The Environment

ENVIRONMENT (& EDUCATION) GOAL #1: Assure access to experiential environmental  education for public school students that is regular, systematic, integrated with curricula, and connected with “real world” community initiatives such as Grand River restoration, renewable energy & efficiency, water conservation and protection, addressing climate change, wildlife habitat conservation and sustainable food systems.

Example grants: Grand Valley State University – Groundswell K-12 place-based environmental education program; Hope Gardens – Experiential environmental education programs in underserved schools; City of Grand Rapids Parks and Rec & Grand Rapids Public Schools – “Connecting Children to Nature” partnership at four GRPS sites in under parked neighborhoods; Grand Rapids Public Museum – Pilot augmented reality digital learning platform; Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds – Engage urban youth in projects reducing urban and agricultural run-off pollution of two Grand River watersheds; GREEN – Collaboration of  nine environmental education organizations to provide experiential environmental education; Urban Core Collective – Engages communities of color in environmental action with focus on increasing access to nature.

ENVIRONMENT GOAL #2: Develop and implement long-term strategy to restore, protect, and make available for appropriate uses by all the lower Grand River watershed, including restoration of the namesake rapids in downtown Grand Rapids.

Example grants: Michigan League of Conservation Voters – Expand sustained citizen engagement, especially on safe drinking water issues; River Network – Empower Latino community to support restoration and protection of  Waterways; American Rivers Inc. – Innovative stormwater credit trading program to reduce water pollution; Clean Water Fund – Mobilizing public support for Grand River restoration project and clean water policies; Grand Valley Metro Council – Restoration of Cold Creek Watershed (strong Civic Engagement theme alignment); National Wildlife Federation – Support for houses of worship to protect watersheds, create habitat and build diverse, resilient communities.

ENVIRONMENT GOAL #3: Assure Grand Rapids continues to be a national and international leader in its commitment to sustainable development, i.e. “Economicology.”

Example grants: Habitat for Humanity – Green home upgrades for affordable housing; Green Home Institute – environmental certification programs for affordable housing projects; Inner City Christian Federation – Upgrade single family affordable homes to certified green homes; Environmental Law & Policy Center – Technical, legal and civic engagement to meet Grand Rapid’s 100% renewable energy goal (strong Civic Engagement theme alignment); West Michigan Sustainable Business Forum – Equitable sustainability program that addresses racial and economic inequities (strong DEI theme alignment); Creston Neighborhood Association – Creating environmentally friendly neighborhoods through grassroots organizing; Friends of Grand Rapids Parks – neighborhood-based citizen engagement around local parks.

ENVIRONMENTAL GOAL #4: Assure that Michigan is a national and international leader in policies to protect the environment, including the Great Lakes, in ways that recognize the connection between environmental protection, human health, and promoting economic and social justice.

Example grants: Sierra Club, Michigan Chapter – Advocacy of closing W MI coal-fired power plants and transforming region into a national clean national clean energy leader; Ottawa County Parks Foundation – Ecological/biodiversity analysis & planning for public land at mouth of Grand River & six mile long corridor extending north along Lake Michigan.

Stories about the Wege Foundation's Commitment to the Environment

Wege Prize 2020 Design Competition Winners

Global Student Design Competition  Ignites Game-Changing Sustainable Solutions  for the Economy of the Future, Provides Powerful  and Accessible Platform for Systemic Change Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) Announces Winners of Wege Prize 2020 Design Competition; 2021 competition launched Team of students studying in Uganda … More Wege Prize 2020 Design Competition Winners »

Wege Speaker Series Lecture of April 23 is cancelled.

Dear Wege Speaker friends, COVID-19 (coronavirus) continues to present challenges to organizations and communities across the country, and we are all beginning to feel its effects. In accordance with Governor Whitmer’s latest recommendations and our own desire to limited any potential future impact of COVID-19, we are canceling this year’s Wege Speaker … More Wege Speaker Series Lecture of April 23 is cancelled. »

Kids’ Food Basket: Growing Direct Food Access and Urban Agriculture in Grand Rapids

Written content by Amanda St. Pierre • Videographer/photographer by Bryan Esler. The Wege Foundation was pleased to support the construction of the new Kids’ Food Basket headquarters and its sustainable urban farm program. Kids’ Food Basket was founded in 2002. Each weekday throughout the school year and summer, the organization … More Kids’ Food Basket: Growing Direct Food Access and Urban Agriculture in Grand Rapids »

International Student Design Competition’s Largest Field To-Date Reflects a World Ready to Work Together for a Better Future

Wege Prize 2020 draws field representing 24 countries, 64 academic institutions, and 100 academic disciplines; inspires student teams to collaborate across boundaries and help accelerate the global transition to a circular economy Grand Rapids, Mich. November 22, 2019 – Everywhere we look, the dominant narrative seems to be one of divisiveness and … More International Student Design Competition’s Largest Field To-Date Reflects a World Ready to Work Together for a Better Future »

WMCAT – Trout Unlimited and the Rogue River Watershed

Trout Unlimited is a cold water conservation organization that works on a national level conserving and protecting cold water fisheries and watersheds around the country. The organization partnered with Rockford Public Schools in 2016 and the surrounding communities to analyze the rivers and test the waters to see how it … More WMCAT – Trout Unlimited and the Rogue River Watershed »

