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Gleanings from Headline News – April 2021

Tallamy Forms HomeGrown National Park Initiative

Doug Tallamy and partners created HomeGrown National Park as a grassroots call-to-action to restore biodiversity and ecosystem function by planting native plants and developing new ecological networks. The effort aims to catalyze individual homeowners, property owners, land managers, farmers, and anyone with some soil to start a new HABITAT™ by planting native plants and removing invasive plants. It is the largest cooperative conservation project ever conceived or attempted. Read more at HomeGrown National Park.

Resolution to Declare April Native Plant Month

A national resolution recognizes native plants that help birds, pollinators, and other wildlife to thrive. The National Audubon Society is encouraging citizens to add native plants to their landscaping, buoyed by a bipartisan resolution in the U.S. Senate that declares April 2021 as National Native Plant Month. Read more at Audubon Magazine.

Drilling Arctic Refuge Will Release Double Dose of Carbon

In the renewed debate over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, one troubling impact of oil development has been overlooked: disrupting the annual caribou migration will profoundly affect the soil and release even more greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. Read more at Yale Environment 360.

Spotted Lanternfly Alert

The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula, “SLF”), a sap-feeding pest recently introduced to the US, has become an invasive insect of great concern in New England. Green industry workers, arborists, and landscapers serve as an important first defense line against the introduction and spread of spotted lanternflies. Click through to Trouble Maker of the Month at Umass Extension.

Cities Take Action to Limit Loud and Polluting Lawn Care

Fossil-fuel-powered leaf blowers spew noise and pollutants – and people working at home are noticing more. More than 100 U.S. cities and towns now ban gas-powered leaf blowers or limit their use. Read more at Audubon Magazine.

Irrigation Canals Covered in Solar Panels is a Win/Win

This one simple trick generates renewable energy, saves billions of gallons of water, and shrinks farmers’ carbon footprint – all at the same time. Shading California’s irrigation canals with solar panels will reduce water loss from evaporation and keep aquatic weeds down. Read more at Anthropocene Magazine.

Amelanchiers: A Native to Brighten Any Garden

Amelanchiers, a native spring shrub, blooms along the leafless branches in early spring. It’s also a small tree with varieties native to every state except Hawaii. But many Americans do not recognize Amelanchier because non-native plants have dominated our spring for so long it’s skewed our experience. Read more at New York Times.

Study Shows Carbon Emissions Across Entire Food Production Chain

Our food systems pump out one-third of global greenhouse emissions – 34% – every year, according to new research published in Nature Food. This new study allows researchers to pinpoint different aspects of farming, providing precise datasets and revealing surprising findings. Read more at Anthropocene Magazine.

Leaf Litter: Love It and Leave It

It’s so confusing. When is precisely the right time for a gardener to do a thorough spring removal of leaves? Doug Tallamy answers this all-important question, addressing when different insects emerge from their winter resting sites. The answer may surprise you. Read more at HomeGrown National Park.

Carex flacca Found to Be Invasive

North Creek Nurseries has eliminated the sale of Carex flacca and its cultivars, like ‘Blue Zinger.’ It came to the nursery’s attention that these European species have been found in natural environs outside of human cultivation in the woods of Connecticut, Vermont, Kentucky, Michigan, and New York, and the Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec. Read more at North Creek Nurseries.

Healthy Pots, Healthy Planet

Plastic pots significantly contribute to the proliferation of plastic pollution, with numerous adverse environmental effects. Thus, APLD created the Healthy Pots, Healthy Planet initiative dedicated to finding a more sustainable product for growing, shipping, and selling plant material. Read more at the Association of Professional Landscape Designers.

Twenty-Seven Year Study of Buzzards Bay Water Quality

The Buzzards Bay Coalition published the first 27 years’ worth of its Baywatchers water quality data in the international scientific journal, Scientific Data. The publication will improve access to the information for researchers worldwide who may use it to develop new insights into protecting Buzzards Bay and other coastal waterways. Read more at Buzzards Bay Coalition.

Virtual Democracy to Protect the Little Things That Run the World

When state legislatures started virtual sessions, this pandemic-driven change opened up the democratic process, making it much easier for people to participate in important decision-making opportunities. It also gave Xerces staff better access to help craft legislation and provide expert testimony no matter the state. Read more at Xerces Society.

How Do Maple Trees React to Climate Change

At the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, two scientists are examining how maple trees (Acer) are responding to climate stress and what that means for the future of the genus. Read more at Arnold Arboretum.

Sci-Fi Eco Thriller

BBC Radio 4’s innovative new podcast – Forest 404 – is set in the 24th Century in a world where forests have been erased from history. An immersive sci-fi thriller, it follows a young protagonist who uncovers a set of sound recordings from the early 21st century of the rainforest, which no longer exists. Read more at BBC.