ECO-Tours only purchases trees and dirt to plant them in...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Great Lakes Awareness

Back in 1987, at age twenty-five, I rode my bicycle around all five Great Lakes. I would like to make that ride again and to share this experience with others, through my book, speaking engagements and periodic rides around the Great Lakes to call attention to their plight and what we can do to approach sustainability, transitioning from high fossil fuel for energy ways of life will give way to human powered or sustainably sourced energy will be the rule. Human calories have several advantages. They are where the people are and no line losses or transport costs are required to get the power on site. Living in a basin as great as that of the Great Lakes, perhaps, makes me a little more sensitive about it, but in my experience, these gigantic bodies of water are not really that big. I was able to follow roads that were near, or literally at the edge of much of the shoreline of three of the five and over half of the other two. 4,280 miles by the highway signs, traversed in two and a half months (80 days) In sharing what I have learned about these freshwater seas, I have learned more than I ever could have imagined. Stunningly, even after over thirty years of studying them, I still learn more about them than I ever dreamed there was to know.
 The experiences that people have around The Lakes is unique in the world because in total, 20% of the world surface freshwater is in this one ecosystem. Compared to most lakes, the watershed is only slightly larger than the actual surface area of The Lakes. We have a remarkably small amount of land area draining into very, very large lakes. Ironically, this requires even greater attention to how we treat the water that courses through the landscape. Especially in the places that we would least expect to matter, the furthest from the creeks, the areas that have the power, by their very elevated nature to recharge aquifers, instead of running off and feeding downstream floods. As infiltration is reduced, sheeting and rivulets create vortecies that are far more corrosive than plain water. Soil particles shear off and this aggregate increases the abrasiveness of the flow further. The longer it takes and the further downhill that we can get these things to occur, the better. My book about the bicycle ride is nearing completion.
Our ECO-Tours provide a look into the environment that you might never expect or notice in your daily experiences. The beauty that lies just down the block is often as stunning as what people travel thousands of mile to see somewhere else. I am sure that for a reasonable consulting fee, we could develop an ECO-Tour franchise anywhere. It is an amazing thing that as I have focused on different areas around the great Lakes, one theme seems particularly universal. That is the reverence for the lakes that each and every individual who lives within the basin has for these precious jewels. that is not to say that most know of areas that have been tarnished, or outright poisoned, but so too, there are places of relative beauty that they identify with. These are part of our birthright. In my area there are waterfalls, cascades and numerous prairie potholes, kames and eskers. The Niagara Escarpment runs just a mile or two to my east. In an afternoon bike ride I can take you to places that are inaccessible except by foot, tour a zero-net-energy home, go on a reforestation expedition/canoe ride or bike a twenty mile circuit without ever having to ride on a busy street. I'm sure that in more and more areas across the country, there are similar yet unique natural features that are what is really worth seeing if you come from far away. Most fun parks look more or less the same, but nature is always full of surprises if you know where to look. When I lived in Indiana, everyone spoke of the light people, or the lizard people between Union City and Ridgeville. The rewarding Front Range bicycle ride past Buffalo Bill's Grave near Denver is a similar ECO-Tour that is worth enjoying.
To bring our tours to life, we want to secure a large acreage for healing arts, family and couples retreats, adventure tourism and outfitting and a general summer camp for healing atmosphere. We are well on the way to finding the perfect place near Bayfield, Wisconsin, but for a facility like the one we are designing it will be a million dollar start-up.
The visioning that we have had thus far include operations on several parcels and integrate half a dozen local businesses as adjunct service providers. Instead of coming into the community as a stand alone enterprise, we seek to integrate and enhance existing services for regional providers. We have an avid equestrian contact who will provide rides, we have herbalists, reiki masters, massage therapists and nutrition specialists who will work with us and guides for actual tours as well. Time spent at our facility would be especially useful for those who want to integrate sustainability into every aspect of their lives. The facilities will be working models for conservation and efficiency changes that are easily adapted and scaled to meet specific needs in a variety of locations. There are several amazing properties that are on our short list for acquisition. to disclose too many details about them would give away their locations, so let me say that in total, it would be over 100 acres. Nearly half forested and nearly half cleared land for grazing and crop production. Several commercial buildings would be scattered about and the "home" offices could be in either Washburn or Corny (Cornucopia) In any case, housing for staff is already in place and serviceable and the time to strike is while the iron is hot. Invest with confidence in this endeavor, Here at ECO-Tours, we invest for the long haul and are committed to success.
Our plan is to sell eighty day increments. Those interested "purchase" vacations, ECO-Tours and retreats in eighty day packages. (10K) Ten thousand dollars per "share". An individual coming for an eighty day stay could hope to gain intimate knowledge about principles of sustainability, Permaculture, ECO-Ethics, Trees as well as a working knowledge about nutrition, herbs, natural history of the Great Lakes and practical knowledge to help them confront ecological and efficiency challenges wherever they choose to settle. These eighty day packages could be used by large families as perhaps a week-long stay. Say, eight people, ten days, or any combination of people days to make up the time. Much like a club that invites you to stay, but with a limited time membership. Corporate rates would apply to events with eighty people days in shorter than ten days and would require significant planning and logistics and would therefore cost more. We are asking for a large investment because we know what it will cost to do it right. We guarantee that once people start to see what we are creating, the popularity will increase and so will the value of your investment. For investors who know the value that we will be able to create, we offer (100K) One hundred thousand co-ownership potential. The development would retain the option of providing 800 days of accommodation, or a buy back at their discretion. That's nearly two and a half years! This co-ownership potential is also great if you intend to start a family tradition of going to Lake Superior annually. We can offer a wide range of programs, or if you just need a place to set up your camper or tent, we will be open and accommodating, sharing the abundance that we have and inviting you to teach us what we need to learn as well as teaching you what we can offer. We want to have no more than a dozen co-owners, because scheduling retreats might become difficult if everyone showed up on the same weekend. Not that a little pandemonium isn't fun sometimes, but not so much when you are on vacation.
In and around our property are some of the cleanest and most tasty artesian wells, waterfalls, beautiful sunsets, sailing opportunities and National Forest trails and the Apostle Islands National Lake Shore. within striking distance, by boat, the sea caves, by bike a ski hill, orchards, even a ferry to Madeline Island. Our desire is to offer vacations and retreats to not only those who can afford and are willing to pay for our services, but we will also offer our summer camp experiences to needy children, be they those of homeless parents, or disaster victims. We will provide eighty day stays at our facility so that their parents can get a leg up, and their lives back on track without worry about how their children are doing.please, talk this up to everyone you meet, it is an essential program if we are to help turn things around. Blessed Be and Namaste'

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