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Gleanings from Headline News – December 2021

Rediscovering Our Connection to the Web of Life

As climate change intensifies and human activity impacts every corner of the planet, repairing our world increasingly means realizing that our fate is intertwined with that of other animal and plant species – not separate from theirs – and that we must think and act accordingly. Read more at Yale Environment 360.

Planting Trees in Underserved Neighborhoods

Chicago will invest $46 million in tree planting over the next five years. Mayor Lori Lightfoot says the city will plant 75,000 trees and prioritize neighborhoods that have been underserved and disproportionately impacted by climate change. It’s part of an effort to increase tree canopy coverage throughout the city. Read more at WTTW.

America the Beautiful Initiative

NOAA is asking for input on what actions NOAA should take to advance President Biden’s America the Beautiful initiative. Now through December 28, a new notice in the Federal Register gives the public an opportunity to contribute ideas on ways NOAA can work with community partners to advance the goals and recommendations in the report on Conserving and Restoring America the Beautiful, including conserving at least 30% of U.S. lands and waters by the year 2030. Read more at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Think Like a Wolf

Thinking like a footloose wolf might be a recipe for land conservation success. Nearly three decades after the ambitious campaign launch to connect wildlife habitat from the Yukon in northern Canada to Yellowstone National Park, researchers say such big ambitions and lots of hype can pay off. Read more at Anthropocene Magazine.

Mural Project Brings Birdsong to Life in Washington Heights

An eye-catching and abstract new mixed-media mural by artist Jessica Maffia is the first public-art project to focus on sound. The National Audubon Society has produced more than 100 bird-themed public artworks – an initiative that has now expanded from New York City to as far away as Washington State. Read more at The National Audubon.

Natural Community Fact Sheets

Are you looking for a good source of information to learn what species you should expect to see in certain conditions? State natural community factsheets are an excellent resource for understanding what native plant species you should expect to see in certain conditions. Read more at Maine Gov, Maine Gov Community Fact Sheets and Mass Gov Community Fact Sheets.

 City Forests and Residential Areas Can Benefit Birds

Often ignored, cities contain many small forest fragments and residential areas that offer tree canopy cover and a variety of native plants, which are both ideal environments for an array of species. Mark Hostetler, professor within the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, focuses on how cities can be planned and managed to maintain species richness. Read more at the University of Florida.

Seven Simple Actions to Help Birds

In 2019, scientists documented North America’s staggering loss of nearly 3 billion breeding birds since 1970. Helping birds can be as simple as making changes to everyday habits. Here’s our quick list of Seven Simple Actions you can take to help birds. Read more at Cornell Lab of Ornithology.

Early Indigenous Land Use

For over 7,000 years, the land on which the Arnold Arboretum now sits has been inhabited and used by diverse societies and cultures of Indigenous Peoples, including most recently the Massachusett Tribe. Indigenous Peoples visited here occasionally and might have had seasonal camps. They probably came to hunt deer and other mammals. Read more at Harvard Arnold Arboretum.

Finding Rhode Island Old Growth Forest

This pocket of forest between a Warwick golf course and dispersed houses on Country View Drive doesn’t look like much, at least to the untrained eye. But some of the trees have stood relatively untouched at least as far back as the Civil War. Proforestation, the practice of growing out an existing forest to its full ecological potential, could provide many benefits in maximizing carbon storage and sequestration. Read more at Eco Rhode Island News.

California Launches the Largest Food Waste Recycling Program in the U.S.

Seeking to cut down on methane pollution from organic waste, California is launching a statewide food waste recycling program in January, the largest initiative in the United States. Read more at Yale Environment 360.