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  Are we Green?
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The Blue Heron Bed and Breakfast was founded in 1995 by Jo Kovach who grew up here on Farm lake just a little closer to town.  After years of professional travel she decided to create her ideal place to stay - thus the particular amenities at Blue Heron.    Located 7 miles outside of Ely, MN on the very edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness we share this unique, wilderness setting with wonderful guests year after year.  We operate year round and provide our guests with easy access to the 'quiet sports' of outdoor activities - as well as quiet, private space for relaxing.  We view our business as one of selling a natural wilderness environment rather than selling room nights.  We are committed to maintaining the wilderness setting that surrounds us rather than filling those acres with other lodging options.  It is a spiritual commitment as well as the place we want to live.
Blue Heron's Mission Statement
We will provide:
  • a quiet haven of wilderness, serenity and natural beauty
  • attractive options for activity or not
  • an environment which is close to nature and reflective of nature
  • a safe, interactive experience with the wilderness
  • a safe physical environment for guests and staff
  • opportunities and means for more knowledge/skill so that guests can increase their enjoyment of the wilderness.
  • warm hospitality in a setting both naturally elegant and simple
Are we Green?

 Lots of places are going ‘green’ these days.  We are really glad that is happening.  Sustainable, eco-friendly practices have been in place at Blue Heron since its beginning in 1994.  Our ‘common-sense’ practices include:

      Economic - the cost saving benefits are passed on to you the customer.

  • Changing room linens only when guests leave or by special request during             longer stays  
  • Florescent lights,compact bulbs or LED's through out the building
  • Motion detector lights for night safety inside and out; use way less energy. Solar powered lights on paths
  • Use of a high velocity spin washing machine which reduces drying time & therefore energy use
  • Use of a short cycle dish sanitizer rather than standard dishwasher reduces hot water and energy use
  • Ceiling fans throughout the building to better distribute warm  and cool air.
  • Local and renewable wood as our primary heat source
  • Judicious use of air conditioning
  • Retractable sunshades over south, east and west windows; keeping the sun out is more effective than cooling a room.
  • Family style food service results in very low food waste
  • 2010 - installation of additional insulation in the crawl space under the building
  • 2009 & 2010 purchase of energy star refrigerator and freezer

   Environmental - lessening our impact on the environment

  • All organic cotton sheets, pillowcases and towels
  • Low or no phosphate soaps and detergent
  • Liquid soap dispensers (unscented)in guest rooms eliminate leftover soaps
  • Single ply toilet tissue for quick decomposition
  • Use of low/no toxicity, fume-free cleaning products
  • Low flow regulators on toilets and showers
  • Compostable plastic bags for garbage and waste
  •  Recycling of plastic, glass, paper and cardboard
  •  Deliver packageing products to businesses where they can be reused
  •  Purchase of reusable & recycled products
  •  Use of canoes not motorized boats
  • Plants that promote birds, butterflies and bees
  • No-lawn landscaping
  • Encouraging native species of shrubs and trees
  • Shoreline vegetation pruned only to retain limited lakeviews from the     buildings. This retains habitate for wildlife and native vegetation.
  • Compost all vegetable waste
  • re- use all office paper

Community - supporting our local community

  • ‘Tired’ linens are donated to the homeless shelter in Duluth
  • Organic and/or locally grown products whenever possible
  • Staff volunteer time in the local community 
  • Local nonprofits are able to use the meeting space here at no charge
  • Room nights and meals are regularly donated to local and national             non-profits to use in fund raising
  • Wages paid at Blue Heron are well above the average for the Ely area


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