Category: News

Don Lafreniere presents at International Seminar on Urban Form

Don LafreniereDon Lafreniere (SS/GLRC) along with colleagues Dayne Walling (U Minnesota) and Rick Sadler (Michigan State) presented a paper entitled “Rust Belt Cities as Exemplars for Urban Development Practice in a Low-Growth Future” at the International Seminar on Urban Form.

The paper outlines how slow- or no-growth communities in the American Rust Belt have responded to the socio-spatial processes shaping land use, development, and revitalization despite a long history of racial segregation and political fragmentation. The paper highlights the importance of community groups and civic networks in responding to these challenges in depopulating urban regions.


Marie Richards awarded Tribal Food Systems Graduate Fellowship

Marie Richards (PhD student, IHA) has been awarded one of eleven Tribal Food Systems Graduate Fellowships from the Intertribal Agricultural Council and the Inter-Institutional Network for Food, Agriculture and Sustainability. This competitive program provides direct financial support and mentorship for graduate research during the 2020/21 academic year, including mentorship from outside MTU, monthly cohort sessions, and dissemination of project results. The experience and networks fellows will gain through participating in this inaugural Indian Country food systems cohort will expand their network and exposure to scholars multifold. IAC is the nation’s largest and longest standing Native American agriculture and natural resources organization. IAC’s efforts over the past 30 years have supported programming and policy work impacting hundreds of Tribal communities and thousands of individual Tribal producers across the country. INFAS is a national network of food systems academics and institutions. This cohort consists of members from rural communities in South Dakota, to urban populations in California; from the islands of Hawaii, to the vast landscapes of Alaska. This inaugural fellowship year is guaranteed to impact food and agriculture scholarship nationally and beyond! 


New Community Effort Grows and Shares Fresh Food in the Western UP

by Angie Carter, Social Sciences

Growing from the Heart is a new grassroots initiative working to increase access to fresh, local, and nourishing food in Western UP communities this summer. Individual gardeners, groups, and organizations may sign up to be partners in this collective effort by growing food, making land available for food growing, or being a site for food redistribution.

“This program is a beautiful way to share good energy with our community as we grow things from the heart and put that energy into that good food,” explained Kathleen Smith, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) enrolled member, Habitat Specialist at KBIC Natural Resources Department, and Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Community College Board Member.

The Down to Earth Gardening Collective, a new food growing movement started by Michigan Tech students, believes that because food is a basic human need, the commodification and privatization of food leads to the commodification of human life. It  hopes to challenge that notion and create a more communal food system by pooling our land, labor and love.

Information about how to sign up to grow and share food, or how to sign up to be a site for food redistribution, can be found on the Western UP Food Systems Council website. The Western UP Food Systems Council is a regional initiative supporting strengthened food systems in our region. We invite community members and organizations to join in this work of reconnection to our food, one another, and our home. As we grow and redistribute food, we work together toward food sovereignty for all. Questions can be emailed to wupfoodsystems@gmail.com.