Xerces Society Bee City Reports
Since 2016, Decatur, GA’s Bee City USA committee has worked throughout the community to raise awareness about bees and other insect pollinators’ essential roles in the ecosystem. In autumn 2019, UM-Dearborn was certified as a Bee Campus USA affiliate, becoming the first public university in Michigan to do so. Read more at Xerces Society and Xerces Society Bee Campus.
Create a Low Maintenance Gravel Garden
After experimenting with the technique at work, Jeff Epping, horticulture director at Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison, WI, quickly became a fan of gravel gardening. So, when the city put in a new street and tore up his front lawn, Epping decided it was the perfect time to plant a gravel garden. Read more at Midwest Living.
Some Good News! Western Monarch Numbers Rising
Migratory western monarchs are being reported at their overwintering sites in coastal California in greater numbers than last year, giving hope for the struggling population. At overwintering sites in Pacific Grove, Pismo Beach, and a private site in Big Sur, over 10,000 monarchs have been counted at each site. Last year, these three sites had fewer than 300 monarchs in total. Read more at Xerces Society.
Save Farmland: Synthesize Starch from CO2
Researchers have found a way to produce the ubiquitous product starch, using carbon dioxide. Their discovery not only finds a use for this harmful gas, but could also save the huge amounts of land, water, and fertilizer typically used to grow corn for this ingredient. Read more at Anthropocene Magazine.
Beyond Extinction: A New Emphasis on Species Recovery
Scientists have long drawn up a Red List to alert officials about wildlife and plant species threatened with extinction. Now some say it’s time to flip the script and create a “green status” category that identifies how to bring these species back to sustainable levels. Read more at Yale Environment360.
Growing Figs in a Cold Climate
It looked like the best fig year ever, with maybe 20 fruits forming on my potted tree as the season progressed. But frost is coming any day, and many of those figs are still hanging there, undersized and hard and green, destined never to achieve ripeness. How to grow figs in a northeastern climate? Read more at The New York Times.
Light Pollution Glare Threatens All Wildlife
The ever-increasing glow of artificial light from streetlights, especially LED lights, was found to have detrimental effects on the behavior of moths, resulting in a reduction in caterpillar numbers by half. And since birds and other wildlife rely on caterpillars as an important food source, the consequences of this decline could be devastating. Read more at EcoRI News.
A Pioneering Garden Designer Inspired Vogue’s Fall Fashion Fantasy
A pioneering American landscape architect, Beatrix Farrand’s most enduring contribution to the American aesthetic is how she re-envisioned university campuses, creating the open quads recognized today and espaliering the Gothic buildings with magnolia. Read more at Vogue.
InsectXaminer Video Series
The InsectXaminer short video series hopes to increase the visibility of the beautiful world of insects, even those we consider to be pests in our managed landscapes. InsectXaminer will showcase the complexity of insect life cycles, cataloging as many life stages for each species as possible. Read more at UMass Extension.
Colorado River Delta Springs To Life!
Thanks to a historic U.S.-Mexico binational agreement, water flowing this year provides hope for the future of a key ecosystem. After prolonged neglect, Mexico’s Colorado River Delta is teeming with life. Read more at The National Audubon Magazine.
What’s a Forest Worth?
Reducing carbon emissions has been a primary focus of governmental action in addressing the climate crisis. But when it comes to mitigating global warming and protecting the planet’s delicate balance, little attention is paid to the importance of not clear-cutting forests. Read more at EcoRI News.
Kill All Leaf Blowers
Gasoline-powered leaf blowers are invaders, the most maddening of all the maddening environment-destroying tools of the American lawn-care industry. They come in a deafening, surging swarm, blasting from lawn to lawn and filling the air with the stench of gasoline and death. Read more at The New York Times.
Mosquito Spraying Kills Pollinators
Rhode Island’s rainy summer produced a bumper crop of mosquitoes, and property owners annoyed by biting insects are increasingly turning to companies that spray yards to rid them of pesky insects. Read more at EcoRI News.
Refugees in Cameroon Plant a Forest
Refugees received training on using “cocoon technology,” developed by Land Life Company, to give seedlings the best chance of survival in the harsh environment. It involves burying a doughnut-shaped water tank made from recycled cartons. The device surrounds the plant’s roots and feeds it using a string to connect to the young shoot. Read more at the UN Refugee Agency and Euro News.
Rhode Island Plants New Street Non-Native Trees on Purpose
By the end of this month, the Providence Parks Department and its partners will have planted up to 550 trees on public and private land. Trees provide all kinds of benefits but not necessarily equally, so selecting a species depends on location and several other factors. Read more at EcoRI News.