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Gleanings from Headline News – November 2020

Conserving Native Pollinators Across New England

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Xerces Society, and other partners have developed a habitat-based, multi-state conservation strategy to address the decline in native pollinator populations across New England by improving pollinator habitat. Landowners in New England are invited to participate in the New England Pollinator Partnership (NEPP) to help restore populations of bumble bees and the monarch butterfly. Read more at USDA.

Piney Grove Preserve Re-establishes Woodpecker Populations

In only 16 years, from 2001 to 2017, the Piney Grove Preserve, managed by The Nature Conservancy in Sussex County, VA, has shifted from receiving woodpeckers from other populations to donating woodpeckers to establish a second population in Virginia. This transition represents an amazing turnaround in a very short time. Read more at The Center for Conservation Biology.

Sound of Silence

Quiet time in nature is good for everyone. For humans, natural sounds can be part of what the authors call a “psychologically restorative environment.” Researchers seeking to improve the soundscape of Muir Woods found that reducing the noise made humans happy and more turned into the wildlife around them. Read more at Anthropocene magazine.

When Health Care Becomes a Climate Solution

A new analysis reveals how a rural clinic helped save more than 27 square kilometers of tropical Indonesian forest – equating to more than $65 million worth of avoided carbon emissions. Read more at Anthropocene magazine.

Snake Safari in Hong Kong?

On nighttime hikes in Hong Kong’s surprisingly lush forests, a snake catcher teaches city slickers about the reptiles – and their bites. The hikes highlight the scale of biodiversity in Hong Kong, a bustling city of 7.5 million people. Read more at NY Times.

Portugal’s Endemic Plants in Danger of Extinction

Years of “rogue developments” in protected areas has caused 53 of the 110 plant species found only on mainland Portugal to face possible extinction. Plants preserved by legal statutes are invariably dug up, burnt, or otherwise destroyed. Read more at The Portugal Resident.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden Gets a Meadow

Toby Wolf, former ELA President, worked with the Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) to design a meadow on a long neglected 1.25-acre slope. Wolf created an area of small ecological habitats that provide visual interest throughout the seasons. Read more at NY Times.

Checklist for Pollinator Habitat

The Xerces society brings us a list of land care, plants, and community actions that you can follow to help pollinators throughout the United States. Find out more at Xerces Society. Inspired by the Xerces Society, communities across the country are creating pollinator initiatives. Read about one local community’s new sustainable action plan at Lexington Living Landscapes.

EPA Approves Two Pesticides Harmful to Bees

A previously banned insecticide, which was approved for agricultural use last year in the United States, is harmful for bees and other beneficial insects that are crucial for agriculture, and a second pesticide in widespread use is also found to harm these insects. Read more at The Kerr Center.

Australian Bees Forage at Night!

Australian bees are known for pollinating plants on beautiful sunny days, but a new study has identified two species that have adapted their vision for night-time conditions for the first time. Read more at Phys org.

Time in Nature = Good Health

How long does it take to get a dose of nature high enough to make people say they feel healthy and have a strong sense of well-being? Precisely 120 minutes. A growing body of research points to the beneficial effects that exposure to the natural world has on health, reducing stress, and promoting healing. Read more at Yale Environment 360

Living Soil: A Documentary

Living Soil tells the story of farmers, scientists, and policymakers working to incorporate agricultural practices to benefit soil health for years to come. Enjoy movie time with your family. Grab some popcorn and watch Living Soil. Read more at Soil Health Institute.

Arnold Arboretum Launches “Gathering Historias”

As a community resource in the heart of Boston, the Arnold Arboretum strives to make its landscape and programming accessible to people across Boston’s diverse population. Developed by Steven Fisher, the Gathering Historias project recognizes that the diverse voices of Latino communities can contribute to our cultural narratives of the environment. Read more and contribute your story at Arnold Arboretum.

Need Some Zen

Watch this beautiful documentary about Les Quatre Vents, Frank Cabot’s 20-acre garden in Charlevoix County, Quebec. While his garden might be very different from our own, the film manages to capture Frank Cabot’s love of nature and its impact on our lives. Read more at The Garden Conservancy.

Grant Opportunities

Mass Trails Accepting Grants for Community Trails
MassTrails provides matching grants to communities, public entities, and non-profit organizations to design, create, and maintain the diverse network of trails, trail systems, and trails experiences used and enjoyed by Massachusetts residents and visitors. Applications are accepted annually for a variety of well-planned trail projects benefiting communities across the state. Find out more at Mass Gov.