MAC Sustainability Newsletter, April 2017

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header image: social, environmental, economic

    Local honey and therapy dogs -- the MAC celebrates Earth Week with an eye-catching event


    The Metropolitan Airports Commission (MAC) celebrated Earth Week recently with outreach to travelers passing through Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP).

    The MSP event happened earlier in the week, as a “Bee Sustainable” theme guided MAC employees who handed out local honey while several of MSP’s therapy dogs wore bee costumes and attracted a crowd.

    Pictured: Elsa, an MSP therapy dog, at the Earth Day event.

    The honey came from an apiary on the east side of the MSP airfield, where the airport is in an ongoing collaboration with the University of Minnesota’s Bee Squad and the MSP Airport Foundation.  

    MAC employees Katlyn Kaiser and Christene Sirois Kron with Bishop, a therapy dog at MSP.

    The beekeeping program was set up to help military veterans who have experienced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and have an interest in learning beekeeping. The program also is part of a study on the therapeutic effects of beekeeping on PTSD. The program is succeeding with strong participation by veterans and a thriving apiary.


    During the honey give-away, travelers were greeted by several dogs in bee costumes, including Bishop, the always-popular Great Dane and gentle giant at the airport.

    Several retailers operating at MSP also emphasized the sustainable aspects of their business during Earth Week, including recycled products, waste recycling and local sourcing of food. 

    Travelers were greeted by MAC staff and therapy dogs at MSP during the Earth Week event.


    Stone Arch bar and restaurant added new images to its digital displays encouraging customers to go local. Stone Arch’s beer menu is 100 percent Minnesotan and features a wide variety of craft beers. Items on the menu with distinct Minnesota ties and local sourcing are marked with icons to note the connection.


    “We always strive to do Minnesota first,” said Michelle Ranum, chief marketing and brands officer with Aero Service Group, which operates Stone Arch and several other concessions at MSP.

    Pictured: A table sign at Stone Arch on display during Earth Week.

    The MAC’s partnership with the Bee Squad, and efforts with airport food and retail vendors to offer regionally sourced products when practicable, is part of the commission’s overall goal of operating its airports in ways that are socially, environmentally and economically sustainable. 

    Spirit Airline employees pose with Bishop at the MAC's Earth Day event.

    MAC staff will continue the spirit of Earth Week this weekend, as more than 35 employees are signed up to participate in an Adopt-A-Highway event. The program involves cleaning up areas along Minnesota’s highways.