WMCAT – Restoration and Rehabilitation of The Highlands

The Highlands can be remembered as a pesticide and fertilizer-filled golf course. “It was a very manicured land with short grass just over two years ago,” said the Stewardship Director at the Land Conservancy of West Michigan, Justin Heslinga. Over the course of two-and-a-half years, the Land Conservancy has focused … More WMCAT – Restoration and Rehabilitation of The Highlands »

Wege Prize 2019 Winners

Now in its sixth year, Wege Prize is organized by Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University’s (KCAD’s) Wege Center for Sustainable Design with the support of The Wege Foundation. Beginning in August of 2018, Wege Prize 2019 challenged participating teams to develop a product, service, business/nonprofit … More Wege Prize 2019 Winners »

NO VICTORY WITHOUT OPTIMISM

*Above photo: Christiana Figueres, the moving force behind the Paris Climate agreement, delivers the 2019 Peter M. Wege Lecture on Sustainability at the University of Michigan.  Christiana Figueres, the woman recognized worldwide as the “architect” of the Paris Climate Agreement, gave this year’s Peter M. Wege Lecture on Sustainability at … More NO VICTORY WITHOUT OPTIMISM »

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE & CLIMATE LEADER MUSTAFA SANTIAGO ALI TO PRESENT AT ANNUAL WEGE SPEAKER SERIES

The Senior Vice President for the Hip Hop Caucus will address environmental justice issues on Thursday, April 11, 2019 Grand Rapids, Michigan – February 21, 2019 – The Wege Foundation (www.wegefoundation.org) will host the 23rd Wege Speaker Series (www.wegespeakerseries.com) on Thursday, April 11 at 4pm at the Aquinas College Performing … More ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE & CLIMATE LEADER MUSTAFA SANTIAGO ALI TO PRESENT AT ANNUAL WEGE SPEAKER SERIES »

Wege Prize 2018 Winners

Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University’s (KCAD’s) Wege Center for Sustainable Design has announced the winners of Wege Prize 2018, the fifth iteration of the annual design competition challenging teams of undergraduate and graduate students from around the world to collaborate across institutional, disciplinary, and cultural … More Wege Prize 2018 Winners »

Thank you for your attendance!

Thank you again for another successful speaker series event. We were very happy with the appreciation for Dr. Lanham and the positive feedback we have received about his presentation. It is because of patrons like you that we are able to continue our work for nature, the environment and “Economicology”, … More Thank you for your attendance! »

ON BEING A RARE BIRD: ESTEEMED SCIENTIST DR. DREW LANHAM TO PRESENT AT ANNUAL WEGE SPEAKER SERIES

The distinguished professor at Clemson University will address issues related to the environment, social justice and bringing nature into the urban experience on Thursday, April 12, 2018 Grand Rapids, Michigan – February 22, 2018 – The Wege Foundation will host the 22nd Wege Speaker Series on Thursday, April 12 at … More ON BEING A RARE BIRD: ESTEEMED SCIENTIST DR. DREW LANHAM TO PRESENT AT ANNUAL WEGE SPEAKER SERIES »

Earth is Running Out of Time

“My profession is traveling around to bum people out.” So began the University of Michigan’s Peter M. Wege Lecture on Sustainability given recently by Bill McKibben, described by the Boston Globe as “probably America’s most important environmentalist.” McKibben’s news is grim. “We are running out of options” to protect the … More Earth is Running Out of Time »

Green Team Teens Dig In to Heal Their Watersheds

In 2009 Calvin College faculty members Gail Heffner and Dave Warners launched Plaster Creek Stewards after learning that Plaster Creek (named for the plaster mill set up in 1840 to use the creek’s gypsum) is the most contaminated creek in West Michigan. Plaster Creek Stewards is a collaboration of Calvin … More Green Team Teens Dig In to Heal Their Watersheds »

Wege Prize Winners Announced 2017

Global Student Design Competition Focused on the Circular Economy Names Winners of $30,000 in Prizes Winning teams announced in Wege Prize 2017; 2018 competition launched Collaborative team from Brown University, University of Michigan wins $15,000 top prize with solution to transform organic waste into  animal feed and agricultural fertilizer;  plans real-world prototype … More Wege Prize Winners Announced 2017 »

Wege Family Tours Blandford Nature Center

*Pictured above from the left, Laura Wege, Blandford Nature Center President Jason Meyer, Blandford Development Director Corey Turner, Wege Foundation staff member Katy Furtado, Patrick Goodwillie, Diana Wege, Wege Foundation staff member Jody Price at the Nature Center’s new visitors center named for Blandford’s founder Mary Jane Dockeray.   In … More Wege Family Tours Blandford Nature Center »

Wege Prize competition organizers are thrilled to announce the finalist teams for Wege Prize 2017!

Finalist teams named in international design competition focused on the circular economy;  five innovative ideas will face off for $30,000 in total cash prizes   Wege Prize 2017 finalists will present complete solutions on May 19, 2017; Internationally-recognized judges to evaluate and award $30k in prizes at Kendall College of … More Wege Prize competition organizers are thrilled to announce the finalist teams for Wege Prize 2017! »

Need for Inclusion in Environmental Non-profits

Pictured above: Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss congratulates Dr. Taylor after the University of Michigan professor delivered The Wege Lecture at Aquinas. Artist and Wege Foundation Trustee Chris Carter introduced Dorceta E. Taylor Ph.D., Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources & … More Need for Inclusion in Environmental Non-profits »

Blandford Plus A Golf Course: A Gift To The Future

An historic real-estate transaction for Grand Rapids was announced in early 2017 when Blandford Nature Center teamed with the Land Conservancy of West Michigan to acquire the 121-acre former Highlands Golf Course next door to Blandford. Adding the golf course’s 18 golf holes to Blandford brings the Nature Center’s permanently … More Blandford Plus A Golf Course: A Gift To The Future »

THE WILDERNESS LETTER From “Coda: Wilderness Letter,” copyright by Wallace Stegner, 1960.

