U profs to sing for sustainability

by Hailey Colwell


In an effort to raise awareness about urban sustainability while rocking out to music, Metro Blooms is hosting its second Rock for Raingardens concert at the Fine Line Music Café on Dec. 12.

The concert will showcase local bands including the Hypoxic Punks, a group made up of four University of Minnesota professors.

Raingardens are plots of vegetation that allow stormwater runoff to soak into the ground instead of into storm drains or puddles that can cause water pollution and erosion. The nonprofit Metro Blooms has worked with other Twin Cities organizations for almost 30 years to establish environmentally-friendly gardening and land care practices.

In addition to featuring the local bands Hypoxic Punks, Wild Cathedral and Postina, the concert will celebrate community members who’ve been involved in building raingardens around the city, said University Journalism and Mass Communication professor Mark Pedelty, event organizer.

“In the dark days of winter, sometimes you need a little pick-me-up,” said Pedelty, who’s a member of the band the Hypoxic Punks and will perform alongside three other University professors at the event.

He said though the concert won’t explore the issue of  runoff in-depth, he hopes the night of music will give people a chance to have fun while learning about raingardens.

“I like to see it recharge people that are working on these issues.”

University mathematics professor Bryan Mosher, who plays bass for the Hypoxic Punks, said being in a band made up of four professors is a fun and manageable way to pursue his love of music while contributing to a cause.

“We all have time constraints,” Mosher said, “but we’re able to get together and play music that has a message that we all believe in.”

University College of Design student Stephanie Erwin said she’s worked as a landscape design assistant with Metro Blooms to educate landowners about how to install raingardens on their properties.

“It’s a good thing to return our stormwater back to the groundwater to filter it,” Erwin said.

She said since raingardens are becoming a more prominent runoff solution in the Twin Cities it’s good for people to learn about them through events like Rock for Raingardens.

“We’re all learning about how to manage our landscapes differently and to be more responsible with our stormwater,” she said, “and I think raingardens are a simple way to express that water ethic.”

Proceeds from the concert will go to future Metro Blooms sustainable landscape projects.