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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Katarina Rothhorn
Katarina Rothhorn
Features Writer

The first message I ever sent from my Northern Michigan University sanctioned email was to the editor-in-chief of the North Wind asking if there was any way I could join the staff. Classes hadn't even...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Protecting Upper Peninsula water

As I was figuring out where I should attend college, I was overwhelmed with various options; however, something about Northern Michigan University stood out to me. It’s hard to find a school with the perfect balance between academics and outdoor activities that you can enjoy, but Northern has them both.

I knew that I couldn’t be anywhere but close to the wonders of beauty that Earth has to offer. The U.P. has that Colorado vibe but that in-state tuition price as well…best of both worlds.

Look around you in the hallways; is it just me or do half of the students wear flannels and hiking boots every day?

First off, here’s a little information on why Northern is such an “earth enthusiast campus.”

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The region offers 11 hiking trails, 96 miles of cross country ski trails, 500 miles of snowmobile trails, 11 accessible waterfalls and about 10 miles of city bike paths. Just down the road from campus is Presque Isle Park, a 328-acre peninsula park with hiking/ski trails, a boat launch, scenic drive, picnic areas, play ground, band shell and Moosewood Nature Center surrounded by sandy and rocky beaches. For all of the shredders out there, Marquette mountain is where it’s at.

Downhill skiing and snowboarding is available on one of the longest vertical runs in the Midwest. Echo Lake Nature Preserve is an amazing  place to escape studying and relax on the shores of a pristine lake surrounded by granite ridges. Just a five minute drive from campus and you’re at Dead River Falls, surrounded by flowing rivers and majestic waterfalls.

The list goes on and on but Lake Superior is our home. We are surrounded by 1100 miles of scenic shoreline, perfect for sailing, diving, fishing, cliff jumping and swimming. We all share a like-minded passion and appreciation for our earth; however, what can we do to protect it?

Just recently I have had the honor of being part of a passionate and driven environmentalist group called Northern Great Lakes Water Stewards. I get to work with like-minded people who care for and treasure deeply all that Mother Earth provides. If you’d like to be an advocate and protector of the natural environment that surrounds us, join the team. Our mission is to educate others to become active players in protecting and saving what’s left of our fragile environment.

We plan to connect as many people from various walks of life as possible to participate in our mission.

Northern Great Lakes Water Stewards is a faith-based initiative to establish a collaborative partnership to monitor, protect and sanctify the lakes and rivers of our Upper Peninsula.

This non-profit is working hard at becoming more responsible stewards of our watersheds and water resources and to encourage people to become aware of doing their part as well.

What sets this environmentalist group apart from any other is that it is faith-based. We are a very diverse group of spiritual stewards.

“The powerful invitation that is carried in this group is that we are people from extremely different religious traditions but we unite in a common mission to care for, protect and honor the natural world that is our home,” said head member of the Water Stewards Committee Jon Magnuson.

This explains exactly why we have a Buddhist priest and a Lutheran pastor working together; you don’t see this every day. As the team has grown, we now have many more denominations that are represented, including the Methodist, Episcopal, Buddhist, Lutheran and Jewish communities.

Jon Magnuson states, “there is a return of teachings from the  Native American community which are reminding us that the earth and its ecological systems are living things and they need to be treated with reverence.”

We strive to bring a sense of the sacred back to the earth. To our honoring and protection of water. The Northern Great Lakes Water Stewards do this by raising consciousness through prayers, rituals, education, public service announcements and columns in  Marquette Monthly.

The big event that is coming up is at 7 p.m. April 28.  There will be a presentation called “The Gift of Water.” There will be 100 candles burning, while Dr. Scott Herron, an ethnobotanist and a member of the Odawa Tribal community, will be speaking that evening from the perspective of the Native American World.

After the presentation there will be a distribution of 500 cedar trees that people can make a donation for that will be planted in the Yellow Dog community forest this spring. This will be held at Messiah Lutheran church on 305 West Magnetic street and anyone is welcome.

Our main goal is to mobilize and to organize a diverse group of people to join in the extensive work of protecting and honoring the waters that we are surrounded by here in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Save water, save life.

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