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Gleanings from Headline News – February 2021

Minnesota Teen Becomes Butterfly Whisperer

Olivia Nienaber, 18, has become an avid gardener for pollinators at her family’s 10-acre homestead in Scandia, MN. Over the past year, she has planted more than 400 flowers, shrubs, and trees in 16 gardens on her family’s homestead, attracting a riot of birds, bees, and butterflies. Read more at Star Tribune.

Easy Ways to Create Wildlife Gardens

Create striking home landscapes that benefit wildlife and you. This site provides practical, educationally-sound information on native landscaping developed specifically for first-time native plant gardeners looking for help getting started, including free downloadable native plant designs. Read more at The Wild Ones.

Western Monarch Population in Grave Danger

Western Monarch population is closer to extinction as the wait continues for Monarchs’ protection under the Endangered Species Act. The monarch has declined so much in North America that in 2014 the Xerces Society and their conservation partners submitted a petition proposing listing the species under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Six years later, the monarch is still not on the endangered species list. Read more at Xerces Society.

A Poignant Reading Journey

The librarian at Longwood Gardens (PA) offers a few suggestions to delight both in the gardens’ changing beauty and their cultural and historical connections. Each book gives its perspective of the African American experience, and each is a source of inspiration. Read more at Longwood Gardens.

Resilience: Art in the Time of COVID

Resilience is defined as “an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.” Exhibiting artist Lois Cremmins sought solace in the Arnold Arboretum (MA). Looking at Cremmins’ art – vivid combinations of paint and collage on paper – one senses her spirit’s uplifting. Read more at Arnold Arboretum.

Can Our Coastal Ecosystem Be Saved?

America’s coastal saltwater wetlands are on a course toward functional extinction in the coming decades. Their demise will come at the hands of steadily accelerating sea-level rise and relentless coastal development. The Biden administration has an opportunity – and a responsibility – to help save the coastal ecosystems that protect us. Read more at The Revelator.

Avoiding a ‘Ghastly Future’

A group of the world’s top ecologists have issued a stark warning about the snowballing crisis caused by climate change, population growth, and unchecked development. Their assessment is grim, but big-picture societal changes on a global scale can still avert a disastrous future. Read more at Yale Environment 360.

World’s Biggest Wildlife Crossing Reaches Funding Milestone

The fundraising campaign by National Wildlife Federation to create a wildlife crossing over the 101 Freeway in Agoura Hills, CA has reached the $18 million mark, putting groundbreaking within sight. The crossing is intended to save the local population of mountain lions from extinction and is funded mostly from private donations. Read more at FOX LA.

Grass as Portraits

Dan Harvey and Heather Ackroyd work in a medium that’s not found in any art supply store. They create literal living sculptures and portraits out of grass. The pair applies germinated grass seed in a thick layer and wait for the art to grow like the classiest Chia pet imaginable. Read more at Nerdist.

Are Rising Sea Levels Only Cause for Coastal Loss?

Although climate change is often blamed for coastal inundation in places like the Bay of Bengal, other factors such as dam building and urbanization play an important role. Scientists say that more sustainable development policies can help blunt the impacts of rising seas. Read more at Yale Environment 360.

Experiencing Nature Hands-On Digitally

Arnold Arboretum (MA) moved their popular field studies program online to create Digital Nature Buddies (DNB). DNB is a 40-minute weekly program designed to share nature with children virtually. Read more at Arnold Arboretum.

Does Pollution and Economic Growth Move in Synch?

In a first, researchers use two decades of satellite data on pollution to show the potential to break the links between growth and emissions. Read more at Anthropocene Magazine.

Calling All Landscape Designers

COG Design seeks landscape architects/designers and project liaisons for three 2021 projects in Greater Boston. COG is seeking at least two designers for each project, and often matches new professionals with those who have more experience in the field. Read more at COG Design.

ME Invasive Plant Management Class

Attention Woodland Owners and Natural Resource Professionals: Invasive plants choke out native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers and harm wildlife habitat in your woods. This program provides training for natural resource professionals through a multi-day training academy. Read more at Maine Gov.