Green jobs on black pavement

On Earth Day in one of the country’s greenest cities, one a day filled with great events, I was surprised to find my favorite was actually on a blacktop surrounded with massive trucks.

The event was just north of the University at Murphy Warehouse Company, which was cutting the ribbon for remarkable new system using engineering and prairie
plantings to keep stormwater on site, instead of flowing into the river.

They did it all without government prodding. They just got the need to protect our water. They also saw the the stormwater utility fee the city imposed a few years ago gave them an incentive to make a change.

Murphy is a 100-year-old company that started with horse and buggy deliveries and now has trucks and storage facilities around the state.

The CEO is a real visionary–Richard Murphy–who in his “spare time” teaches landscape architecture at the U.  He’s also led the company to plant prairie around its other warehouse facilities around the region.

The event showed me again that the real frontier of the GreenMovement is in the workplace. Enlightened companies like Murphy can show we can grow the economy AND protect our planet. And in doing it they create new green jobs for the growing number of companies who help Murphy and others make these changes.

I felt the same way later in the day at the ribbon cutting for an expansion of Impact Printing in north Minneapolis, which also also has a stormwater management system that keeps water from flowing into the Mississippi a few blocks away.

You will be hearing more about this kind of work over the next few weeks as we roll out more from our Green Jobs Institute.

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