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Ecosource directory releases 2001 edition

Looking for a one-stop guide to all the environmental organizations in the region? Then consider including Ecosource 2001 in your reference library. Or, if you're going paperless this year, bookmark the directory through the Internet at http://ww...

Looking for a one-stop guide to all the environmental organizations in the region?
Then consider including Ecosource 2001 in your reference library. Or, if you're going paperless this year, bookmark the directory through the Internet at http://www.ecosource.tsx.org .
Ecosource 2001, which is in its second year of printing, has been expanded to include more than 100 listings, said Craig Minowa, coordinator of the Environmental Association for Great Lakes Education (EAGLE), who compiled the directory.
The directory includes not only mission statements, current environmental issues each organization is working on, contact numbers, and in some cases a history of the group, but also listings for businesses, government agencies and education and information centers that deal with the environment.
West Amity Neighborhood Association is listed in the directory, as is the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. So is the Green Mercantile and Positively 3rd Street Bakery, just to mention a few. And almost every non-profit environmental group has a presence here, including the Save Lake Superior Association, the Lake Superior Greens, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, The Duluth Public-Policy Alliance and more.
The Ecosource directory has become a key resource for many activists and organizations in the region and calls are still coming in from groups who want to be included in next year's issue, Minowa said.
"It's just not for nonprofits, either," he said. "It is a grassroots tool for citizens to get more involved."
The Web page, especially, provides a network for environmental organizations not only to disseminate information about issues they are working on but also to find out about the work others are doing, he said. The network also provides free updates about environmental issues and events in the region to subscribers.
In fact, Ecosource has demonstrated such potential that the project was recently chosen by a major national foundation, C.S. Mott, to be duplicated in 11 states and provinces in the Great Lakes Region.
"We'll be doing projects modeled after Ecosource in every state and province in the entire Great Lakes basin," Minowa said. Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania and Ontario, Canada will all have their versions of the Ecosource. Each will also have Web sites and will be linked through a master Web site. And a master directory will be compiled as well.
At this point, Minowa is estimating the directory could run to at least 1,000 pages.
"It'll give each of these organizations a chance to get out to the public," he said. "And it'll help them network with similar organizations that are working on the same issues in other states or provinces."
That's quite an accomplishment for a project that grew out of an Earth Day fair at the Whole Foods Co-op a few years ago.
Minowa, who had just moved up from the Twin Cities and was working as the member service manager at the Whole Foods Co-op at the time, was trying to contact environmental groups to have booths at an Earth Day Fair at the co-op.
"I started looking in the yellow pages for environmental organizations to contact," Minowa said. "There were only five organizations listed."
He realized that there had to be many more nonprofit environmental organizations in the area, but how to find them?
"We started spreading the word at the co-op and started trying to do this name pooling," he said. "Finally, when all was said and done, we had a list of 15 or 20 groups."
That was the just start of a tremendous effort over the past two years that has not only put the spotlight on all the nonprofit organizations and groups that are working on environmental issues in the Northland but has also has spawned a strong presence on the Internet.
The Ecosource web page is sometimes swamped with all the hits on it, he said. It includes information about every organization in the directory, as well as calendars of environmental events and links to a wide variety of environmental information pages.
Locally, EAGLE also provides a 24-hour hotline at 726-1828. If somebody is in the office, requests are handled then, but individuals can call the number at any time and access information about groups or issues, like mercury in Lake Superior.
"It's been getting a lot of calls," Minowa said.
The one-stop resource is available at a table outside the EAGLE office on the third floor of the DeWitt-Seitz Building in Canal Park, or it can be ordered at 726-1828.
Joan Farnam is community page editor at the Budgeteer News. Reach her at joan.farnam@duluth.com or at 723-1207.

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