Bridging the Disconnect – Schoolkids Learn about Growing Food

Editor’s Note:  The following article was published in the March-April 2017 issue of AgMag magazine.

The Science Academy of South Texas has a secret – a garden where students learn about growing food

Growing up in the Rio Grande Valley used to mean being surrounded by citrus orchards and farmland. Today, residents are surrounded by strip malls, countless restaurants, pawn shops and automotive repair places, many reminiscent of junk yards.

“There’s a big disconnect between food producers and consumers,” said Brad Cowan, Texas A&M AgLife Extension Service‘s County Extension Agent – Agriculture, Hidalgo County.

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26 Puget Sound (Washington) cities to plant cloned Coastal Redwood trees

Archangel-Ancient-Tree-Archive 1

Trees are vital to life. They provide oxygen, store huge amounts of carbon and provide critical habitat and food for wildlife. Yet the world’s forests are dying. In California alone, over 100 million of them have died due to climate change related factors, to say nothing of the scourge of clear cutting that’s decimating our forest land.

But there are rays of hope.

In Washington state, twenty-six Puget Sound cities are planting sapling clones of Coast Redwoods – among the oldest, largest, most iconic trees on earth.

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Trees do have feelings – and they talk too!

Ever wondered about the language of trees? They have one.

If you haven’t spent much time walking or hiking through a forest, you may not grasp the amazing link trees have with each other. Scientists now know that they communicate with each other and support each other through difficult times.

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Wind turbines on the Great Lakes? Not a great idea for the birds

Saw an interesting article today about how putting wind turbines on the Great Lakes could do serious harm to the birds around and migrating through the Great Lake region.

Traditional wind turbines create a horrendous level of bird kills. Endangered birds such as bald eagles, which are federally protected,  and bats – which are threatened by the white nose syndrome plague – are losing their lives in continually growing numbers due to strikes by wind turbines.

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Why Australia’s loss of 7,000 hectares of mangroves will have serious consequences

Dead mangrove forest off Australia's east coast, photo by James Cook University

Dead mangrove forest off Australia’s east coast, photo by James Cook University

Climate change has wrecked havoc not only on our weather patterns but on the world’s forest and ecological systems. And the impact is devastating.

In the U.S., severe drought and major insect infestations have been responsible for almost unimaginable die-offs of old growth forests. In Australia El Nino conditions have caused the die-off of a 7000 kilometer (approximately 4,349 miles) stretch of mangrove shoreline in the southern reaches of the Gulf of Carpentaria.

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Los Angeles City Council to approve lifesaving wildlife corridor

Would this wildlife overpass at Banff, Alberta, Canada be the model for the new Liberty Canyon/ 101 Wildlife Corridor overpass through L.A.?

Wildlife in and around one of the countries biggest metropolises is about to get a lifesaving reprieve.

On Tuesday, Los Angeles’s City Council Planning unanimously voted to approve a Regional Wildlife Linking Zone in the hillsides of Los Angeles between I-5 and I-405, which will be added to the City’s municipal code. This will establish a zone to protect open space connectivity in any new building permits.

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Help innovators save our oldest champion trees

Archangel-Ancient-Tree-Archive 1The world has lost over 90 percent of its old growth forests. And we’ve lost 95 percent of our magnificent redwoods. Those that remain are threatened by logging and climate change-related insect epidemics.

While a number of organizations and NGOs are working on reforestation projects around the globe, one group has been striving to save the remaining “champion” ancient trees and their genetics for future generations to appreciate.

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