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Join us as we grow our childrens' gardens, offering projects, encouragement and ideas for exploring the natural outdoor world.


A Tiny Perfectly Charming Garden in the Secret Streets

 

Sleuthy Gardener Sneaking in the Night?

The Pothole Gardener

Could there possible be a kinder, more ambitious and delightful sabotage than this project?


The Pothole Gardener has tweaked at our very gardening hearts with his guerilla style tactics of planting and placing gardens in the most unlikely spots with the most endearing outcomes.

Welcome to the Pothole Gardener! His blog outlines a 'bunch of gardening efforts around east London.'
He doesn't  claim to be the first Guerrilla Gardener, or even the first pothole gardener for that matter – there are loads of examples of similar projects on the Guerrilla Gardening website. Pothole gardening seems to date back to a school group in the USA four years ago and there have been various other similar projects.

He has  created a blog and  pictures to log  gardening activity and take some 'Snaps.' The pothole gardener came up with the project as part of a university course, and it has grown from there (no pun intended!). "Part art project, part labour of love, part experiment, part mission to highlight roads are – the pictures and gardens are supposed to put smiles on peoples faces and alert them to potholes! I don’t leave any of the props out after we shoot them, I have only ever created low gardens on very quiet streets, mostly dead end lanes and on footpaths in my areas."

Enjoy – and if you want to get involved, visit GardenGreenAngels.com to read more and find contact information.

 

Cutest Baby Penguin Hatches at Aquarium

Baby Penguin Hatches

Congratulations! It's a... chick!

For the first time in history, a penguin has hatched at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Proud first-time parents, blackfooted penguins Umngane and Dassen,
are taking good care of their offspring in their Splash Zone exhibit nest.

The chick is well hidden thanks to protective parents and a high nest site.
But you might catch a glimpse, if you come by in the next couple of weeks.
After that, the chick will be taken behind-the-scenes for several months and
will later go back on exhibit. This way, it can act as a future ambassador for its species.

baby penguin at Monterey Bay Aquarium

At just two days old, the chick has a long way to go,
but so far all the signs are good.

Learn more about the baby penguin at gardengreenangels.com

Why is this Baby Bird Smiling???

Why is This Bird Smiling?

Oh It Has a Good Reason to Smile!
It's Alive and Recovered in an Amazing Turnaround

I know, I know. Every year I just can't stop from featuring this. But really, could anything be cuter or more inspiring for anyone involved in cleaning up and preserving our earth than these live webcam image?


babypereg.jpg
See photos by Peter Green of Audubon 2011 banding day

at www.facebook.com/AudubonRI

There was a time when Peregrines were gone. There was a culprit. Scientists figured out what it was. And someone, many some-ones,  listened.

Here we had  a bird that was teetering on the brink of losing its place on the planet. A bird that was almost beyond saving:

In the 1960s, scientists discovered that a pesticide called DDT was interfering in the egg shell formation of meat and fish eating birds. Healthy birds were laying eggs so thin they were crushed by the weight of the incubating adult.
By 1965, no peregrine falcons were fledged in the eastern or Central United States.
1968 - the peregrine population was completely eradicated east of the Mississippi River.
1972 - use of DDT was severely restricted in the United States and worldwide.
In 1979, the Eastern Peregrine Recovery Plan was developed to restore a peregrine population to the eastern United States.
And here they are! Live!
(But remember, Peregrine falcons are still a threatened species in Rhode Island.)



Peregrine Falcon Webcam

http://www.asri.org/general-conservation-info/providence-peregrine-falcon-webcam.html


Banding Baby Birds


The breeding, known as hacking, took place under the direction of the North American Falconry Association working with federal and state agencies and Cornell University's ornithology lab.
Michael Amaral, who directs raptor study and tracking in New England for the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service keeps track of every Peregrine pair in New England, banding hundreds of
them over the past two decades thanks to an army of volunteers including many from
the Audubon Society.
See pictures of this year's banding of the baby falcons at www.facebook.com/AudubonRI

 

Good Sun in the Children's Garden

Health in the Garden


Sometimes, just eating fresh vegetables isn't enough.....


When we go into the garden at school, I usually remind the kids to bring a spare change of clothes, gardening shoes, etc.  But even knowing the facts and proof of sun damage to our skin, I still often forget to remind them or ask about sunscreen.

