a report from the state health department. Minnesotans aged 15 to 34 have experienced the highest number of non-fatal overdoses.
Like any big problem, awareness and education are essential to combat it.
The coalition’s educational events for professionals and the public next week are a solid step in the right direction.
The ‘Lord God bird’ is gone
Boost to the continuing extinction crisis and the rapid decline in biodiversity on the planet.
The US Fish and Wildlife Service this week announced plans to move 23 species of flora and fauna from the “endangered” to “extinct” list. The most important of the species for which there is no realistic chance that it will still survive is the ivory-billed woodpecker, once an icon of the old growth forest from North Carolina to Texas. This habitat has all but disappeared, and despite decades of supposed sightings, the giant woodpecker left with it.
The proposed removal would more than triple the number of species declared extinct since the endangered species law was passed nearly half a century ago, from 11 to 34. And biologists say ‘about a million other species are likely to become extinct within a decade. , habitat loss, climate change and other human acts.
The ivory-billed woodpecker would have been nicknamed the “Lord God bird” because that was the reaction of people who saw it for the first time. If the wildlife service is okay, no one will ever see him again. That’s a shame.
Kudos to the cities of Mankato and North Mankato for taking a proactive approach against the emerald ash borer disease.
The two towns have made plans to remove ash trees from boulevards and parks in a methodical manner every year. Ash trees in distress or those already infected with the emerald ash borer will come first, but hundreds of healthy trees will also leave each year.
While it is sad to see majestic and mature trees felled, it makes sense to remove ash trees on a planned, multi-year basis. The emerald ash borer is there and continues to spread and it will kill every tree it infects, which ultimately will be all ash. (Homeowners who want to spend the money can have ash trees treated regularly to keep them healthy, but this is not feasible on a large scale.)
As ash trees are such a dominant species in the state, there is a lot to be removed. It is a significant cost for cities and is labor intensive. Spreading the costs and work over the next several years makes more sense than waiting for a large number of trees to die and trying to fix the problem at that time.
It also allows for a greater variety of new trees to be planted, sooner rather than later.
Habitat for Women at Work Program
Kudos to Habitat for Humanity of South Central Minnesota for their program that works with female volunteers to help build their homes in a program called “She Nailed It”.
This is a more recent initiative not only to create links between female Habitat construction teams, but also to introduce women to a volunteer activity that some may not automatically register for.
Scheels, HomeTown Bank, LIV Aveda, Pioneer Bank and The Free Press have deployed teams in recent efforts. Encouraging female Habitat volunteers will likely increase the overall pool of volunteers for these worthy causes.