Articles written by Chris Gass

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 By Chris Gass    Opinion    May 8, 2020

The Green Guy: I'm leaving, but SWCD works goes on

Goodbye. Maybe it’s just me, but “goodbye” seems reserved for formal occasions with suits and ties or when the end just can’t come soon enough. I much prefer the intentionally vague “until...

 By Chris Gass    News    April 24, 2020

The Green Guy: Kits will help you create a pollinator-friendly habitat

Every year, there seems to be more and more buzz about bees, butterflies, and pollinators. More information seems to come out about their benefits, pesticide alternatives for your plants, or the “to...

 By Chris Gass    News    April 17, 2020

The Green Guy: Earth Day was an inspiration

Anniversaries are special occasions. And next week we celebrate 50 years from when we experienced one of the greatest shifts in values in the U.S. and across the globe: Earth Day. The first Earth Day... Full story

 By Chris Gass    News    March 13, 2020

The Green Guy: Recycling has many parts

Reduce, reuse, recycle … it’s stated so much that you probably give it little actual thought and instead just let it go in one ear and out the other. Now there is nothing I have negative to say...

 By Chris Gass    News    February 28, 2020

Students capture work of SWCD land practices

Esko High School students partnered with the Carlton County Soil and Water Conservation District to create six videos highlighting conservation programs. The competition addressed the challenges of...

 By Chris Gass    News    January 31, 2020

The Green Guy: Recycling hits a snag, but residents can help

Two years ago, some serious waves crashed in on recycling circles: China would no longer accept our reclaimed materials, especially plastics. It established what was labeled an all-out halt on... Full story

 By Chris Gass    News    January 31, 2020

Local culvert efforts recognized statewide

Carlton County department members and the Carlton Soil and Water Conservation District earned statewide recognition recently for efforts on culverts the past several years. The Carlton County...

 By Chris Gass    News    December 20, 2019

The Green Guy: Getting a green message to students

In offering workshops and programs at Cloquet Library, the Carlton County Soil and Water Conservation District seeks to better connect with residents with the goal of building up an understanding of...


Kids, adults invited to learn about keeping salt out of water at library classes Dec. 9, 18

And just like that, Thanksgiving whizzes by and the holiday season begins. To add to the long list of seasonal happenings such as Bentleyville and holiday plays and visits with Santa, the Carlton... Full story


The Green Guy: Now is the time to tackle buckthorn

Believe it or not, fall is the best time of year to tackle buckthorn. The pesky and intrusive invasive is most vulnerable when cooler weather rolls in for a couple reasons. One, it is one of the...


The Green Guy: Leaves are pretty in the fall, pretty dangerous for water

The recent wind and rain have taken a toll on the leaves. In turn, the crinkly debris is strewn all over, leading to the debate on collecting or ignoring them. Whatever side of the fence you sit on...

 By Chris Gass    Outdoors    October 4, 2019

The Green Guy: Walk in the woods shows how management works

Fall is my favorite time of the year, or at least it’s a tie for first with spring. The weather is favorable and the pestering insects are well suppressed thanks to the mild temps. All this adds up...

 By Chris Gass    News    August 9, 2019

Green guy: It's easy to be bee-friendly

Just a few weeks ago on a fine July Saturday afternoon, I had the pleasure of taking part in the Oldenburg’s “Bee Friendly Day.” The event, centered around capturing the importance of...

 By Chris Gass    Opinion    July 19, 2019

Volunteering is part of a strong community

The season of giving. When is it? I’d argue that the season never truly ends, as giving can be, and should be, year-round. One can give in many ways, through either resources or time; each is import... Full story

 By Chris Gass    Outdoors    June 21, 2019

Green guy: Trees, in the end, are a real bargain

We’ve all heard the adage “Money doesn’t grow on trees” at some point, especially as children. Granted, we can point out that fruit, timber and other such goods are indeed abundant in our econ...

 By Chris Gass    Outdoors    June 7, 2019

Trees have benefits beyond the aesthetic

If you're like me, late spring and early summer is a favorite time of the year. It's a treat to get outdoors, and I'm of the opinion that you don't need to travel beyond city limits for the...

 By Chris Gass    Outdoors    May 24, 2019

Controlling runoff at home can be easy

Last week, I was able to attend a two-day workshop on stormwater practices geared towards teaching the best ways to inspect and maintain green stormwater infrastructure. No doubt, the workshop is...

 By Chris Gass    Outdoors    May 17, 2019

Dog poop adds up to more than a dirty shoe

I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but the morning routine outside sure has changed from just a month ago. No more does it seem to be solemn and dark, and still past 6:30 a.m. Far from it, in...

 By Chris Gass    Outdoors    April 26, 2019

Adopt a Drain program

It’s official, ice-out season is in, and open waters are coming our way! Dedicated water enthusiasts are ready to pry their way out the door and itching for their chance to get out to enjoy the...

 By Chris Gass    Outdoors    April 5, 2019

Try something new this spring: Adopt a drain

The season of spring may well be considered the season of new. As the latest-model boats and motorcycles hit the market, grills and other summertime recreation equipment fill the stores, and the...

 By Chris Gass    Outdoors    March 29, 2019

Do your part to cleanup stormwater runoff

We have now officially entered spring! Shouts of “Hooray!” and sighs of relief can be heard from warm-weather fans all through the area (I know most of our office is Team Summer). Still, even if...

 By Chris Gass    Outdoors    March 8, 2019

The ripple effect of salt in our water

Last week, I touched on the growing problem of chloride (salt) pollution in our waterways, and steps that we can all take to help slow the increase of this substance. This time, we are going to dive...

 By Chris Gass    Outdoors    March 1, 2019

Mother Earth needs a low-salt diet, too

Low-salt diets are a common recommendation for many adults these days. Doctors have individuals adjust the consumption of foods and seasonings to limit their intake of sodium and in turn have...


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