In Bemidji, Minnesota, their community-wide day of events included a visit from the legendary Paul Bunyan and his big blue ox, Babe.

Here's an report from Brett Cease on how Bemidji's Work Party on 10/10/10 went:

Bemidji, the first city on the Mississippi, held its own event to observe the Global Work Party, and it was a huge success. Over 70 Bemidji community members—from high school and college students to business owners and retirees—worked together to beautify the city while raising awareness about the importance of building a sustainable future for our city and country.  Volunteers showed up at the waterfront at noon to assemble into work project teams.  For the next several hours, almost every city park, big and small was cleaned of trash and debris.  Volunteers planted cedar trees in the Minnesota Biomes Project, a new educational stand of trees next to J.W. Smith, as well as 350 pine seedlings in the Buena Vista state forest.  Event attendees also cleaned up along the lake shore and the Mississippi river in canoes and along the bike paths. The Bemidji Community Garden in Nymore was weeded and the soil tilled for next year’s planting.

Throughout the afternoon, attendants came back to the waterfront to educate themselves about local sustainability resources, and meet with local business and organization leaders.  And then at 5:00 pm, everyone gathered back at Paul & Babe for a historic group photo, triumphantly hoisting their work tools and displaying a banner reading “350: Get to Work,” made from recycled materials created that day.

The event then moved to the Rotary Pavilion, where guest speakers included Bemidji’s Mayor Richard Lehmann, State Senator Mary Olson, Chris Waltz our regional coordinator of CERTs (Clean Energy Resource Teams), and Marty Cobenais, Office Manager for Indigenous Environmental Network.  All spoke about the local efforts being done to make the city and our region more sustainable as well as what residents could do to continue this important work.  The event closed with local music played with a slide show of events held around the world for the Global Work Party.

“What is incredible is that this Sunday, in every country on earth but two, people gathered to share in doing the same kinds of service Bemidji did,” Brett Cease, the Bemidji Events organizer said.

“On Sunday, regardless of race, class, religion, or country of origin, people around the world came together.  We know our hearts and minds were focused on the same target, a future where the next generation can thrive” said Cease.

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