We are mostly on blacktop, full southern exposure and still, almost all the schools are oblivious to the potential harm of our important garden partner, sunlight.

Last season, we were lucky enough to find a sunscreen without harmful chemical, yet offering a broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection.   The first few times, I actually felt odd telling the gardeners to put the face protection on before we started our garden digging. By the third week or so, I just left the lotion on the bench and expected the children to use it.

This season, we will develop a checklist for the kids in the garden.

It will include the following:

Garden Hats
Sunscreen on!
Drinks of water
Garden Shoes
Garden Gloves

I really would not even have listed the sunscreen except for a gift from Tricia at Suntegrity. Her  product "was made in honor of her mom and all those who lost their lives to skin cancer."

Because  our gardeners have little hands, they can't really 'glop' on the amount of sunscreen they should with the other brands.     With this lotion, we can use about 1/3  less for full coverage on their faces.  The sunscreen starts out white, so they can see where you are applying it and then the white disappears.  For ease of use, it really is nice in the garden.

As you know, I don't normally promote products on GardenGreenAngels.com, but  since this subject involves the safety and health of families and students, I am making an exception.  And since it is so close to Mother's Day, what better inspiration for a product than Tricia's own Mom?:

"Suntegrity Skincare was made in memory of my mom and all of those who lost their lives to skin cancer. Using my mom’s experience as a positive catalyst for change, I created a holistic, mineral sun care line to help people avoid skin cancer."
http://www.suntegrityskincare.com

In the following listing from The Environmental Working Group, a  Best and Worst rating was based on cosmetic safety database.  The low scoring , to be avoided listings, are at the very least, disturbing!

The  top-rated sunscreens all contain the minerals zinc or titanium. They are the right choice for people who are looking for the best UVA protection without any sunscreen chemical considered to be a potential hormone disruptor. None of the products contain oxybenzone or vitamin A and none are sprayed or powdered.


 

Mermaids on a Mission

A Love Letter to the Ocean

"Mission of Mermaids A Love Letter to the Ocean"

Mission of Mermaids (MOM) is a short film celebrating director Susan Rockefeller’s relationship with the ocean. It’s both a poetic ode to the seas and a plea for their protection.
MOM evokes the archetype of the mermaid, a mythical creature that embodies the ocean’s enduring mystery. The film honors the women and men who live from and for the seas—artists, activists, performers, divers, fishermen, and sailors. And all of us who have dreamed on beaches, reveled in the ocean’s waters, or nourished ourselves in her depths.
Susan’s latest and most personal documentary, the film represents both the spectacular beauty and current plight of the world’s ocean. Subtitled “A love letter to the ocean,” the film uses the archetype of the mermaid, a mythical creature that is evocative of the ocean’s beauty and mystery, to bring the audience into the intimate world of the seas, rekindle an appreciation and love for them, and awaken the audience to the urgent need to respect and care for them before it’s too late.Susan Cohn Rockefeller is a Board member of Oceana and the Chairwoman of the Oceana Ocean Council. She also co-produced the documentary A Sea Change on ocean acidification
which has garnered awards at film festivals around the world and contributed to the public’s
knowledge and understanding of this serious issue. Inspired by this work, Susan designed a
mermaid pin and wore it to an Oceana event. During an interview, she was asked about her pin.
She responded that she needed to believe in the existence of the mermaid because of what she
represents: Mystery and hope.
Her husband is an avid sailor and ocean activist. Together, they love to sail and explore the
world on boats. Susan is also active at paddle boarding and swimming, and is happiest when she
can do these sports that bring her as close as possible to feeling at one with the water.
Susan believes the seas are a truly sacred place and that we need to regain the mystery and
reverence that go hand in hand with honoring them. We must work to stop the commercialization
and industrialization that is destroying our waters. By valuing the mermaid and mermen both
inside of us and within our waters and engaging our collective merperson knowledge we can
make intelligent and compassionate daily choices that will help our ocean rather than harm her.
And by extension, will help us as well.
In line with these concerns, the film has been produced with a view to making the smallest
possible carbon imprint. All the footage and most of the music is donated, “found” (online or
even among personal film materials). This type of montage contributes to the film’s artistic,
dreamlike style, bringing the viewer more closely into the world of mystery that the filmmaker
wants to evoke. To further emphasize the personal aspect of the tale, the voice over is read by the
filmmaker herself and her husband. And one of the theme songs, “Dive In”, is written by Susan.
Finally, the film honors the women and men on land who act as real-life avatars for the ocean’s
mermaids and mermen—fishermen, activists, actors, artists, sailors, divers and performers, all of
whom revel in and revere the seas.