One of America’s great writers of both fiction and non-fiction, the late Wallace Stegner was a pioneer of the environmental movement starting in the 1950s. Stegner used his extraordinary literary gifts to wake Americans up about threats to the environment nobody was paying attention to. In 1960 Wallace Stegner published … More THE WILDERNESS LETTER From “Coda: Wilderness Letter,” copyright by Wallace Stegner, 1960. »

Saving the Great Lakes Started in Grand Rapids May 2004

Working into the wee hours Friday night, December 9, 2016, the U.S. Congress authorized $1.5 billion to pay for Great Lakes restoration over the next five year. Included in that legislation is $170 million badly needed to help Flint clean up its lead-contaminated water. The Water Infrastructure Improvements will upgrade … More Saving the Great Lakes Started in Grand Rapids May 2004 »

Fifteenth Annual University of Michigan Wege Lecture

Dr. William Clark, Harvard Professor at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, delivered the 15th Peter M. Wege Lecture on Sustainability at the University of Michigan this fall. Dr. Clark began by saying he was a bit intimidated when he found out who the previous lecturers had been. “I … More Fifteenth Annual University of Michigan Wege Lecture »

GLOBAL STUDENT DESIGN COMPETITION AWARDING $30K FOR INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS

Now in its fourth year, Wege Prize is a global transdisciplinary design competition that gives teams of five college/university students the chance to work collaboratively, use design thinking principles,and contend for $30,000 in total cash prizes, all while helping to show the world what the future of problem solving looks … More GLOBAL STUDENT DESIGN COMPETITION AWARDING $30K FOR INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS »

Simple Sustainability Stats

Courtesy of the University of Michigan Center for Sustainable Systems If you happen across a photo of people from the 1970s, you’ll notice one thing. Pretty much everyone is a normal size. Look around today and you’ll see what research proves. More of us are fatter than normal sized. In fact, 68% of … More Simple Sustainability Stats »

Beyond Fossil Fuels: U of M Wege Speaker

The Industrial Revolution changed the world of work from farms to factories is over. A new economy is needed. Jose Maria Figueres, former president of Costa Rica (1994-1998) and the first CEO of the World Economic Forum, has a plan to do just that. The Costa Rican West Point graduate—who broke up the audience … More Beyond Fossil Fuels: U of M Wege Speaker »

THE REAL COSTS OF OIL

The Case for Justice at the Ends of the Pipeline Crystal Lameman Intergovernmental Affairs Spokeswoman for the indigenous Beaver Lake Cree Nation, Alberta, Canada Thursday, April 21, 2016 / 4 – 5 pm Aquinas College Performing Arts Center Followed by a reception Throughout the Great Lakes region, oil flows via pipelines and … More THE REAL COSTS OF OIL »

SAVING TROPICAL FORESTS: AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH

The Master Lecture Series ENVIRONMENTAL LECTURE Tuesday, March 22, 7 pm Speaker: Daniel H. Janzen CLICK HERE TO VIEW FLYER

Grand Rapids Joins Architecture 2030 In Record Time

April 27, 2015, architect Ed Mazria gave the 19th annual Wege Lecture urging Grand Rapids to join Architecture 2030, the program he founded in 2006 to cut carbon emissions from buildings in half by 2030. Noting that 50% of the energy in the U.S. is consumed by buildings and 75% of all greenhouse gases … More Grand Rapids Joins Architecture 2030 In Record Time »

Father and Son Embedded in Steelcase’s New Report

When Peter Martin Wege moved to Grand Rapids to open his own metal-furniture business in 1912, he could not have imagined Metal Office Furniture—started on a $75,000 bank loan—would become Steelcase, the world’s largest office-furniture company. Wege’s experience as a metal fabricator himself created the workplace culture that continues a century later. Peter Martin knew … More Father and Son Embedded in Steelcase’s New Report »

ECONOMICOLOGY HIGH SCHOOL NAMED BEST IN STATE

Six years ago 14 students entered the sixth grade at Grand Rapids Public School’s City High Middle to attend the brand new Center for Economicology, CFE. This innovative environmental school was started by the late Peter Wege with a curriculum based on his philosophy of balancing the needs of the economy with those of … More ECONOMICOLOGY HIGH SCHOOL NAMED BEST IN STATE »

Mazria’s Road To Zero: Phase Out All CO2 Emissions by 2050

Peter Wege’s grandson Andrew Goodwillie used the occasion of Earth Day to remember his grandfather when he introduced architect Edward Mazria as this year’s 19th annual Wege Foundation Speaker. “To ‘Grampie,’” Andrew told the crowd at Aquinas College’s PAC, “every day was Earth Day, not just one day a year.” Andrew went on to say … More Mazria’s Road To Zero: Phase Out All CO2 Emissions by 2050 »

Grand Rapids Achieves Emerging 2030 District Designation in Effort to Reduce Energy Use in Downtown

Private, public partnership working toward final designation from Architecture 2030 by end of year Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell today announced Grand Rapids has been named an Emerging 2030 District by Architecture 2030, an effort designed to reduce energy use in the downtown, and putting it on track to become an … More Grand Rapids Achieves Emerging 2030 District Designation in Effort to Reduce Energy Use in Downtown »

