Thank you for attending the 11th Annual Green Gifts Fair! We look forward to seeing you next year!

Rochester and Region: Lake City and Zumbrota-Green and Sustainable Living Resources

Do It Green! Minnesota

Best known as the home of the Mayo Clinic and IBM, Rochester is also southeastern Minnesota’s largest community with approximately 137,000 residents in the city and Olmsted County. Money Magazine recently said it best: “One thing to remember about Rochester is that it has the sophistication of a larger metro area, but not the congestion or the complications.” Named “Best Small City” in America, Rochester merges a cosmopolitan atmosphere with Midwestern hospitality. Its location along the Zumbro River in the Mississippi Bluff Country adds to the city’s prairie appeal.

Rochester is home to what may be the state’s greenest school building, George Gibbs Elementary, which opened in the fall of 2009. The school features a hybrid geothermal HVAC system and is built to maximize systems efficiency and the use of natural light. Recycling and other green practices will be part of the school’s daily to-do list. LEED certification for Gibbs is pending.

The growing Midwestern wind power industry can find a unique resource in Rochester as well: training for wind turbine installation. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 343’s Wind Training Facility hosted a visit from Energy Secretary Steven Chu in August of 2009. This program, which is slated to expand in coordination with Rochester Community and Technical College, is the only one of its kind in the nation. Local officials and business leaders hope to replicate its success as more wind power resources are developed throughout the country.

Rochester and neighboring Lake City, Zumbrota, and Lanesboro are home to many green initiatives and businesses, some of which are listed here, courtesy of the Rochester Convention and Visitor’s Bureau website, rochestercvb.org/green, and business web sites where available.

BUILDINGS

Olmsted County Waste-to-Energy Facility

co.olmsted.mn.us/health/owef.asp

The Olmsted Waste-to-Energy Facility (OWEF) is making garbage useful by burning it to produce energy in the form of steam and electricity. Each day non-recyclable waste is turned into heat, electricity and air conditioning for more than 26 county public buildings.

Bio-Business Center

Rochester’s first LEED-certified building.

BUSINESSES

Bubbles by Brooks

Rochester, MN

877-235-0061

bubblesbybrooks.com

Bubbles by Brooks, inspired by interconnection of life, provides natural, earth-friendly personal care products that help customers live a more healthy and sustainable lifestyle.

Herring Garden Design

Rochester, MN

877-450-9815

herringexteriordesign.com

Providing ecological restoration services through buckthorn & invasive species removal, prescribed burns, species specific tree and woody control (using non-disruptive techniques) and the reintroduction of native plants, trees and shrubs. They restore prairies, oak savannahs, woodlands and wetlands.

Wild Ginger

Zumbrota, MN

507-732-4123

shopwildginger.com

This one-of-a-kind boutique features fair trade and eclectic women’s clothing, shoes, and green goods.

COMMUNICATION

Rochester Post-Bulletin

Green tips and living column

postbulletin.com/life/greenspace

Ecoconfessions blog where residents opine about the perils and rewards of working toward a more sustainable Rochester—postbulletin.typepad.com/ecoconfessions

COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS

The Footprint

the-footprint.net

An environmental e-zine about Rochester’s sustainability efforts.

Global Action

globalactionrochester.org

A group working on a range of environmental issues, including reducing carbon emissions.

Livable Rochester

livablerochester.org

A nonprofit organization dedicated to making Rochester a safer, healthier and more vibrant community by design.

Rochester Public Utilities

rpu.org

Promotes conservation through customer education, appliance and equipment efficiency incentives.

Izaak Walton League

minnesotaikes.org/chapters/

A group dedicated to protecting our nation’s soil, air, woods, waters and wildlife.

RneighborWoods

rneighbors.org

Empowers and educates the community to grow a sustainable urban forest, benefiting the health, social, and economic aspects of Rochester neighborhoods.

EDUCATION

Gibbs Elementary

Rochester, MN 55901

507-328-4100

www.rochester.k12.mn.us/school85/gibbs

The school contains several energy-efficient methods and the district has applied for certification with the U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Efficiency Design (LEED).

