From Producer Luke Heikkila, whose recent production days have taken him to familiar territory. Read on to see what he’s up to in his latest project with the Minnesota Department of Health…
“I grew up in Afton, Minnesota amongst the trees on a beautiful five acre lot. I grew up a short bike ride from the public beach on the St. Croix River. I tell you this as a way to explain myself. How is it that I spent over 20 years listing Afton as my permanent address, yet I had never been to Afton State Park? Perhaps it is because I grew up surrounded by nature. Perhaps summer days were spent on, near, or in the river. Perhaps van trips across the country, baseball games, or time spent at the cabin usurped exploring a crown jewel of the State Park system. Whatever the case may be, I can now say I have been to Afton State Park.
I am working with the Minnesota Department of Health on a new project that will explore the public health aspects of climate change. This isn’t a program that is going to talk about polar bears and the Arctic ice pack, nor is it a program that is going to get into who, if anyone, can be blamed for our changing climate. This is a program that will use climate experts, such as Mark Seeley and Paul Douglas, to illustrate data and trends reflecting a warmer and wetter climate in Minnesota.
This program will explore the topic of how we will need to change the way we live in order to adapt to our new climate. Issues like vector borne diseases from tics and mosquitoes will increase in number and severity. Heavy rain events will lead to more flooding in one county while drought persists in a neighboring county. Farmers will need to continue to adapt and our children and their summer sports seasons will continue to seek ways to keep athletes safe.
This program won’t be alarmist in nature. It will provide viewers with some tangible ideas to help adapt to, and even mitigate, some of the changes we will continue to face as our climate changes. Look for more updates about this program throughout the late summer and fall.
To prove that I was at Afton State Park I am including a short clip that, through a Girl Scout camp focusing on nature photography, shares with you a small slice of the splendor of the park. In the full-length television program I will use this backdrop as a way to help illustrate to viewers through expert interviews that as the climate we live in changes so too will the environments, habitats, and activities we most enjoy.”
Be sure to keep an eye out for more behind-the-scenes extras from Luke and the tpt crew as production continues on this program with the Minnesota Department of Health!