Deborahmclaren's Weblog

Sustianable Tourism, Buy Local, Rural-Urban Connections

Archive for June, 2010

All for Good

Posted by deborahmclaren on June 30, 2010

All for Good is a great website to find and share ways to do good.

Each of us has a role to play in improving our communities and our country. Small actions add up to a big difference.

* You can make an impact by getting involved, making a donation or learning about volunteering in a disaster situation.

Help improve your community

* Find volunteer activities near you.
* Share volunteer activities with your friends.
* See what your friends are interested in.
* Track volunteer activities you care about.
* Sign in with Facebook, Google, or more »

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Nature Valley Bicycle Festival

Posted by deborahmclaren on June 17, 2010

Join the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival this week – it’s all over Minnesota!

The Nature Valley Grand Prix is returning to Minnesota, bigger and better than ever. This five day stage race, which is part of the Nature Valley Bicycle Festival, draws the top pro/elite racers from all over the country.

If you’ve experienced pro/elite racing before, you’ll want to mark your calendars for June 16-20, 2010. If you haven’t, you’ll want to find out what you’ve been missing.

Want to race your bikes on the same course as the pros? And win a real bike racing medal? Then come on down to the Nature valley Bicycle Festival. We are having kids’ fun races in Saint Paul, Cannon Falls, Minneapolis, Menomonie and Stillwater. The races are free and open to all kids ages 12 and under. And everyone wins a medal!

Nature Valley Bicycle Festival benefits Children’s Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota!

Meet me there!

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Thank you Nat’l Geographic Society – “Navigate the North Woods”

Posted by deborahmclaren on June 17, 2010

Thanks for providing information in the NG newsletter about Minnesota’s Great North Woods! Here’s their excerpt:

E-NEWS • 06.2010

Explore over 1,500 miles of canoe routes, 2,400 designated
campsites, and more than 1,000 lakes this summer with three new
detailed maps for Boundary Waters Canoe Area and Voyageurs
National Park.

Boundary Waters East

Boundary Waters West

Voyageurs National Park %LINK_ID=162983020

Nat Geo Maps Blog (links to:


Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

Small Towns Rule!

Posted by deborahmclaren on June 12, 2010

Just spent two exciting days in Morris, Minnesota (west Minnesota prairie) attending the Small Towns Symposium. The Symposium is organized every year by the Center for Small Towns (CST) at the University of Minnesota Morris. CST provides assistance on community and economic development projects—often involving more research or expertise than small towns can afford or provide themselves. At the same time, CST works to involve University of Minnesota, Morris faculty and students in the challenges and issues facing rural communities.

I was part of a sub-group organized by Minnesota Rural Partner’s Jane Leonard who is directing a USDA grant, The Rural-Urban Partnership (RurB) thru April 2011 for a pilot project aimed at strengthening rural and urban connections and designed to foster increased innovation and job creation for the state as a whole. Here are some of the goals from the website:

1. Get Minnesotans talking and thinking about the interdependence between rural and urban areas, as well as future opportunities arising from stronger rural-urban connections;

2. Map existing rural-urban connections with the help of individual Minnesotans, businesses, agencies, nonprofits, economic development groups, academic institutions, foundations, associations, and related groups;

3. Renew and/or build a framework of rural-urban partnerships that can lead to new connections, coordination and collaboration to benefit the state. This includes the formation of a Rural Urban Partnering Council at the June 9 & 10 Symposium on Small Towns and Rural-Urban Gathering at the University of Minnesota, Morris.

120 people participated in the Rural Urban Gathering! Local wines from the Red River Valley and local food were served, the conversations were hot and entrepreneurial, and the band, (the unfortunately named) Strollers, fortunately played some amazing rural American blues.

The overall goal is to generate both interest and ideas for leveraging rural-urban connections, leading to innovative business opportunities and jobs, as well as fostering ongoing dialogue.

Travel Momma is ready and developing an innovative, socially responsible travel business that will focus on rural-urban connections. Let me know what you think and where you want to go!

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The Food Museum and the Potato Museum – yo foodies and travelers!

Posted by deborahmclaren on June 9, 2010

I just came across a gem! The Food Museum! And their sister museum, The Potato Museum! As a lifetime potato girl, I’m intrigued, entranced, salivating and wanting more. They are cool cause they are also online museums and you can visit for free.

The Food Museum examines what we eat and how we eat it, where it came from, how it has evolved, what its impact is on the world, and what its future may be. It researches, collects, preserves, exhibits and explains the history and social significance of the world’s foods. The museum brings artifacts and programs to where people gather, both in person and on-line.

FOOD Museum Online offers exhibits on food history and food heritage sites. Their home page features temporary exhibits and serves as a gateway to food issues, their food news blog, educational programs, book reviews, other food favorites and links.

An American original, the potato is contradictory. What grows above ground is poisonous, what grows below is nourishing. And–though it develops underground, the potato is not a root.

Neither “humble,” nor “lowly,” the potato has traveled widely, stimulated scientific research, erased famine, delighted cook and diner alike, influenced popular culture, inspired artists, and changed history. Lauded as the “world’s most important vegetable,” it produces more nourishing food per acre than any other planted crop.