Catalyst Radio: Architecture environmentalist Mazria is keynote for Wege Speaker Series

by Catalyst Radio (Catalyst Radio) on Friday Apr 3rd, 2015 12:30pm in NEWS in collaboration with Linda Gellasch and WYCE Radio 88.1 FM   This year’s Wege Speaker Series is the 19th annual environmental lecture event, beginning April 23 at Aquinas Performing Arts Center. CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE … More Catalyst Radio: Architecture environmentalist Mazria is keynote for Wege Speaker Series »

Wege Prize 2015 – Results

NEWS RELEASE For Immediate Release Contact: Elena Tislerics Coordinator, Wege Prize Chief Communications Officer, Kendall College of Art and Design elena@wegeprize.org  $30,000 awarded in wicked problem solving competition Winners of Wege Prize 2015 announced; 2016 international competition launched 1st place team Western Sustainers earns $15,000 for designing agricultural system that … More Wege Prize 2015 – Results »

WMU student team wins national Wege sustainability prize

by Cheryl Roland Click here to read article  on WMU’s website March 30, 2015 | WMU News KALAMAZOO, Mich.—A team of five Western Michigan University students has won the 2015 Wege Prize, besting teams from around the nation in the eyes of an international panel of judges whose task was … More WMU student team wins national Wege sustainability prize »

LOVE THE PLANET WITH A FREE PHONE APP

Louie Schwartzberg, an internationally recognized time-lapse photographer of nature, doesn’t like the fact that the average age of visitors to national parks is 57. No wonder, since Schwartzberg’s mission is nothing less than “the future of the planet.” And if it’s to be protected, he needs young people to do it. Louie’s plan of … More LOVE THE PLANET WITH A FREE PHONE APP »

ARCHITECT EDWARD MAZRIA TO BE KEY SPEAKER FOR 19TH ANNUAL WEGE SPEAKER SERIES ON THURSDAY, APRIL 23, 2015

Architect and founder of Architecture 2030 to talk about developing architecture districts that serve as a business model for urban sustainability The Wege Foundation will host the 19th Wege Speaker Series on Thursday,  April 23 at 4pm at the Aquinas College Performing Arts Center. It is the first speaker series event since the … More ARCHITECT EDWARD MAZRIA TO BE KEY SPEAKER FOR 19TH ANNUAL WEGE SPEAKER SERIES ON THURSDAY, APRIL 23, 2015 »

The Wonder of Water…”Until it’s gone.” At the GRAM

Edward Burtynsky is an environmental warrior whose artistic weapon is a camera. For over 30 years, the Canadian artist has turned aerial photography—via planes, helicopters, and drones—into a graphic history of what we Homo sapiens are doing to our Earth home. His airborne cameras have photographed quarries, oil drillers, and mines, among other things, documenting … More The Wonder of Water…”Until it’s gone.” At the GRAM »

Wege Talk at Meijer Gardens Will Entertain and Educate

The personal friendship between Peter Wege and Fred Meijer resulted in many good works for West Michigan, including Meijer Gardens as Peter was one of the earliest benefactors. The picture here shows the two friends standing in a field that is now the home of Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. One of Peter’s and … More Wege Talk at Meijer Gardens Will Entertain and Educate »

Blandford’s New CEO: a Story of Friendship and Mentoring

In 2009 Blandford Nature Center had to reinvent itself from a tax-payer funded organization into an independent non-profit with Annoesjka Steinman as the first president. Annoesjka proved up to the new challenge by successfully carrying on the Center’s long-time mission as an educational wildlife mecca, but on a whole new … More Blandford’s New CEO: a Story of Friendship and Mentoring »

HOW Conference Comes Home Ten Years Later

The 10th Conference was held September 9-11, 2014, in the city where HOW was born: Grand Rapids, Michigan. In May 2004, the late Peter M. Wege turned his dream for saving the five Great Lakes into action when he invited seventy-plus national experts in environmental policy, science, and economics to … More HOW Conference Comes Home Ten Years Later »

Greens to Green:  Golfing for Sustainability

         What begins as a fun day of golf at Blythefield Country Club ends up producing stellar young men like new Aquinas graduate Brendan Molony.  Brendan represents the many outstanding Aquinas scholarship students who get vital financial help from the donors who play in the annual Peter … More Greens to Green:  Golfing for Sustainability »

18th Annual Wege Speaker Series – THE MAGIC OF WIND

        Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association, refers to the free potential of wind-energy as “the magic of wind” because it can “power a cleaner, stronger, America.”  As this year’s presenter for the 18th annual Wege Foundation Speaker Series, Kiernan happily announced that wind-powered … More 18th Annual Wege Speaker Series – THE MAGIC OF WIND »

Beetles to Bees to Bacteria Fighters: Nature’s Teachers

Ever since Leonardo da Vinci drew a flying machine patterned after birds’ wings, humans have looked to nature for good ideas.  And why not, as biologist Janine Benyus says, since Mother Nature has been perfecting her designs for 3.8 billion years while we humans have barely arrived on the planet. … More Beetles to Bees to Bacteria Fighters: Nature’s Teachers »

GREAT LAKES PEOPLE:  MARK YOUR TV CALENDARS!

