Like our own kidneys that help purify our blood, wetlands are the ‘kidneys’ of our landscape. They remove excess nutrients, toxic substances and sediment from water that flows through them, helping to improve downstream water quality and the overall health of the waters throughout the world. They also protect against flooding, provide recreational opportunities and serve as important habitat for many wildlife species.
During American Wetlands Month, we wanted to see how well you know this vital environmental resource. Take our quiz to find out.
April 26th is the anniversary of the birth of John James Audubon (1785), an American ornithologist (one that studies birds), naturalist, and painter. He conducted his first scientific studies from his father’s Pennsylvania estate. After trying and failing in several different types of business ventures, he concentrated on drawing and studying birds, and began traveling around the country to pursue this work.
His major work, a color-plate book entitled The Birds of America (1827–1839), is considered one of the finest ornithological works ever completed.
He is remembered as one of the most important naturalists of his era, and his respect and concern for the natural world clearly marks him as one of the forefathers of the modern conservationism and environmentalism movements. In 1886, the first bird-preservation society, the National Audubon Society, was named in his honor. Countless wildlife sanctuaries, parks, streets and towns also bear his name and honor his legacy.
And here at T4CI, we think this quote from Audubon has the deepest meaning:
This week is National Environmental Education Week. Held each spring around the time of Earth Day, National Environmental Education Week (EE Week) promotes the understanding and protection of the natural world by actively engaging K-12 students and educators, and people of all ages in an inspired week of environmental learning and service.
At T4CI, our projects take education very seriously as part of their mission. Here’s a sample of what some have been up to:
Building Codes Assistance Project: We are educating/inspiring architects and engineers in 22 cities on how to incorporate solar photovoltaics into their building plan projects, to increase use of solar energy and reduce demand for fossil fuels.
Sane Energy Project: One of our campaigns is WinWindNY. We have secured a commitment from our Governor to purchase offshore wind off the coast of NYC. Our work right now is to let the public know offshore wind is going to happen and how they can participate in the process in its development.
SOUL:We’re hosting a 10-hour educational series about the urban forest and its potential to mitigate decrease flooding, subsidence, air, water and soil pollution, the urban heat island effect, and improve community health.
Would you like to help our projects education the world? Please consider a donation to one of our projects at: http://t4ci.org/sponsored/
Founded in 1970 as a day of education about environmental issues, Earth Day is now a globally celebrated holiday. The brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson and inspired by the anti-war protests of the late 1960s, Earth Day was originally aimed at creating a mass environmental movement. It began as a “national teach-in on the environment” and was held on April 22 to maximize the number of students that could be reached on university campuses. By raising public awareness of air and water pollution, Nelson hoped to bring environmental causes into the national spotlight.
And although it’s decades later, there’s still so much to be done. That’s why our projects are on the front lines stimulating change everyday. Here’s just a sample of the plans for Earth Day 2017:
Menlo Spark: We’re celebrating the first anniversary of the Menlo Green Challenge with some exciting contests to help people Park take climate actions, compete with their neighbors to see who can be greenest, and save money.
Sane Energy Project: On Earth Day, we will be active with all of our volunteers with art windmills, storytelling in the public square with a giant storybook. We’ll be encouraging the public to participate in letter writing, calls, hearings and community meetings.
SOUL: We’re partnering with The Port of New Orleans on Friday, April 21 for an Earth Day event to clean the storm drains of debris and trash removal. We will plant native water-loving trees at this site in the fall. On Saturday, April 22, SOUL is hosting a maintenance day at the Rosa H. Keller Library’s rain garden. Volunteers will weed, remove invasive species, plant native Irises and mulch.
At T4CI, we celebrate Earth Day everyday, and we hope you do too. Often, however, the question arises, “How do we teach our children about how to take care of the earth? After all, it is their responsibility too.”
We put together a few tips to help. Check ’em out. (And remember to share, too!)
Two of our projects are looking to hire! Are you a fit for one of these new careers?
CHANGE director – Californians for a Healthy & Green Economy (CHANGE) is looking for a new director, who will advance the production of safe, affordable, and accessible alternatives to toxic chemicals, spurring economic growth in vulnerable communities and creating a healthy, green, sustainable economy for all. The job announcement and details is here.
WaterNow Alliance director of team operations – WaterNow Alliance (WNA) is a network of water utility leaders dedicated to expanding sustainable water solutions in their communities. The Alliance focuses on innovative strategies to accelerate adoption of reuse and efficiency technologies, green infrastructure, watershed health, stormwater recapture and groundwater management. Reporting to Executive Director (ED), the Director of Team Operations will serve as a key leadership team member and an active participant in strategic planning, mission execution and fundraising The job announcement and details is here.
It all started in 1864, when Congress donated Yosemite Valley to California for preservation as a state park. Eight years later, in 1872, Congress reserved the Yellowstone country in the Wyoming and Montana territories as a public park. Since the territories were not states, they could not take care of the park, thus the National Park Service (in its first incarnation) was established.
Soon Congress followed the Yellowstone precedent with other national parks in the 1890s and early 1900s, including Sequoia, Yosemite ( California returned Yosemite Valley to the federal government), Mount Rainier, Crater Lake, and Glacier.
Today there are more than 400 National Parks across the United States.
This week is designated as National Parks Week, and to celebrate, all US national parks will be offering free admission on April 22nd and 23rd. What park will you go to?