The tuber’s tale begins in the Andes region of South America, 8000 years ago. Visitors will explore the potato’s travels, how it grows, its influence on history, art, popular culture, and cuisine, as well as controversies surrounding the potato. Both the unraveling of the potato genome and the mystery of the origins of Late Blight are on display, too

The Potato Museum, started (1975) in Brussels, Belgium, is the world’s first museum about the potato and features the planet’s largest collection about this valuable vegetable. The Potato Museum is not a product of the potato industry. They are a non-profit educational organization dedicated to exploring the potato’s fascinating past, controversial present and promising future.

Explore the contrasts, the pros and cons that have swirled around the potato from the beginning, with its poisonous green fruit tempting up top, its powerful fuel hidden away in tubers below.

Check out the Spuds Unearthed!
May 15-October 17, 2010
2400 square feet of potato artifacts, info, imagery, music, genetic material, aeroponically-
grown potato plants, video, clues to the source of Late blight, spudheads, as well as science lectures, “Planet Potato,” a docent-powered Spud Discovery Cart, photography, and more. All in the East Gallery of the U.S.Botanic Garden, our nation’s garden and plant resource showcase right on the Mall in Washington, DC.


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To Do! and TOURA D ‘OR Awards socially responsible tourism contest

Posted by deborahmclaren on June 7, 2010

Applications open for Studienkreis international contests TO DO! and TOURA D’OR; Awards To
Be Given At ITB Berlin 2011

Berlin, 2 June 2010 – The TO DO! – Contest Socially Responsible Tourism is announced worldwide for the 16th time by tudienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung e.V. (Institute for Tourism and Development). Enterprises and public or private institutions that take into account the interests and needs of the local population in their touristic activities are welcome to apply.

That socially responsible and sustainable projects and measures can be economically
successful at the same time has been proven by this year’s TO DO! award winners from the Gambia and Mozambique. The winners receive their awards and the prize money during the ITB Berlin 2010– after a thorough selection process by a jury and an on-site visit of an expert.

Award Winner TO DO! 1999 Lehm- und Backsteinstra�e e.V., Germany

Award Winner TO DO! 1999 Lehm- und Backsteinstra�e e.V., Germany

The international TOURA D ‘OR – Film Contest Sustainable Tourism
, which has been organized bi-annually since 1990, calls for entries of tourism-related films from professional filmmakers, producers, and agencies. Productions which support a socially responsible, environmentally compatible and thus future-oriented tourism are honoured in different categories. Accepted are contributions in PAL-system as VHS tapes or DVDs in German or English, produced within the period of 2008 to 2010. The TOURA D’OR award ceremony will also take place during the ITB 2011.

On the websites


further information about the contests as well as all TO DO! and TOURA D’OR winners (including short film clips) are available in German and English. The conditions of participation and applications forms are also available for downloading.

Deadline of application for TO DO! 2010: August 31, 2010.

Deadline of application for TOURA D'OR 2010: September 30, 2010.

For further information about both contests: Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung e.V. (Institute for Tourism and Development), Kapellenweg 3, D-82541 Ammerland, phone: +49-(0)8177-1783, fax: +49-(0)8177-1349, email:

TO DO! award-winning Sponsors of the TO DO!

For the TO DO! 2010 the Swiss Foundation for Solidarity in Tourism (SST) will donate 5,000 Swiss Francs prize money for each winner. The Europäische Reiseversicherung AG adds another 2,100 Euros for the award winners.

Cooperation Partners

– for TO DO!: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and
Development, Europäische Reiseversicherung AG, Church Development Service (EED),
ITB Berlin, Swiss Foundation for Solidarity in Tourism, Studiosus Reisen München

– for TOURA D 'OR: see

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Slow Food Minnesota’s summer potluck and lecture: Ginny Black on composting

Posted by deborahmclaren on June 3, 2010


Slow Food Minnesota’s summer potluck and lecture: Ginny Black on composting

Ginny Black on composting
Sunday, June 13, 4 – 7 p.m.
Minnehaha Park, Minneapolis

“Join us for a talk on composting from a backyard-to-statewide perspective with Ginny Black. Ginny works for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency as its organics recycling specialist. She assists the private, public and non-profit sectors in reusing and recycling food residuals and non-recyclable paper. She also works with compost facilities to develop markets for high quality compost. She has served as a Board member of the US Composting Council board of directors since 1995.

The talk will be followed by a semi-potluck picnic. Slow Food Minnesota provides the main course of grilled meats and vegetarian options. Please bring a side dish or dessert.

We’ve reserved a lovely picnic facility with hiking trails and even a wading pool nearby. Location details: Wabun B picnic area, Minnehaha Park, 47th Ave. S. and Godfrey Parkway, Minneapolis, MN 55406.

Reservations: $10 for members; $15 for non-members; children 12 and under, free. To reserve by mail: please send a check to Barbara Horter, 14137 Whiterock Road, Burnsville, MN 55337. Please include the names of adults for check-in. Be sure to include the number of children 12 and under.”

For more information, contact:
See for more information and to register online.

Events in the planning stage:
• Baking deli breads with the St. Paul Bread Club. Tentatively in July. Members only.
• More Snail in the Park potlucks: August 22 (farm to school) and October 17 (food writers).
• A Hmong food and farming event.
• A chocolate tasting this winter.
• Tales of Terra Madre: a forum about Slow Food International’s conference on sustainable food. December.
• Film showing this winter.

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