(Oceana is the largest international organization focused 100 percent on ocean conservation. 
Their teams of marine scientists, economists, lawyers and advocates win specific and concrete 
policy changes to reduce pollution and to prevent the irreversible collapse of fish populations, 
marine mammals and other sea life. The organization has over 300,000 members and e-activists 
in more than 150 countries, and campaigners based in North America, Europe and South 
America.)

For more information, read more at GardenGreenAngels.com

Spring Break? Boston Museum

Harvard in the Woods

New England Forests Right in the Middle of Cambridge
at the Harvard Museum of Natural History


history_neforest.jpg
This multi-media exhibition explores the natural history and ecology of our regional forests, their responses to human activity, and their environmental significance. All waiting for your family at the Harvard Museum of Natural History in their New England Forestsexploration and exhibit. Visitors are invited to explore the ecology of woodland caribou, wolves, and other wildlife of New England; learn about lichen cities that cling to rocks; and the circle of life within and around a forest pond, from tiny aquatic insects to giant moose.
View short informational videos about New England’s forest history, ecology, and wildlife, and learn about the research of Harvard scientists in our regional forests.
A History of New England's Forests



Fungi in the Forest
The fungi–including various mushrooms, molds, and yeasts–are critical players in the forest ecosystem. These videos explore the various roles of fungi as parasites, decomposers, and cooperative partners with trees, and feature the research of Harvard scientist Anne Pringle.

How do Forests Work?
Trees are essential components of forests, but a forest is more than a collection of trees. These videos animate the flow of water and nutrients through a tree and describe how forests work, including the processes whereby forest ecosystems help recycle carbon and shelter and purify water.



Life on a Rock, the Lichens
Lichens grow abundantly on the surface of rocks, trees, and even man-made objects. These videos explain the unusual biology of lichens, show their astounding diversity, and profile the field research of a Harvard biologist who studies them.


Our Changing Forests
New England’s forests are living laboratories studied by scientists. These videos feature Harvard botanists, ecologists, and atmospheric scientists measuring how forests circulate carbon through the biosphere, interact with climate, and respond to invasive species. 
Photo by Bridget Tivnan.

Old Growth Forest Virgin old growth forests once blanketed the New England landscape, however today old growth forest is a tiny, but important, component of our regional forests. This videodescribes the characteristics of old growth and the rich community of plants, animals, and fungi found here.



Wetlands in the Forest
From forest ponds, to bogs and temporary spring pools, New England's forest wetlands are an important link between land and water. This video describes why wetlands are important as habitat for wildlife and to filter and protect our water.

For more information on these wonderful programs please visit www.hmnh.harvard.edu,


 

Thinking About Summer Already? Volunteer on these Adventures

Hands On Student Environmental Opportunities

If you are already thinking about Summer vacation plans, why not investigate some amazing opportunities for students around the country. These programs and your energy could make a difference in your life, and the quality of our earth:

The Washington Youth Summit on the Environment

George Mason University along with National Geographic Society and the Smithsonian National Zoo will host a select number of high school sophomores and juniors in Washington, D.C. June 24-29 to participate in hands-on activities and discussions with leading environmental scientists, engineers, researchers and policy experts. Educators can nominate a student to participate. 



George Mason University along with distinguished partners the National Geographic Society and the National Zoo is proud to host of the Washington Youth Summit on the Environment (WYSE). This summer the WYSE welcomes 250 High School National Youth Delegates from all over the country. National Youth Delegates join the Mason community this summer, which includes students and faculty from all over the world. Mason is both the largest public university in Virginia and one of the most culturally diverse universities in the nation. This summer's conference will take place June 24-June 29, 2012. 

Eco-Hero Awards Action for Nature honors the creative environmental projects of young people between the ages of 8 and 16. Winners receive cash prizes and a special certificate, as well as public recognition on the Action for Nature website. Are you a Young Eco-Hero? Do you know a Young Eco-Hero?

Want the world to know what you’ve done?

