Blog: Ken Kozora

Ken Kozora says he's a composer, performer, educator, thinker and doer. We say he's really really busy. Ken's the founder and Director of Horns for the Holidays, teaches music to emotionally impaired children, does event planning for the Ecology Center and contracts as a solar and wind installer. He'll be writing about all that stuff. Read on!

Ken Kozora - Post 2: EcoHistory

Today's blog I will share some personal history, describe my involvement in environmental issues and will suggest a couple of very simple ways where you can help make a difference on these serious national issues and have a whole lot of serious fun doing it…….Really!

Ken's EcoHistory

ve had an interest in environmental issues for most of my life. Compared to the foul smelling, tire and bottle filled, slimy green Rouge River down at the end of my block growing up, the woods, puffy clouds, blue sky, clear rivers and smell of pine trees up north where my family would vacation every summer seemed like a magical wonderland.

As a young boy I remember asking my teacher; "what’s that green and white striped flag with the round yellow circle in the middle?" And I remember thinking what a cool reason that was to have a flag. I also remember seeing and reading in the paper about smog and rivers on fire and all these people protesting in the streets over environmental issues and how we should not desecrate nature. I innocently agreed with the protesters on the logic of the question: Why would anyone not want to care for and clean up the environment?

Do you remember the public service commercial where the Native American man is canoeing down what appears to be a pristine river and he pulls up onto the shoreline and the suddenly the whole horizon is filled with a pollution belching industrial landscape? The camera returns to the old man’s face and you see a single teardrop running down his cheek…. I still innocently agree with those protesters from long ago.

I had not contemplated attending college, but all the issues over pollution and the energy shortages taking place during the 1970's influenced me to study solar architecture and conservation for a short while. I also helped retrofit an older home for passive solar power for Urban Options in Lansing and worked as an energy auditor for a few years. Ultimately I had a passion for music and perused that, but I also had this fantasy that I felt could combined these interests. I would have to wait almost 30 years for that to manifest.

I moved to Ann Arbor in the mid 1980's and learned of the Ecology Center and I’ve been involved with the organization on some level ever since. I’ve performed music, coordinated, volunteered, and contracted for the EcoRide and Dance for the Earth fundraisers. I am currently Events Manager at EC. I also work part-time as a contractor, installing solar H2O & photovoltaic panels and I’ve helped with a wind turbine too. Tomorrow I'll tell you about how that "fantasy" from 30 years previous has been fulfilled. 

Support the Cause and Have Fun!

The Ecology Center has worked tirelessly for a long, long time to help make our lives a cleaner, healthier and just place. The scope of their work includes cooperating with small neighborhoods in our local community to advocating for national environmental policies that have international influence and long term ramifications that affect the stability of our planet. Lot's of info is available at on all the great programs they run so I won’t get into details here. 

This organization has made a difference through the dedication of their staff, the hard work of their volunteers and the generosity of their financial supporters. Just goes to show you how each one of us can do one small part and it adds up to make a big change..

Its serious business, but…….. we all wanna have fun too!

Let’s Party!

I'd like to share some information on two events that I coordinate for the Ecology Center.

Dance for the Earth is a fantastic party that takes place this year on April 25th at Downtown Home and Garden from 8-11pm. Why is it fantastic? It's fantastic because we will again (this is the 4th annual) fill the place with jump’n live music, food & drinks, a silent auction with really great items, crazy costumes and a drumming parade.

Why do we pack all that fun into 3 hours you might ask? Not just because we are fun people, but because we want to raise lots of money for the Mary Beth Doyle Memorial Fund and because we know this is going to be the "Best Earth Day Party" in town!

OK….more fun!

Save Sunday June 28th on your calendar for the 30millionth EcoRide. I've honestly lost track of the years because I've been involved with this event soooo long. And that’s a good thing because every year it just gets better. It's a bike ride/fundraiser.

Last year we started at Hudson Mills Metro Park. The routes went all over the place including a new route through Manchester. When you get back from your ride, food, massage, kid’s activities and live music await you. Last year Gone Cajun provided some foot stomp'n music and yours truly provided an ambient electronic solar powered set. This, all in the name of raising funds for the Ecology Center’s fantastic programs. Visit for all the details.   

Seriously Now………………..Support the Ecology Center …….and have Fun!