ON BEAVER ISLAND
The core foundations of sustainability are the same core foundations on which Tara's Meadow was founded. We firmly believe that human health and wellbeing is rooted in how we interact with and care for our planet. We are highly involved with environmental justice initiatives on the island and on Michigan's mainland.
Beaver Island Sustainability Initiative
Empowering the Beaver Island Community to achieve self-sufficiency in the three pillars of Local Foods, Clean
Energy, Ecology & Cultural Resilience.
Tara's Meadow is a lead partner with the Beaver Island Sustainability Initiative (BISI), where we showcase and advance sustainable solutions in three pillars:
ECOLOGICAL & CULTURAL RESILIENCE
BISI aims to provide a regional model of sustainability by lowering the carbon footprint and building resiliency on Beaver Island through conservation and renewable energy strategies, local food systems, and restoration of healthy ecosystems. Our efforts focus on planning and action steps that engage broad segments of the local population, via cultural inclusion with local Odawa tribal members, collaboration with island civic leaders and organizations, and a youth mentorship initiative that engages young changemakers in experiential education and “hands on” environmental action.
Here are some examples of what we have accomplished in just a few short years since starting the Sustainability Initiative:
Supported a Solar Buying Club on Beaver Island to help community members install home solar systems at reduced cost.
Facilitated and helped to fund Energy Audits as first steps toward energy efficiency for homeowners.
Secured a Department of Energy technical assistance grant, which will drive the data, research, and outreach needed to create a strategy for clean, local, renewable energy on Beaver Island.
Beaver Island Sustainability Fair
A free, annual event celebrating resilient community, culture, and environment on Beaver Island.
The annual Beaver Island Sustainability Fair highlights the progress, successes, and “champions” of the three sustainability pillars of BISI. We honor what Islanders have been doing—and what plans are in the works—to create and support local food, energy, environment, and cultural sustainability.
The free event is open to all islanders and mainland guests and features regional green vendors, sustainable technology, arts, music, environmental action, and education from individuals and organizations through presentations and awards.
In 2019, Tara’s Meadow stepped in to fill the role as a dependable organization to coordinate the Fair. Since that time we’ve increased the Fair’s attendance, enlisting support from numerous organizations both on and off Island. These include the Beaver Island Chamber of Commerce, Charlevoix County Community Foundation, Michigan Environment-Great Lakes & Energy, the Great Lakes Energy Peoples Fund, and many others.