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Gleanings from Headline News – December 2020

Pritzker Emerging Environmental Genius Award Finalist

Clara Lee-Pratte, Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner, and Leah Penniman were selected from a pool of 21 candidates to move on to the final round of judging for the Pritzker Environmental Genius Award. The finalists represent a vast range of environmental issues and approaches. Join Leah Penniman at ELA Conference & Eco-Marketplace; read more at UCLA Institute of Environment & Sustainability.

Non-native Plants Cause Collapse of Native Insects

The impact of introduced plants on native biodiversity has emerged as a hot-button issue in ecology. But recent research provides new evidence that the displacement of native plant communities is a key cause of a collapse in insect populations and is affecting birds as well. Read more at Yale 360.

Six Plant People Take Over NYC

For New Yorkers during the pandemic, plants have been a lifeline—a source of inspiration and a form of personal and political expression. As a fresh crop of local green thumbs reveals, there has never been a better time to turn over a new leaf. Read more at Architectural Digest.

The Harvest of 2020

Magic in the Dirt presents three very different and inspiring stories, all beautifully filmed. This article follows three farms during this very challenging year. We learn of the hope and the sweetness that comes from working with the earth. Read more at The New York Times. Join Soul Fire Farm Founder Leah Penniman at ELA Conference & Eco-Marketplace.

Fabled Honey Forest

In northeastern Turkey, the beekeeping traditions of the Hemshin people, an ethnic minority originating in Armenia, are both evolving and at risk of vanishing. Read more at The New York Times.

Movement Education Gets Youth Outdoors

Joann “Jo” Ayuso, founder of Movement Education Outdoors (MEO), an organization with a mission to provide outdoor experiences for community-based organizations serving Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) youth. She teaches participants about nature and how to de-colonize the land, to make their own memories, and personally connect with the land. Read more at EcoRI News.

New Solar Array Provides Space for New Pollinator Meadow

The new solar array at the Weld Hill Research and Education Building, Boston, MA was installed in 2019. The array is the largest and most advanced on the Harvard University property, capable of providing approximately 30 percent of the facility’s power needs. In addition, the array is specifically engineered to accommodate a diverse, native pollinator meadow around, between, and beneath the panels. Read more at The Arnold Arboretum.

If Winter Comes – A Virtual Gallery Walk

Enjoy a winter galley walk online with artist Tony Apesos’s beautiful oil paintings, inspired by frequent walks through the Arboretum. Read more at The Arnold Arboretum.

Deer and Earthworms Threaten Native Plants

Rhode Island botanists warn that an overabundance of deer who eat primarily native plants are causing native plant communities to be devastated before they reach maturity. Earthworms generally thought of as good indicators of soil health, actually speed up the slow cycling of nutrients that native plant communities depend on. Read more at EcoRI News.

Can Gen Z Tackle the Lawn Problem?

Gen Z is taking to social media sharing anti-lawn memes on the grounds that lawns lack biodiversity, demand excessive natural resources, and pour toxins into the environment. Young people around the country overwhelmed by COVID and growing concern over the environment use their collective power to make their voices heard. Read more in Sierra.

Indigenous Park of Peace Comes to Myanmar

The Karen people of eastern Myanmar have long fought for autonomy over their lands. In a bold move, they have turned a war zone into a protected area that respects their cultural traditions and looks to save the Salween, one of the world’s last free-flowing international rivers. Read more at Yale 360.

Collaborative Effort to Restore Floodplain

Where there is a river, there are floodplains. Where there are floodplains, there is fertile soil. Mass Audubon, The Nature Conservatory, and Mass Division of Ecological Restoration join forces to restore a floodplain along the Connecticut River. Watch the video here.

Landscape Story Slam

Native Plant Trust presents Tales from the Field. Have a story to tell? Join fellow plant geeks as they share their most riveting and hilarious tales from the field, then cast your vote for the night’s best storyteller! Submit your stories here NPT 2021 Story Slam Submission or join the audience for a night of stories and fun. Read more at Native Plant Trust.

Calling All Artists

Tower Hill Botanic Garden is soliciting proposals for Wild Hideaways: Designed for Adventure, a temporary outdoor exhibit showcasing artistic, interactive, outdoor structures, that bring joy, inspire imaginative play, and spark a curiosity for the natural world and its connections to the built environment. Wild Hideaways will run June 1-September 30, 2021. Read more at Tower Hill Botanic Garden