You never know where a movement is going to begin. Sometimes it starts with a teacher, reading a book and getting inspired. (How can we get inspired in Lac qui Parle?) Read this exceprr from a recent article from MinnPost for more…
In the summer of 2008, Pat Collins was in his tent on a rainy day in the Boundary Waters, reading a book called Earth: The Sequel: The Race to Reinvent Energy and Stop Global Warming. Collins, a science teacher and baseball coach for the Chisago Lakes School District, had been thinking about ways the district could do its part to be more environmentally conscious.
Maybe it was time, he thought, to actually do something. When Collins got home, he got ahold of his middle school principal, John Menard, and told him, “Hey, we should put up 10 Kilowatts of solar! It’ll cost $100,000.”
Menard’s reaction? “He said, ‘You do realize the economy has just collapsed and you want to do what?’ ” Collins recalled with a laugh.
Collins and Menard talked with their colleagues and students and eventually approached the school board, pitching their plan as a community service project that might also save the district some money. The board approved the proposal – for a 44-solar panel array on the middle school – that winter.
Nearly a decade later, nearly 1,000 solar panels now sit on the roofs of the district’s five schools.