        APRIL 27 4 p.m. or April 28 11:30 p.m. on PBS Those are the debut times for a new documentary about the good work going to restore and protect the Great Lakes.  Titled “Growing Up Green,” the 28-minute PBS show takes viewers on a journey into schools … More GREAT LAKES PEOPLE:  MARK YOUR TV CALENDARS! »

Steelcase Honors Wege For All the Right Reasons

The March 18, 2008, New York Times titled a major news article in the business section, “Corporate Sponsorship for a Wind Farm.” The corporation covered in this national and international news story is Steelcase Inc., the company Peter Martin Wege founded in 1912 as Metal Office Furniture. But the story … More Steelcase Honors Wege For All the Right Reasons »

Students Tackle a ‘Wicked Problem’ for $30,000

Consider what these things have in common.  A vegetable garden in every living room; potato-made plastic bags; a hands-on cradle-to-cradle learning center in the now vacant Grand Rapids Public Museum.  If you said whiz-kids’ solutions for creating a circular economy, a gold star for you.  Another star if you know … More Students Tackle a ‘Wicked Problem’ for $30,000 »

Clock Ticking on Keeping Asian Carp Out of The Great Lakes

The huge, ugly, leaping Asian Carp now threaten the $23 billion fishing-boating  economy of the Great Lakes.  Five years after Congress ordered the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to find the best and fastest way to stop the invasive fish, the Corps could not come up with a solution.  Instead … More Clock Ticking on Keeping Asian Carp Out of The Great Lakes »

Parent Magazine: One of the “Coolest Schools in America”

Five years ago the Grand Rapids Public Schools and Peter M. Wege joined forces to create a sixth-grade program focused on environmental education at City High Middle.   That was how the Center For Economicology – named for Peter Wege’s philosophy and books – came to be.          Wege coined the … More Parent Magazine: One of the “Coolest Schools in America” »

Wonder, Blandford Nature Center’s Goat, Steals the Show

The October invitation to “See you under the stars for a bedazzling evening” happened under a tent with  200 nature lovers wearing Jeans and Jewelry. The FUNdraiser for Blandford Nature Center began by naming Peter M. Wege the first winner of its Crown Jewel Award. In 2006 when Blandford lost … More Wonder, Blandford Nature Center’s Goat, Steals the Show »

Sanity broke out in the U.S. House of Representatives.

If you want to know the rest of the story, click on the link below to Andy Buchsbaum’s Guest Column in Bridge Magazine. If you love the Great Lakes – and who doesn’t? – Andy’s report will inspire you. It’s an encouraging account on how all of us can make a difference … More Sanity broke out in the U.S. House of Representatives. »

Path to College starts at Wege Farm

Peter M. Wege’s beloved Lowell farm is the setting for this inspiring video of an environmental and educational program The Wege Foundation started three years ago for Grand Rapids Public School students. Partnering with Aquinas, Calvin, and Hope, the Foundation aims to introduce these GRPS high schoolers to colleges as … More Path to College starts at Wege Farm »

Wege Foundation consultant delivers Commencement Speech at U of M

Mark Van Putten has more than 30 years of experience in environmental policymaking and nonprofit organizational leadership at the international, national, regional, and local levels. He serves as a Public Interest Law Fellow at the University of Michigan Law School; a member of the School of Natural Resources & Environment … More Wege Foundation consultant delivers Commencement Speech at U of M »

U of M Dean Delivers Aquinas’s Annual Wege Lecture

In a talk titled Math to Maps to Moms, Dr. Marie Lynn Miranda gave the 17th Wege Foundation Lecture at Aquinas College April 18.  The dean of the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources & Environment is a leading authority on how environmental toxins are poisoning our children’s health—especially children … More U of M Dean Delivers Aquinas’s Annual Wege Lecture »

Family Members Come to Michigan for the Wege Lecture

Jessica Wege McLear and Caitlin Wege are pictured above with Dr. Mary Sue Coleman, President of the University of Michigan. The sisters came across the country, one from Boston, one from San Diego, to attend Michigan’s annual Peter M. Wege Lecture started by their grandfather in 2001. This year’s speaker … More Family Members Come to Michigan for the Wege Lecture »

FARM FOOD? FAMILY FUN? FIND THE DOWNTOWN MARKET

After years of dreaming, discussing, and designing, a farmer’s market for the inner city is now happening.  Seven abandoned warehouses on a city block bordered by Ionia, Logan, Wealthy, and 131 have been replaced by a soaring structure of recycled wood and concrete. From 131, the Market will be recognized … More FARM FOOD? FAMILY FUN? FIND THE DOWNTOWN MARKET »

A Rose By Any Other Name…

If anyone else had announced one cold day in early 2004, “We have to save the Great Lakes,” The Wege Foundation staff would have gently nodded and gone about their business.  But not when that “anyone” was Peter Wege.  They knew him too well. Ellen Satterlee, now CEO of the … More A Rose By Any Other Name… »

Great Lakes’ Pioneer Caretakers Gather

Two years before the historic 1972 Clean Water Act was passed to fight water pollution, a concerned group of Great Lakes residents were already working on it. In 1970, a grassroots movement of good citizens formed the Alliance for the Great Lakes, now the oldest independently formed organization in the … More Great Lakes’ Pioneer Caretakers Gather »

Preserving Farmland Now is The Key to Michigan’s Future Economy

On a chilly May day in 2006, Peter Wege dedicated Lloyd and Kathleen Flanagan’s 145-acre farm as Kent County’s second permanently preserved farm. Tom Howard’s 106 acre farm (pictured above), preserved the year before, was the county’s first. Since that day, 15 more working farms – a total of 1,987 … More Preserving Farmland Now is The Key to Michigan’s Future Economy »

