tagged w/ Marquette
During 2008 a solar fountain will flow - and wild flowers will bloom - in a native plants garden that has replaced the lawn at the Lutheran Campus Ministry "Lothlorien" house for students at Northern Michigan University in Marquette.
An interfaith "Blessing of the Garden" ceremony included chanting, incense and other religious traditions from several faith communities.
Earth Keeper Initiative volunteer media advisor Greg Peterson has the story.
The producers thank Lutheran Campus Ministry student leader Sarah Swanson, NMU sophomore from Rapid River, MI for her videography and photography talents that helped make this video possible
(Marquette, Michigan) - In the spring of 2008 a solar fountain will flow and flowers will bloom in a northern Michigan native plants garden nurtured by university students that was blessed by a Buddhist head priest and a Lutheran pastor
A "Blessing of the Garden" ceremony was held in October 2007 at Lothlorien - the Northern Michigan University Lutheran Campus Ministry house near Lake Superior.
A heavy rain poured the entire day almost causing the ceremony to be moved inside, but the sun came out for 20 minutes and the rain resumed just as the blessing and a tour were completed.
Performing the blessing was Rev. Jon Magnuson, director of Lutheran Campus Ministry (LCM) at Northern Michigan University (NMU) in Marquette, MI; and Rev. Tesshin Paul Lehmberg, head priest of Lake Superior Zendo, a Zen Buddhist temple.
The Lothlorien lawn has been turned into a native plants garden that includes rocks from three of the Great Lakes.
The LCM house name, Lothlorien, comes from the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien.
The garden includes Michigan plants and others from the Boreal border regions of the northern United States including Black Eye Susan, aster, dogbane, bluestem, and Sensitive fern.
Prayers, incense, bells, and chants were part of the ceremony that included a tour of the garden by NMU Student Michael Joko Rotter, a member of Lake Superior Zendo.
"Lothlorien is a magical kingdom part of what Tolkien called Middle-earth - where time passes differently," said Rev. Jon Magnuson, a Lutheran pastor, who founded the NMU EarthKeeper Student Team. Many of the campus ministry students belong to the interfaith NMU EK Student Team.
"Our natural native plants landscaping - our Lothlorien garden - is a sign of a new way of living with the world," Magnuson said. "It honors the indigenous and native plants of our region."
"Lothlorien came into being first as a song," Rev. Magnuson said. "The garden will be a haven for birds and other small creatures."
"The fountain represents the water of Lake Superior and the waters of our baptism," Magnuson said.
The Central Upper Peninsula Chapter of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans donated $1,600.
"Students are involved - and we like to support things that young people are going to be enthusiastically involved in like this native plants garden," said Judy Quirk, president of the Thrivent central U.P. chapter.
A fountain in the garden is going to be converted to solar power in the spring of 2008 and the sun will charge a battery allowing the water to flow in cloudy weather.
"We hope this will inspire people to learn the benefits that native plants have, such as requiring a third less water, and no pesticides or fertilizers," said Rotter.
Rotter said the "garden represents the hope of the future."
Cedar Tree Institute:
Lake Superior Interfaith Communication Network:
Thrivent Financial for Lutherans:
http://www.thrivent.comDuring 2008 a solar fountain will flow - and wild flowers will bloom - in a native... more
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(Marquette, Michigan) - The Manoomin Project is restoring wild rice to northern Michigan after the grain disappeared a century ago due to logging, pesticides and other manmade impact.
Over 100 at-risk teens are learning to respect themselves, nature and American Indian culture by planting more than one ton of wild rice during the past four summers. The teens also learn about social issues like racism against Native Americans.
The 2007 planting was delayed six weeks until November due to low water levels.
The teens first participate as part of juvenile court probation for minor crimes but many enjoy the project so much they return the next year.
Guides from several tribes volunteer to teach the teens how to take water samples, and about the historical and cultural importance of the grain that is used in many American Indian ceremonies.
The project was founded by the non-profit Cedar Tree Institute and the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC).
Guides belong to KBIC, the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa (Ottawa) Indians based in downstate Harbor Springs, Michigan, and the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa located close to International Falls, Minnesota near the Canadian border.
Rev. Jon Magnuson, project founder, praised the tribes for working with the teens, most of whom are white. The project includes classroom time, stress reduction exercises, and learning about social issues like prejudice against Native Americans.
In July 2007, the teens heard from Ojibwa elder and Vietnam War veteran Glen Bressette who explained he was the target of racism while their age and overcame problems familiar to the youth like substance abuse and scrapes with the law that included being shot at by police while stealing gas.
The teens witnessed Bressette have a dramatic flashback when a helicopter flew low and close to their meeting site along Lake Superior. He had been a gunner aboard a chopper in Vietnam.
American Indian guide Don Chosa said the teens carry hundreds of pounds of wild rice seeds for miles through thick forests and over mountains to get to seven secret remote planting sites along rivers and lakes. During the hikes, the teens have come upon bears, eagles and other wildlife.
An annual "Blessing of the Wild Rice" ceremony is held that includes American Indian food, songs, language, and prayers. If they want, the teens have the opportunity to learn about God and the environment but they are not forced to be be involved in any religious activities.
Manoomin Project volunteer media advisor Greg Peterson looks at the 2007 planting and four years of success.(Marquette, Michigan) - The Manoomin Project is restoring wild rice to northern... more