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Gleanings April 2019

Study Shows Biochar Soaks Up Ammonia

A new study led by Cornell University shows that pyrogenic matter (biochar) soaks up nitrogen, a byproduct of fertilizer. By capturing nitrogen, the biochar keeps it available for use by plants and limits the release of nitrous oxide (a greenhouse gas) into the atmosphere. Read more in Cornell Chronicle .

Flushing Forests Down the Toilet

Many North American toilet paper makers source virgin pulp from Canadian boreal forest. “The Issue with Tissue,” a recent report by Natural Resources Defense Council and ranks the sustainability of this everyday product. Read more in GreenMatters.

How Green Is Mass Timber?

Construction with “mass timber” is on the rise, with advocates touting it as a climate change solution. Do the logging and manufacturing required to make the product outweigh any benefits? Read more in YaleEnvironment360.

Old Faithful, New Pavement

The first national park in the U.S. finished installation of porous pavement in 2018, including around Old Faithful. Read more in SWS.

Bavaria Saves the Bees

Presented with 1.75 million signatures, Bavarian politicians announced they would write into law the petition that will drastically alter farming practices in the region in order to protect insects. Read more in The Guardian.

Wild Bees May Benefit from Fire

A groundbreaking two-year study in southern Oregon found greater abundance and diversity of wild bees in areas that experienced moderate and severe forest fires compared to areas with low-severity fires. Read more at

Green Roofs for Healthy Cities Symposia

One-day events across the U.S. will feature industry experts and local leaders presenting on green roof and green wall projects and policy. Find the list of events.

Latest on Managing Garlic Mustard

Researchers at UMass Amherst released a new publication in 2018 on the management of garlic mustard: Here’s the Dirt: The Newest Recommendations for Garlic Mustard Management. Download here.

Allergy-friendly Schoolyards

Canadian horticulturist and educator Peter Prakke began an initiative to define allergy-friendly landscapes for allergy sufferers. If you are planting with allergies in mind, especially around playgrounds and schools, you can check for recommendations at

New England Wild Flower Becomes Native Plant Trust

Highlighting its mission to conserve and promote New England’s native plants, New England Wild Flower Society has taken a new name: Native Plant Trust. Find outmore at

Arnold Arboretum Summer Institute

The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is now accepting applications from educators of youth grades 6-12 for a summer learning program: Investigating Ecosystems through Fieldwork, August 12-16. Find more information.

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