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Gleanings from Headline News – August 2020

Infighting Over American Chestnut

The passion that pushes the legions of volunteers in their mission to save the American chestnut borders on fanatical obsession. As a quest for a genetically modified chestnut species heats up, the movement is at a crossroads. Can the two sides come to a consensus? Read more at EcoRI News.

U.S. Identifies some Mystery Seeds from China

Mysterious seeds arriving from China have been identified as common seeds including lavender, rosemary, and morning glory. At press time there were no invasive species found in these packets, but recipients should refrain from planting them. Read more at

The Ugly Truth about Plastic Pots

The use of plastic pots advanced the green industry into a thriving business, yet the use of single-stream plastic pots that are difficult to recycle brings a huge ecological impact. Find a comprehensive look at what consumers want and how the green industry is looking for alternatives to single-use durable plastic pots in Pots and the Green Industry from the Association of Professional Landscape Designers.

Buzz Kill

Buzz Kill – winner of the 2020 Yale Environment 360 Video Contest – depicts the beauty and key ecological role played by native bees and shows how industrialized agriculture and its use of honeybee colonies threatens endemic bee species. Watch this amazing video at Yale Environment360.

Fight for Clean Water in California

More than a million California residents do not have access to safe drinking water. Filmmaker Casey Beck looks at the small Latino community of Tooleville where town leaders fight for their right to clean water. His film The Great Divide is the third-place winner of the 2020 Yale Environment 360 Video Contest. Watch the video at Yale Environment360.

Ecologically Controlling Mosquitoes

Backyard BBQs, fireworks, and mosquitoes all declare it is summertime. Learn to ecologically manage mosquitoes in your own garden and work with your town officials to promote better pest management. Read more in the Xerces Society publication Supporting Ecologically Sound Mosquito Management.

Honeybees: Artist and Engineers

A newly published book, The Art of the Bee: Shaping the Environment from Landscapes to Societies,by author Robert E. Page, Jr. is a collection of essays that brings us on a journey of the biological traits that constitute a bee’s social contract. Learn more at UC News.

Green School Goes VIRTUAL!

UMass Extension’s Green School is a comprehensive 12-day certificate short course for horticultural professionals who wish to gain an understanding of economically feasible and environmentally responsible plant and land care practices. Classes begin October 26, 2020, and runs through December 10, 2020. Learn more at UMass Extension.

Tinted Solar Panels Produce Leafier Greens

A new study finds, growing crops under transparent, tinted solar panels may result in leafier, more nutritious plants, while also increasing farmers’ incomes by up to a third through electricity generation. Read more at Anthropocene.Roots 2Empower is the brainchild of Tarshire Battle, a mental health discharge planner for the Rhode Island Department of Corrections. She had the brilliant idea to employ former inmates using a co-op/nonprofit hybrid that pairs formerly incarcerated people with farming and entrepreneurship. The endeavor will also bring fresh produce to Pawtucket, R.I. Read more at EcoRI News.From Prisons to Farms

Interactive Map of Gardens Near You!

Time to get outside and get some fresh air. While travel via planes is still difficult, you can find l beautiful lush gardens within driving distance of your home. Find a public garden near you with this helpful interactive map. Be sure to check new garden hours and COVID 19 guidelines before you go or check out their virtual garden resources. Learn more at Garden Virtual Resources.

Protecting California’s Watersheds

ReScape is a non-profit whose goals are to educate and advocate a whole-system approach to landscaping in the Sacramento River Watershed and the San Francisco Bay-Delta Watershed. Learn about their eight core principles at Our Principles.