Five locations showcasing green initiatives and ideas are on the map for this year's Bemidji Sustainable Places Tour.

The event, now in its eighth year, is a joint effort of the BSU Sustainability Office, the city of Bemidji, the Sustainable Bemidji group and Clean Energy Resource Teams. The tour is scheduled for Saturday, July 13, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.

Leading the planning effort for the tour is BSU Sustainability office Intern Valerie Winter. In a press release, Winter, a mass communications major from Finlayson, Minn., said "working with community members and businesses that keep sustainable practices in mind has been a great growing opportunity and an enjoyable internship experience."

Presentations making up Saturday's tour include:

  • A residential solar presentation at 9 a.m. by Greg and Beth Oja of Bemidji, who recently installed a solar system in their home at 51715 179th Ave. They will share their expierence as members of Bemidji's Solar Cooperative.
  • Bemidji Parks and Recreation Director Marcia Larson will give a tour of the recently planted Birds, Bees and Butterflies garden on Lake Bemidji's South Shore at 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. Located at 502 Paul Bunyan Drive SE, the garden is dedicated to supporting pollinators with native vegetation.
  • At 10:30 a.m. and noon, Lakeland PBS will share the cost savings with their rooftop solar system, installed in 2018, and its geothermal unit, built in 2015. Lakeland PBS is located at 108 Grant Ave. NE.
  • Staff and volunteers at the Bemidji Community Food Shelf will present its tunnel system and deep-winter greenhouse at 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. to show how the structures use passive-solar energy to maintain effective growing temperatures year-round. The food shelf is located at 1260 Exchange Ave. SE.
  • Sam Mason of Beltrami Electric Cooperative and Roger Garton of Otter Tail Power Co. will discuss electric vehicle technology and the progress of supportive infrastructure in Bemidji at 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. The presentation will take place at 4111 Technology Drive NW.

Attendees are encouraged to carpool or bike to the event. For more information, visit