University of Michigan’s  Newest Dean Wows Her Audience

Healing lead-poisoning in children with backpacks? According to the new Dean of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources & the Environment, books in a backpack are indeed a good start! And Dean Dr. Marie Lynn Miranda should know. She is an academician and a pediatrician whose research specialty – and passion … More University of Michigan’s  Newest Dean Wows Her Audience »

KROC TOUR WITH JENNIFER AND CAITLIN WEGE

Two of Peter Wege’s granddaughters, Jennifer Wege from North Carolina and Caitlin Wege from California, came to Grand Rapids in March to attend LaughFest, a fundraiser for the cancer-support group Gilda’s Club. The Wege Foundation has been a major LaughFest sponsor since the 10-day comedy festival kicked off in 2011. … More KROC TOUR WITH JENNIFER AND CAITLIN WEGE »

Steelcase son Peter Wege to enter environmental hall of fame

Matt Vande Bunte | mvandebu@mlive.com By Matt Vande Bunte | mvandebu@mlive.com  Follow on Twitter on March 20, 2012 at 12:17 PM, updated March 20, 2012 at 12:53 PM GRAND RAPIDS – The inaugural class of inductees into the new Michigan Environmental Hall of Fame includes Peter Wege, the Grand Rapids philanthropist whose father was … More Steelcase son Peter Wege to enter environmental hall of fame »

May 5 The New and Improved Fulton Street Farmers Market Opens Up

Talk about raising the roof! Grand Rapids’ popular Fulton Street Farmers Market is undergoing a $2.7 million upgrade  converting it into a year-around enterprise.  In three months, the snows of winter adorning the construction site will be replaced by fruits of spring when the Market opens the first Saturday in … More May 5 The New and Improved Fulton Street Farmers Market Opens Up »

‘Renew Blandford School’ a First for GRPS

The $2.3 million campaign to put up a permanent school building for 60 sixth-graders in the Grand Rapids Public Schools will break ground in two ways next spring. Literally it will move turf for the LEED certified classroom building. Figuratively it makes history as the first public school in Grand … More ‘Renew Blandford School’ a First for GRPS »

Grand Rapids CC Pays Tribute To Peter Wege

October 11, 2011, was declared Peter Wege Night by Grand Rapids Community College’s Foundation. The program described Wege as a “Local Legend” and “Global Thinker” adding that the Grand Rapids native is “100% Homegrown.” GRCC President Steven Ender, pictured above with his wife Karen and Peter, called Wege “Our third … More Grand Rapids CC Pays Tribute To Peter Wege »

Peter Wege’s Farm Hosts Friends of Blandford

Jamon Alexander, a former BEEP – or “Blandford Environmental Education Program” graduate – stands with Annoesjka Steinman (top left), Blandford Nature Center’s director, at Peter Wege’s Lowell farm on a perfect September evening. Jamon told the friends of Blandford that spending his sixth-grade at Blandford changed his life. While Jamon … More Peter Wege’s Farm Hosts Friends of Blandford »

Wege Surprise Honors Dr. Jonathan Bulkley

To Peter Wege, Jonathan is not only a gifted scholar, teacher, and researcher, but he is also one of Peter’s closest friends. They first met in Lansing in 1991 when Dr. Bulkley and Greg Keoleian, his Ph.D student at the time, invited Peter to serve as the new NPPC’s first … More Wege Surprise Honors Dr. Jonathan Bulkley »

Economicology Students Share Costa Rica’s pura vida

In April 2011, eight students and two educators from the Grand Rapids Public Schools’ City High/Middle School spent over a week in Costa Rica on a trip that, in the students’ own written words, had a profound impact on their lives. The eight young men and women from the Center … More Economicology Students Share Costa Rica’s pura vida »

ECONOMICOLOGY: THE RAPID’S SILVER LINE

Public transportation in Grand Rapids is not only alive and well, it is also about to run better, faster, and more often. Thanks to the recent passage of increased millage for the Rapid bus system, the Silver Line will hit the road next year carrying more passengers more often to … More ECONOMICOLOGY: THE RAPID’S SILVER LINE »

Wildlife Filmmaker Captivates GRPS Students

Chris Palmer delivered the 15th annual Aquinas College Wege Lecture at 4 pm April 15. Earlier in the day, the internationally known environmental filmmaker began sharing his films and stories with 120 enthusiastic sixth-graders from the Grand Rapids Public Schools’ Blandford School, Zoo School and the Center for Economicology, housed … More Wildlife Filmmaker Captivates GRPS Students »

10th Wege Lecture at U of M – A Brilliant talk by Dr. Larry Brilliant

University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman described Dr. Larry Brilliant as a 60s Hippie idealist, a 1990s entrepreneur, and 21st Century high-techer. And Brilliant proved to be all those things March 16 when he delivered the 2011 Peter M. Wege Lecture for the U of M’s School of Natural … More 10th Wege Lecture at U of M – A Brilliant talk by Dr. Larry Brilliant »

10th ANNUAL WEGE LECTURE ON SUSTAINABILITY

The University of Michigan’s Center for Sustainable Systems in the School of Natural Resources and Environment will present the 10th annual Peter M. Wege Lecture on Sustainability March 16 at 3:30 p.m. in Rackham Auditorium on U of M’s campus. This annual free Lecture Series focuses on critical issues of … More 10th ANNUAL WEGE LECTURE ON SUSTAINABILITY »

SOOPER YOOPER Author Honored in N.Y.

