Green digest: Sculpture garden

A sculpture garden powered by green energy

WEST CALHOUN — Art and science come together in four sculptures set to be unveiled for the 10 Best Days of The Bakken celebration beginning July 15 at The Bakken Museum.

Each of the four artist-designed sculptures in the Green Energy Art Garden will be powered by green energy from renewable resources like the sun, wind or water. Admission to The Bakken Museum, 3537 Zenith Ave. S., is free during the 10 Best Days of The Bakken event, which coincides with the annual Minneapolis Aquatennial.

“Solar Spitters,” designed by landscape architect and artist Marjorie Pitz, includes three solar-powered, animated water goblins above pools filled with water plants. The sun also powers “The Sonic Articulation of Sunbeams,” an interactive sculpture designed by artists Daniel Dean and Ben Moren and architect Emily Stover that allows viewers to play with the sounds coming from a menagerie of robotic critters.

Furniture-maker Peter Sowinski partnered with Lucas Koski, operations manager of Bedlam Theatre, to create the interactive “Make It Rain” exhibit that kicks into action once the sun activates its solar collector. And sculptor Mayumi Amada combines recycled materials and LED lights in “Finite to Infinite,” a set of kaleidoscopes that transform trash into complex patterns.

There are three Green Energy Days scheduled during the 10 Best Days at The Bakken, including days dedicated to renewable energy from the wind (July 16), sun (July 21) and water (July 23). The Bakken also plans to unveil a new Green Gadgets exhibit.

The 10 Best Days of The Bakken event runs July 15–24, but the Green Energy Art Garden sculptures will remain on display through Sept. 3. For more information, visit


Midtown Greenway Coalition hires new executive director

The Midtown Greenway Coalition announced the hiring of a new executive director, Soren Jensen, in June.

Jensen was described by the organization as an experienced nonprofit worker and an avid cyclist who has ridden in RAGBRAI — the annual ride across Iowa — 14 times, which makes him a good fit for a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving one of the city’s most-used walking and biking paths. He starts in the position July 11.

“I ride the Greenway all the time, and I love the Greenway,” Jensen said.

“One of the messages that I’m going to be bringing out to the community is if you love the Greenway, come join us,” added Jensen, who said one of his primary goals would be to grow the membership base of the organization.

Jensen also planned to lead the coalition in drafting a master plan for the Greenway over the next year. That document would address its potential use as a future streetcar corridor and also emphasize the coalition’s desire for thoughtful development that integrates with the Greenway, he said.

Jensen replaces former executive director and coalition co-founder Tim Springer, who recently retired after 18 years with the organization.

Jensen’s experience in the non-profit sector includes time with the National Parks Conservation Association, American Red Cross and Sabathani Community Center in South Minneapolis. While employed by Target Corporation, he managed the company’s United Way campaign and organized employee volunteer efforts at regional Dayton’s, Hudson’s and Marshall Field’s stores, the coalition reported.


Tour de Fat bike rally returns

The annual Tour de Fat bicycle rally returns to Loring Park 9 a.m.–4 p.m. July 23 courtesy of event sponsor, New Belgium Brewing Company.

The day’s activities include a costumed bicycle parade, bicycle contests, music and the annual car-for-bike swap, in which one volunteer agrees to hand over their car keys and live car-free for one year in exchange for a hand-built Black Sheep commuter bike. To be considered for the swap, volunteers must enter on the event’s Facebook page, or e-mail [email protected]

Expect food and beer, too, including the Fort Collins, Colo.-based brewer’s signature Fat Tire amber ale.

Net proceeds from the event benefit three local cycling nonprofits: Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota, Minneapolis Off-road Cycling Advocates and the Midtown Greenway Coalition. The coalition’s new executive director, Soren Jensen said he planned to attend.

Now in its 12th season, the 13-city tour kicked off June 25 in Durham, N.C., and rolls into its final stop, Austin, Tex., Oct. 22. New Belgium reports the event has raised and donated $1.75 million over the past 11 years and in 2010 raised $331,428.

For more information, visit


Hazardous waste collection event July 21–23

The city is partnering with Hennepin County to sponsor a household hazardous waste collection event July 21–23 at Dunwoody College of Technology, 818 Dunwoody Blvd.

Items will be collected 9 a.m.–4 p.m. each day of the event. Visit for a list of items that will be accepted.