Tuesday, December 16, 2014

On the Screen: Government Television Network (GTN) 16 Covers the Watershed Beat

By Sage Passi

Chuck Turning filming the “Grand Opening” of the Watershed District’s Parking Lot Retrofit Project at Maplewood Mall

Chuck Turning, video producer at Government Television Network (GTN) has been bringing local stories to the screen from around our Watershed District for over seven years. Chuck comments,
“The Watershed District is a great programming partner for GTN. Together we tell the stories of the people and places that are important in keeping and restoring our natural environment. Protecting our waters and restoring our groundwater is very important. I am pleased to bring these stories to our cable and online audience.”

Chuck Turning (left) from GTN16 and Paul Diegnau (right) from
Keller Golf Course.
GTN serves the communities of Maplewood, North St. Paul, Vadnais Heights, Mahtomedi, Oakdale, White Bear Lake, and several others in the east metro area. Chuck’s videos provide information about innovative changes and environmental efforts at the ground level. He has covered “hot” Watershed efforts such as the Maplewood Mall parking lot retrofit Grand Opening, invasive carp management in the Phalen Chain of Lakes and the Maplewood Extreme Green Make-over.

Thanks to Chuck we have two new videos to offer the public. One tells the story of the publicly-owned Keller Golf Course, its restoration and commitment to sustainable practices. The other film documents the research of University professor Peter Sorensen and his collaboration with RWMWD to reduce the impacts of invasive carp on local lakes.

Keller Golf Course: http://vimeo.com/channels/849222/110922542

Carp Wars: http://rwcable.com/index.php/our-shows-2/rwmwd-watershed-dist

Paul Diegnau, Keller Golf Course Superintendent orients a class that has come to help with the prairie restoration.
The prairie restoration effort at Keller Golf Course was shot in the fall of 2013 when several St. Paul classes assisted the Watershed District with planting. The video highlights the transformation of the golf course in the “no-play” areas. Simba Blood, the District’s Natural Resources Technician, walks and talks students through the planting process. Paul Diegnau, the Golf Course Superintendent describes their commitment to “working with nature, not against it.” He explains the golf course’s sustainable use of water and efforts to reduce stormwater run-off. 

Don Vegoe, Ramsey County Master Gardener, assists students at the Keller Golf Course planting.

There is also a short interview with Ramsey County Master Gardener, Don Vegoe who supports Watershed District schools in prairie restoration. He also restores native prairie at his farm in western Minnesota.

Carp Wars - Peter Sorensen, U of MN, Tells the Story 

Dr. Sorensen speaks to a full house of interested residents.
[A clip from Chuck's film, Carp Wars, taken at the Environmental Forum.] 

Did you miss the Watershed District's Environmental Forum talk held this year at HB Fuller?

Thanks to Chuck, this talk, CARP WARS by Dr. Peter Sorensen, fisheries biologist from the University of Minnesota is now available online.


This is Chuck’s pitch about this film:
“In Carp Wars you can learn about the battle to stop COMMON carp and other aquatic invaders from destroying diversity in our lakes and streams.

Discover the common carp’s secrets to success. Learn how researchers have uncovered this fish’s amazing survival skills, and are using carp behaviours to successfully win the fight against this adept invader in the Phalen Chain of Lakes and other waters.

Dr. Peter Sorensen will enlighten you on the fascinating research he is leading and the creative solutions his team has developed to control invasive carp. Also, learn about the unique collaboration underway at the new Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Research Center (MAISRC) where the University of Minnesota, the MN Dept. of Natural Resources and others strive to find biologically and economically sound ways to address the increasing number of aquatic invasive species threatening Minnesota’s waters.”

 Dana Larsen-Ramsay, naturalist and host for the forum at HB Fuller kicks off the video. She describes the nature preserve on their site in Vadnais Heights and highlights their watershed friendly practices and educational efforts.

From the Eyes of an Eagle: Where Can I Find Chuck’s Other Videos at GTN?

Here is a link to the “Our Community Partners” GTN RWMWD Channel where you can find other videos Chuck has made in collaboration with the Watershed District. These videos, uploaded on VIMEO, are accessible through GTN’s website and continue to play periodically on Cable Channel 16. https://vimeo.com/channels/849222

The videos listed below are accessible at this link.

“Maplewood Mall Rain Gardens Opening” covers the story of the Watershed District’s parking lot stormwater retrofits during the Grand Opening at Maplewood Mall.

Farnworth students check out the cistern at Maplewood Mall.

Chuck lugged his camera and tripod out onto the middle of the ice on Lake Gervais in Maplewood on a cold February morning to document the seining of carp.

That story comes alive in Carp Harvest.

Chuck captured some of the “Big” moments on Carp Day at Lake Gervais.

On a warm windy, spring day in 2011, I enticed Chuck to capture the transformation of a rip-rapped shoreline along Keller Lake as kids helped restore it. The story of “Restoring the Web” is told through the perspective of four Farnsworth sixth graders who narrated the video. Their class experiences on a field day on Keller Island are captured in Keller Restoration 2011. This team helped write the script and participated in its creation at a television studio at Suburban Community Channels in White Bear Lake.

Farnsworth sixth graders take the lead in telling the story about the Keller Lake restoration.
Chuck filmed them in the SCC studio.
At the end of Chuck’s Keller Golf Course video (http://vimeo.com/110922542), an eagle soars above the students gathered on the course to hear about the restoration project. Chuck stops to point up at the eagle. Why? He’s already on friendly terms with the eagles in the “neighborhood. He covered their story in another video he made for GTN, The Bald Eagle Returns to the Northeast Metro.
Two eagles squabble over a nest. Photo credit: Rusty Mathiasmeier

Thank you, Chuck! We appreciate your “eagle” eyes and your “on the ground” efforts to tell the stories in our watershed and promote environmental stewardship in our community!

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