Rochester Community and Technical College Associate of Science in Environmental Science Program

Rochester, MN

507-285-7210

rctc.edu

The environmental science program is a 60-credit Associate of Science degree program that provides a broad based understanding of basic sciences and important environmental and social issues.

FOOD

Downtown Farmers Market

rochesterdowntownfarmersmarket.org

Includes a wide selection of locally grown foods from Southeastern Minnesota farmers and growers. There is a huge variety of vegetables, fruits, meats, breads, plants, baked goods, honey and preserves, and fresh cut flowers.

The Good Food Store & The Back Room Deli

Rochester, MN

507-289-9061

rochestergoodfood.com

This consumer-owned and operated store/café provides quality whole foods to support diverse lifestyles. GFS bases the quality of its products on freshness, flavor, nutritional value, and respect for the environment.

Rochester Produce

Rochester, MN

507-252-1626

rochesterproduce.com

Established in September of 2003, Rochester Produce focuses on providing market fresh produce and the best deli meats and cheeses in town.

Söntés

Rochester, MN

507-292-1628

sontes.com/welcome.html

Söntés restaurant features local food, tapas, an extensive and eclectic wine list, and ambiance to spare. Owner Tessa Leung is an active participant in locavore and farm-to-table programs, sourcing produce, cheese and meats from Ames Farm, From the Earth Foods, Hidden Stream Farm, Whitewater Orchard, and the Rochester Downtown Farmer’s Market, among others.

Nosh

Lake City, MN

651-345-2425

noshrestaurant.com

The restaurant’s western Mediterranean influenced American cuisine focuses on the farming community of SE Minnesota and western Wisconsin. The menu is seasonal, breads are baked fresh daily, and ice creams and sausages are handmade at Nosh.

Oak Center/Earthen Path Farm

Lake City, MN

507-753-2080

oakcentergeneralstore.com

The store carries organic meat, produce, eggs, herbs, coffee and bulk items. In the spring and summer bedding plants and perennials are available, as well as a full line of gardening tools and homesteading supplies. Oak Center General Store is also home base for Earthen Path Organic Farm, a 14-acre fruit, herb and vegetable farm, which provides part of the produce for the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program. 

Rabbit’s Bakery

Lake City, MN

651-345-3199

Rabbit’s Bakery features homemade baked goods, breakfast and lunch fare. The menu uses local ingredients in the tradition of Nosh Restaurant, its neighbor and training ground for many of the staff.

Hope’s Harvest Natural Foods and Deli

Lake City, MN

651-345-3690

hopesharvest.com

Hope’s Harvest is a natural foods grocery & deli, featuring salads, sandwiches, smoothies, fair trade coffee & more—all organic! The grocery offers high-quality items focusing on organically grown, locally produced, less processed and modestly packaged foods.

Vintage Restaurant

Lanesboro, MN 55949

888-868-8941

vintageinlanesboro.com

Vintage’s goal is to provide customers with the freshest possible ingredients while helping to sustain the local economy. 

MAPS

Green Routes

Minneapolis, MN

866-378-0587

greenroutes.org

Green Routes maps will help you discover small, unique businesses that are rooted in their communities throughout Minnesota: places to eat where the food is not only fresh from a family farm, but where you might bump into the farmers who grew it; places to have fun while helping to ensure that natural and cultural resources will be around for many generations to come. Green Routes gives you a way to incorporate your values into your travels.

RECREATION

 

http://www.ci.rochester.mn.us/

 

The City’s trail system, access to mass transit, bike racks and Mayo Park are considered sustainability assets.

Quarry Hill Nature Center

Rochester, MN

507-281-6114

www.qhnc.org

The 320-acre park features paved and hiking trails, a pond, and a historical man-made sandstone cave. In the winter months, cross country skis and snowshoes are available for rent to use in the park. Year-round outdoor education classes, day camps, trips, and activities are offered by Nature Center staff.

NOTE: The organizations and businesses on this page were chosen by the authors and are not necessarily endorsed by Do It Green! Minnesota.

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