Thursday, September 23, the late environmental, activist artist/illustrator Mark Heckman, known throughout Michigan for his colorful billboards, won the top Media Great Laker Award at the 2010 Great Lakes Restoration conference in Buffalo, New York, attended by almost 300 members representing over 130 national environmental groups. Ellen Satterlee and Terri … More SOOPER YOOPER Author Honored in N.Y. »

COMPRENEW MEETS WEGE’S EDUCATIONAL & ENVIRONMENTAL MISSION

The five-year-old non-profit Comprenew Environmental collects and recycles used electronics, including computers and cell phones. Last year alone Comprenew kept over two million pounds of electronics out of landfills. Formerly a for-profit business, Comprenew changed its emphasis and moved from Rockford to the inner-city of Grand Rapids to be near … More COMPRENEW MEETS WEGE’S EDUCATIONAL & ENVIRONMENTAL MISSION »

SOOPER YOOPER

The Wege Foundation is honored to support Mark Heckman’s “Sooper Yooper” because Peter Wege believes the problem of exotic invasive species is the single biggest threat to the Great Lakes. Mark Heckman’s remarkable talent and his own love for the Great Lakes makes this book vitally important to the young … More SOOPER YOOPER »

NEW MASTERS OF SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS DEGREE IN G.R.

Aquinas College announced its new Master of Sustainable Business Degree, the first of its kind in the upper Midwest, at a luncheon held May 25 in Aquinas’s Wege Center. Introducing the new offering, President Ed Balog gave Peter M. Wege full credit for pushing Aquinas in this direction starting in … More NEW MASTERS OF SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS DEGREE IN G.R. »

Steelcase Retirees Hear Update on Restoring the Great Lakes

The very active and energetic Steelcase Retirees Club of invited the Wege Foundation to speak in May at one of their regular monthly meetings held at Steelcase headquarters. The retirees wanted to learn more about the status of healing the Great Lakes. The 450 members all know Peter Wege and … More Steelcase Retirees Hear Update on Restoring the Great Lakes »

Famous Oceanographer Engages GRPS Students

  You cannot save what you do not know and love. Aldo Leopold, American ecologist The week of Earth Day April 2010 was celebrated at Grand Rapids Public Schools’ City High/Middle School when Dr. Sylvia Earle, an internationally famous oceanographer, spent a morning there. Dr. Earle held students spellbound as … More Famous Oceanographer Engages GRPS Students »

Wege Lecture Speaker Captivates her Audience

Dr. Sylvia Earle, a global authority on the ocean and Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society, both entertained and warned a packed audience at Aquinas College during the week of Earth Day April 2010. Dr. Earle delivered the 14th annual Wege Foundation Lecture titled, “Without Blue There Is No Green.” … More Wege Lecture Speaker Captivates her Audience »

Generosity In G.R. Makes $62 Million Kroc Happen

When Ray Kroc first started selling McDonald’s hamburgs in Chicago, he was impressed by the dedication of Salvation Army members ringing bells on the Windy City’s frozen street to raise money for needy families. He couldn’t know his little business would turn into an empire, but generous from the get-go, … More Generosity In G.R. Makes $62 Million Kroc Happen »

So Who’s This Peter Wege? And What In Heck Is Economicology?

March 24, 2010 A rain forest in Costa Rica is named for Peter Wege. The New York Times featured the world’s first newly built clean-energy art museum and attributed its origin to him. Saving the Great Lakes has turned into a hot media topic and a $20 billion federal law … More So Who’s This Peter Wege? And What In Heck Is Economicology? »

NEW BLANDFORD LEADER HITS THE GROUND RUNNING

Blandford Nature Center is an environmental, wildlife nature center and school in northwest Grand Rapids created in the 1960s. Several years ago Blandford’s chief funder, the Grand Rapids Public Museum Board, realized they could no longer afford to pay the bills. They turned to the Grand Rapids Public Schools, but … More NEW BLANDFORD LEADER HITS THE GROUND RUNNING »

The Kids Take on : TAKE BACK THE TAP

Peter M. Wege has forever said that if this planet is to be saved, “The kids must do it.” He’s counting on the children pictured here at Ada Christian School in Grand Rapids to help promote the Take Back The Tap campaign The Wege Foundation has launched to end the … More The Kids Take on : TAKE BACK THE TAP »

The Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers: How they came to be

In 2002 when Joan Kroc, the widow of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc, built a world-class family recreation center in a blighted part of San Diego, no crystal ball could have foreseen the impact of her gift. That original Kroc Community Center elevated the neighborhood and the endless streams of families … More The Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers: How they came to be »

Wisconsin Governor Shares Good News on Saving the Lakes

Seven representatives of The Wege Foundation, including Trustees Mary Nelson, Peter Wege II, and Ellen Satterlee, attended the 4th Annual Great Lakes Restoration Conference in Milwaukee September 10-12. Most appropriately, the seven Wege Foundation delegates traveled from Grand Rapids to Milwaukee by crossing Lake Michigan on the Lake Express ferry. … More Wisconsin Governor Shares Good News on Saving the Lakes »

Economicology Principles Move into Grand Rapids’ Classrooms

Thanks to The Wege Foundation, the Grand Rapids Public Schools are infusing Peter Wege’s concept of economicology into the curriculum. Wege coined the word economicology to define the balance needed between the economy and the ecology. The word summarizes Wege’s advocacy for educating the public on the reality that a … More Economicology Principles Move into Grand Rapids’ Classrooms »

