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Figure 1. Soils in Los Angeles 

The Needs Assessment of Los Angeles Soils: Current Status, Community Needs, and Future Directions

By Yujuan Chen, Ph.D. 

Soil is the brown infrastructure for Los Angeles. It has great potential to mitigate current and future climate impacts by sequestering carbon, improving water supply and water quality, supporting plant growth, enhancing food production, and maintaining healthy communities. This study aims to understand the current status of LA soils, identify soil issues, and work with partners to provide a framework to move forward. 

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Starving for Darkness

By Jane Slade

Darkness is disappearing from the face of the Earth, blinding wildlife in the light. Since life began, the Earth’s rotation has created cyclical darkness by which living things evolved, tuning instincts and behaviors over millennia. The loss of darkness has inhibited the sensory experience of wildlife, changing the behavior of species and how species interact with one another. 

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Adult spotted lanternfly with wings spread open. ( Photo Courtesy of Gregory Hoover.)

The Spotted Lanternfly Has Arrived in Massachusetts

By Tawny Simisky

The MA Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) announced on September 28, 2021, that a small, established, and breeding population of the invasive spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) was detected in Worcester County, MA, in the city of Fitchburg. Residents and professionals living and working across the Commonwealth should learn the life stages of the spotted lanternfly and be able to identify their eggs, immatures, and adults.

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Grasses, Sedges and Rushes 

Book Review: Grasses, Sedges, Rushes: An Identification Guide

Reviewed by Charlie Wyman 

Grasses have always scared me. Too many species, the flowers too small, the terminology strange and unfamiliar. As an amateur naturalist and very part-time at that, as the demands of work and family limited my wanderings, I had come to terms with the fact that I’d die without knowing my grasses. No longer. Lauren Brown and Ted Elliman’s little book, Grasses, Sedges, Rushes: An Identification Guide, has changed everything. 

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For the Love of Moths

By Candace Fallon

As someone who spends a lot of her time trying to convince others that insects are incredible animals worth saving, I can still be surprised to hear so much moth disgust. Moths are an incredibly diverse group of insects. North America is home to more than 12,000 species—an astonishing number compared to our relatively paltry 800 or so species of butterflies! Before I start waxing poetic on moths, let’s dive into some basics.

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Conservation Pruning Concepts

By Norman Helie

The next time you stroll through your favorite tree-lined street, park, or woods, consider yourself a part of the tree canopy. As a natural interpreter and contributor, you meditate on your surroundings. Trees need our help!  Consider trees as large extensions of the organic layer under your feet, which puts you right inside their strategic world.


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Book Review: The Nature of Oaks

Reviewed by Maureen Sundberg

In The Nature of Oaks, Doug Tallamy hopes to encourage appreciation of the diversity in the web of life by focusing on a single tree that began as an acorn he planted in a pot and transplanted into his yard. Now 18 years old, still very young for an oak tree, Tallamy observes the tree and the many forms of life it supports then shares a month-by-month record of a few visitors.

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Mill Pond with Town Hall and the Library in the background. Courtesy of James Shiang, Shiang Studios

The Challenges and Opportunities for Riverbank Restoration

By Reed Pugh and Miles Connors

Winchester, Massachusetts, is situated on the banks of a tranquil, winding river.  Like many waterways in New England, the Aberjona River has become home to many non-native and invasive plants that have largely overwhelmed our native plant palette. The Aberjona Initiative, a working group of the Conservation Commission, is tasked with restoring the river and pond banks in town center. 

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Iwigara cover 

Book Review: Iwigara

Reviewed By Amanda Sloan

Dr. Enrique Salmón, a member of the Raramuri tribe, is an ethnobotanist and expert on indigenous cultural concepts of the natural world. In his book Iwigara, which is presented as a traditional botany book, he writes about eighty native plants. He mixes scientific and horticultural information, cultural uses, stories handed down, and his personal memories of the plants. 

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Gleanings from Headline News – September 2021

Gleanings September 2021

We’ve scanned the media – in print and online – for items of interest to ELA’s ecologically focused audience:

  • Generations Working Together to Solve Climate Crisis
  • Insect Apocalypse
  • The World’s Climate is in Our Hands/El Clima Mundial Está en Nuestras Manos
  • Rich Desert River Struggles to Keep Flowing
  • Las Vegas Gets Aggressive Grass Removal Policy
  • Is Your Garden Ecologically Sound?
  • Do U.S. Food Systems Leave Behind People of Color?
  • Update on Mysterious Bird Deaths
  • Electric Lawn Care Sweeping the Nation
  • Tips for Hiring an Arborist
  • Observation is the New Rule for Gardens


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