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Pine River group joins solar tour

Balsam Moon participates for fifth year in national tour.

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New technologies like an E Car and solar energy sources will be available to view during the annual National Solar Tour starting Oct. 2. Contributed / Balsam Moon

Balsam Moon Preserve of rural Pine River is teaming up with the Minnesota Renewable Energy Society (MRES) and the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) in support of the world’s largest grassroots solar event by participating in the 26 th Annual National Solar Tour. The National Solar Tour, October 2 and 3, offers both on-site and virtual tours. Participants will be able to view solar tour videos online from all across the country, and some sites are also hosting in-person tours.

This is Balsam Moon Preserve’s fifth year participating in the tour and will host both a virtual tour and an on-site tour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 2. The site features: Energy Efficient Upgrades; commercial Solar Thermal furnace since 2009; homemade Passive Solar Furnace on garage since 2020; Ground mount Solar electric array since 2011; Energy efficient upgrades to home; alternative building techniques; Integrated Systems; Net Zero; Electric Vehicle Passive; Deep Winter Solar Greenhouse since 2019. The virtual tour of this site is available via the MRES website: mnrenewables.org/sustainability-tour .

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New technologies like an E Car and solar energy sources will be available to view during the annual National Solar Tour starting Oct. 2. Contributed / Balsam Moon

The MRES Sustainability Tour, hosted by Minnesota Renewable Energy Society, showcases homes and businesses that feature solar installations, energy storage solutions, water-saving landscapes and much more.

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The ASES self-guided National Solar Tours have attracted more than 150,000 people in 49 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. National Solar Tours afford participants the direct perspectives of homeowners and installers about the costs, processes and economic and environmental benefits of going solar. The National Solar Tour also gives you a glimpse at how a variety of solar systems look in and around structures with different architectural styles. You can access tours across the nation via the ASES website: ases.org/tour/

Balsam Moon Preserve is a new non-profit organization with an emerging Vision of Peace, Sustainability and Renewal in Partnership with Earth, Spirit, and People. The residents of the preserve, Doug Weiss and Barb Mann, work towards the organization’s vision to share an alternative, sustainable, spiritual place of peace, honoring the earth and all living things. They provide activities and workshops for shared learning, walking trails, a labyrinth in the woods, skill building, hospitality, simple accommodations for overnight visits/retreats, and more as they continue to develop and grow. For more information, you can visit the Facebook site: Balsam Moon

Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at nancy.vogt@pineandlakes.com or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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