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Nature Conservancy Seeks Proposals for School Gardens

Courtesy of: Philanthropy News Digest

The Nature Conservancy is working to promote environmental education through the creation ofNature Works Everywhere gardens. The core principle behind the Gardens program is that gardens model conservation science on a relatable scale. The program empowers students and teachers to work together to create and implement their own solutions to environmental challenges in their communities.

Whether addressing issues surrounding food deserts, air quality, heat island effect, or stormwater collection, youth are empowered as social innovators to model solutions in their school communities through garden design and implementation. Nature Works Everywhere gardens are designed to connect students to the global challenge of protecting the natural systems that produce our food, water, clean air, and energy.

To that end, grants of up to $2,000 will be awarded to support the building, amendment, or revitalization of gardens on school campuses, with preference given to rain, pollinator, native habitat, and other natural infrastructure projects. Food gardens will also be funded.

To be eligible, a school must be public or charter. Schools can be an elementary, middle, or high school.

See the Nature Works Everywhere website for complete program guidelines and application instructions.

Backyard habitats make great nurseries!

A Michigan reader commented that even during the high heat and drought in that region, the lush vegetation and running water in their Certified Backyard Habitat has paid off in dividends this year. 3 clutches of Rosy Breasted Grossbeaks, 2 of regular Grossbeaks, 4 of Cardinals, 5 of Blue Jays, more ChickADees than she can count and —- a real first a Pilated Woodpecker nest with 2 chicks!


August 6, 1996: Amendments to Safe Drinking Water Act — This Day in Water History

August 6, 1996: The 1996 amendments to the Safe Drinking Water Act became law. “In 1996, Congress amended the Safe Drinking Water Act to emphasize sound science and risk-based standard setting, small water supply system flexibility and technical assistance, community-empowered source water assessment and protection, public right-to-know, and water system infrastructure assistance through a multi-billion-dollar […]

via August 6, 1996: Amendments to Safe Drinking Water Act — This Day in Water History

Attract More Birds, Butterflies and Bees This Summer



SHARING A PASSION FOR “BEAUTIFUL BEES” – see stunning photos here!

“By sharing stories and images of these creatures, I hope to get North Americans to take notice and do their part to help native bees.” — Clay Bolt

According to biologists, native bees across North America are facing formidable threats, from habitat loss and disease to climate change and pesticides. Many native species, including four once common and widespread bumble-bees, have vanished from large swaths of their former ranges— threatening the multitude of crops and native plants that depend on them for pollination.

Add Sprinkler Spruce-Up to Your Spring Cleaning List

Experts estimate that as much as half of the water we use outdoors is lost due to evaporation, wind, or runoff caused by inefficient irrigation methods and systems. Before you add water to your newly planted garden this spring, do a little “sprinkler spruce-up” to clean up on water savings outdoors. It just takes four simple steps: inspect, connect, direct, and select.

    • Inspect your system for clogged, broken or missing sprinkler heads.
    • Connect points where the sprinkler heads connect to pipes and hoses. If water pools in your landscape or you have large soggy areas, you could have a leak in your system. A leak about as small as the tip of a ballpoint pen (or 1/32nd of an inch) can waste about 6,300 gallons of water per month.
Fix a Leak Week VideoWatch sprinkler spruce-up in action! Click on the animated video above to watch Flo inspect, connect, direct, and select to spruce up her sprinkler system.

  • Direct sprinklers away from your driveway, house, or sidewalk in order to apply water only to your landscape.
  • Select a seasonally appropriate watering schedule that meets your landscape’s minimum needs. Better yet, select a WaterSense labeled irrigation controller—which uses local weather data so your system waters only when necessary—to replace a traditional clock-timer scheduling system.

Not the do-it-yourself type? Go with a pro—a professional certified by a WaterSense labeled program. Check out this list to find one!

Current Spring 2016 | WaterSense | US EPA

The Right Plant in the Right Place Is the Path to a Water-Smart Garden

Go back to your roots when you’re thinking about saving water this spring. With varying climates and geography nationwide, each region has distinctive plant species it can naturally support without requiring extra water and fertilizers. When you’re planning your garden this spring, use WaterSense’s What to Planttool to help you choose plants that are right for your climate and require minimal watering. Then group your plants in “hydrozones” according to their water needs to make it easy to irrigate them correctly.

Across the country, gardeners are already digging into the right plant, right place concept. You can find examples in the U.S. Northeast, Midwest, Southeast regions below, as well as nationwide in EPA’s water-smart landscape photo gallery.

Source: Current Spring 2016 | WaterSense | US EPA