PEACE WITH NATURE INITIATIVE

The forward-thinking president of Costa Rica Oscar Arias Sanchez has launched an international conservation effort that could help save 4% of the world’s biodiversity. Called the Peace With Nature Initiative, President Arias’s plan continues the visionary environmentalism Costa Rica began two decades ago. Working with Dr. Dan Janzen, University of … More PEACE WITH NATURE INITIATIVE »

U of P Biologist Discusses Costa Rica and Species Bar Coding

In late July, 2008, The Wege Foundation invited friends from several West Michigan foundations to meet University of Pennsylvania professor Dr. Dan Janzen and his wife Dr. Winnie Hallwachs Janzen and learn about their conservation work in the Costa Rican rain forest. Since Peter Wege first met the Janzens in … More U of P Biologist Discusses Costa Rica and Species Bar Coding »

ASU Chief Goes After Fellow Academic Leaders

The 2008 Climate Leadership Summit of the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment concluded its two days of meetings in Grand Rapids, Michigan, on June 6. Speaking at the closing luncheon, the chairman of the ACUPCC and president of Arizona State University, Michael M. Crowe did not tiptoe around … More ASU Chief Goes After Fellow Academic Leaders »

ECONOMICOLOGY 2008 CONFERENCE: A Win-Win for Sustainability

“It will take education and leadership from colleges and universities to meet the environmental challenges we face and leave a healthy world for our children and grandchildren. Together, we can do this…” Peter Wege The Wege Foundation’s ninth annual ECONOMICOLOGY meeting of environmental leaders and academicians was held on April … More ECONOMICOLOGY 2008 CONFERENCE: A Win-Win for Sustainability »

Want Quick Green Facts and In-depth Info?

Visit www.css.snre.umich.edu/facts Since the early 1990s, Peter Wege has been actively involved with the School of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of Michigan where he went to school. In 1991, when the SNR & E won the Environmental Protection Agency’s national competition to house the country’s first … More Want Quick Green Facts and In-depth Info? »

NEW SOLAR PANELS SAVE ENERGY, PROMOTE LEARNING

On a hot August day in 2006, Peter M. Wege had the honor of cutting a big red ribbon to open the newly rebuilt East Grand Rapids Library and City Hall on Reeds Lake. The privilege was Peter’s not only for his generous financial support, but also for his prodding … More NEW SOLAR PANELS SAVE ENERGY, PROMOTE LEARNING »

Early ‘Olympic’ Gold for GRAM

Elite athletes aren’t the only ones striving for the gold. Any new construction that is enrolled in the U. S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program dreams of earning a Gold ranking, second only to platinum. Now that the U.S. G.B.C. has finished its formal … More Early ‘Olympic’ Gold for GRAM »

Wege Foundation joins Green Grand Rapids Coalition

Since he started The Wege Foundation in 1967, Peter Wege has always advocated collaboration. He knows the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and he’s seen the synergy created when several partners work together for a common cause. The most recent example of Peter Wege’s style of … More Wege Foundation joins Green Grand Rapids Coalition »

PETER WEGE RECEIVES HONORARY DOCTORATE FROM THE U OF M

The University of Michigan paid its highest tribute to lifelong East Grand Rapids resident Peter M. Wege by awarding him an honorary degree as a Doctor of Laws. Mary Sue Coleman, president of the University, gave the Honorary Doctorate to Peter M. Wege during the University of Michigan’s winter commencement … More PETER WEGE RECEIVES HONORARY DOCTORATE FROM THE U OF M »

G. R. MAGAZINE NAMES PETER M. WEGE ONE OF CITY’S MOST POWERFUL

The December issue of Grand Rapids Magazine published brief profiles on the 25 people their staff considered the city’s most important. The first person listed was Peter M. Wege. In Peter Wege’s biography titled “Looking Beyond Horizons,” reporter Curt Wozniak gave him credit for making Grand Rapids, Michigan, the greenest … More G. R. MAGAZINE NAMES PETER M. WEGE ONE OF CITY’S MOST POWERFUL »

BILL FORD ANNOUNCES NATIONAL ENERGY COUNCIL AT WEGE LECTURE.

William Clay Ford, Jr., Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company, delivered the Seventh Annual Peter M. Wege Lecture at the University of Michigan November 13, 2007. Henry Ford’s great-grandson, who goes by the name “Bill Ford,” called his speech, The Road to Sustainable Transportation. Bill Clay Ford has been known … More BILL FORD ANNOUNCES NATIONAL ENERGY COUNCIL AT WEGE LECTURE. »

PETER M. WEGE WINS STEWARDSHIP AWARD FROM UNITED GROWTH

In the fall of 2007, United Growth for Kent County gave Peter M. Wege its Land Use Stewardship Award. The environmental land-use organization recognized Wege and the Foundation for supporting farmland preservation, public transit, water quality, green-building initiatives, and energy conservation. In making the presentation, Paul Haan, President of the … More PETER M. WEGE WINS STEWARDSHIP AWARD FROM UNITED GROWTH »

THE SECOND PILLAR: THE ENVIRONMENT

HEALING OUR WATERS What began as Peter M. Wege’s vision to save the Great Lakes by inviting 70 environmentalists to a Grand Rapids conference in May 2004 turned into and unprecedented federal commitment within five years. Also supported by the Beldon, Frey, and Mott Foundations, the original meeting Wege convened … More THE SECOND PILLAR: THE ENVIRONMENT »