Eco3 Impact and Vision: Reflecting on 2023, Looking Forward to 2024

Together we dream. Together we build. Together we thrive. 

Envision the Northland as a place that is economically vibrant, ecologically healthy, and empowering for everyone. Ecolibrium3 works to make this vision a reality. We collaborate with passionate community members and partners to promote investment, education, and wellbeing. Let’s see what we achieved together in 2023! 

Promoted climate solutions for community and environmental health.

We advanced the Duluth Citizens’ Climate Action Plan through the GetGreen Duluth pilot. This mobile app encouraged local residents to develop sustainable habits by gamifying climate actions. 300 participants took over 3,600 actions including advocating for the expansion of the Duluth Natural Areas Program, opting to ride one of Duluth’s electric buses, and composting food and yard waste at WLSSD. During the GetGreen pilot, there was a 227% increase in Duluth climate actions taken, adding up to over 25 tons of averted carbon emissions!

Blue and green text reads "227% increase in Duluth actions" over a blue arrow pointing up
Person puts a small green token into a box, symbolizing climate actions taken. There are stickers, papers, and tote bags laid out on the table.

Grew produce and provided education at the Eco3 Urban Farm to support local food system creation.

The Farm is part of our efforts to promote sustainable local food systems, which also includes a Community Food Resource Guide and the Garden in a Bucket project. Located on the campus of Lake Superior College, the Eco3 Urban Farm was transformed from underutilized infrastructure to a thriving ecosystem. This past summer and fall, community members connected with the land and each other. The Farm team grew and donated over 2,600 pounds of produce. The space hosted over eight hundred visitors for Farm to School Day and community educational events. Farm development was supported by the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation and Essentia.

Connected local residents and organizations to learn about sustainability during Earth Week.

Throughout Earth Week in April 2023, we hosted opportunities to learn about a sustainable business economy, envision the streets of the future, and discuss the pressures of gentrification through a climate equity lens. On Earth Day, volunteers picked up 5,000 pounds of trash at the annual Lincoln Park Cleanup, and hundreds of visitors engaged with local organizations and businesses to learn about living sustainability locally at the first annual Duluth EcoFest.

Green and blue text reads 5,000 pounds of trash cleaned up. Graphic shows stick figures high-fiving while holding trash bags.
Three people sit behind a table covered in models, papers, and resources about energy efficiency. They are looking off-camera.

Together, we continue this work by bringing passionate people together to make our community a better place to live, work, and play.

In 2024, we will…

Develop new models for self-reliant and resilient power systems.

We will secure resources and implement innovative community-driven clean energy solutions, like the Lincoln Park Community Solar Garden. This past year the project gained national attention with a visit from the Secretary of Energy, and generated 52 MWH of electricity. In addition to the ongoing management of the community solar project, we will explore home-based energy resilience, solar-plus-storage solutions and geothermal possibilities. We are supporting the development of a community-based plan for a geothermal district heating system by repurposing waste heat generated from WLSSD. 

Three people pose for photos in front of the Lincoln Park Solar Garden sign.

Expand offerings to enhance energy efficiency and cost savings. 

In 2023, we helped over 150 households reduce their energy costs through our energy audit program. In 2024, we will expand our programming. In addition to a utility bill consultations, a home energy analysis, and steps for increasing energy efficiency, the improved audit will include an electrification assessment, augmented with healthy housing, rain-readiness, and aging-in-place recommendations. This will improve housing stock, enhance health outcomes, and promote climate goals.

Blue graphic of a house surrounds text reading "making homes safe, healthy & energy efficient." A small yellow heart with a check inside is at the top of the house.
Two people point at the exterior of a house, looking up.

Support a vibrant Lincoln Park residential neighborhood and commercial district.

Investing in the Lincoln Park community has been a common thread in our work for many years. We’ve partnered with businesses, studied crosswalks and parking, updated a condemned property, made plans to increase food access, and celebrated the park reopening. In 2024 we will continue partnering on sustainability initiatives, infrastructure improvements, and community-centered solutions, including the redesign of West Superior Street and renovations at the Lincoln Park Hub. These projects support a thriving small business craft district and enhance the wellbeing of residents.

Blue text reads "Together, we create community" over simple graphics of multi-colored stick figures walking and rolling in front of square buildings.
Overview of park on sunny day, crowd of people gathered in front of a pavilion.

Together, we create community. 

Thank you to all our supporters and partners who provide money, time, and talent to further our collective efforts to dream, build, and thrive together. 

Five people gathered around a laptop show joy and surprise in this silly photo.
Three smiling people pose with shovels and rakes in front of a greenhouse and a flower bed on a sunny day.
Two people smile and gesture "thumbs up" inside brick building, in front of two windows.