The application deadline is now January, 15 2012.

Have you been working to preserve the world around you? Have you been teaching others how to protect the environment? Have you been doing an environmental research project? If your answer to any of these questions is yes, then you are a Young Eco-Hero. All Eco-Heroes serve as role models, showing others that each individual is important and can make a difference.

Action For Nature is proud to honor the work of young people between the ages of 8 and 16 who have done creative environmental projects. The winners of AFN’s International Young Eco-Hero Awards program receive a cash prize and a special certificate, as well as public recognition on our Web site and elsewhere.

Our judges are experts in environmental science, biology and environmental health. They select our Young Eco-Heroes from applicants from around the world. They are looking for young people to follow in their footsteps.

We are proud of all of our winners, and of all the applicants from around the world.

This is a great chance for you to share your environmental activism and creative work. We look forward to again supporting young people from all around the world working to save our planet. Please read the guidelines to see if you are eligible to apply to become a Young Eco-Hero. If you or someone you know is eligible fill out the2012 Eco-Hero Awards Application.

The Volvo Adventure Competition
The Volvo Adventure is an education program that awards teams of 2-5 students aged 13-16 for an environmental project in their community. Finalists win an all expenses paid trip to Sweden where they compete for cash prizes.
WHAT IS IT ALL ABOUT?
The Volvo Adventure - in partnership with the United Nations Environment Programme - is an educational programme that rewards environmental activities and the decision-makers of the future. To enter, you form a team of 2 to 5 members aged 13 to 16 (at competition opening - July 1st 2011). Perform an environmental project in your local community & submit the project via our online submission tool before the competition deadline, January 31st 2012.
Projects are judged and the best projects are selected for an all expenses paid trip to Göteborg, Sweden where they can win: 1st place = 10,000 USD, 2nd = 6,000 USD and 3rd = 4,000 USD.
See the registration details and guidelines for more information.
WHAT'S NEW?
New - The new December newsletter is available here. Find out what a Volvo Adventure Final is like here.

FOR FULL ACCESS AND INFORMATION
You can register by clicking HERE to gain access to the website.

2012 Wildlife Conservation Youth Engagement Grants

Planet Connect, in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency, invites high school students to develop an idea for a project that addresses a local wildlife or natural resources issue in their community. Students chosen as winners will win $500 to implement their project as well as a $500 stipend toward an 80-hour wildlife conservation or natural resource internship in their community. 

Whether you’re in a city, rural area or a suburb, wildlife is all around you. In many places, wildlife faces challenges. Are you a high school student with a creative idea for conserving and protecting wildlife and its habitat in your community? Planet Connect is offering high school students grants of $1,000 to implement their problem-solving projects and participate in a local internship focused on wildlife conservation.

Wildlife conservation issues exist all around us—and so do opportunities to address these issues. Start paying attention to changes happening in your community and think outside the box. Wildlife and their habitats are not just located in the woods or forested areas—they are in the trees in your backyard, the shrubs around your school building and everywhere else. Ask yourself, what local wildlife habitats or natural resources are being threatened and by what? What problem is this creating in your community? What can you do to help?

Once you have focused in on a specific issue occurring in your community, think about specific goals for your project, and the steps you will need to take in order to address the problem. Do you see any opportunities to protect or preserve wildlife habitat? In some cases, it may require creating a new habitat or perhaps conserving certain areas alongside development. Think about what kind of project could be developed to address the issue. Can you think of something that could get your whole community involved? What will the positive impacts be for the community? Perhaps you could add support and fresh ideas to efforts that are already in place.

In the application you will be asked to create a timeline for implementing your project, as well as a detailed budget, describing how you will tackle the problem, what tools you will use, who you will work with, and what positive outcomes you foresee. If chosen as a winner, you will be provided $500.00 to turn your project into a reality. After completing your project in June, you will participate in an 80-hour wildlife conservation or natural resource internship in your local community during the summer of 2012. At the end of the internship you will be awarded a $500.00 stipend.

 

Miniature Garden of Sweetness and Surprise

A Tiny Perfectly Charming

Garden in the Secret Streets


Could there possible be a kinder, more ambitious and delightful sabotage than this project?


The Pothole Gardener has tweaked at our very gardening hearts with his guerilla style tactics of planting and placing gardens in the most unlikely spots with the most endearing outcomes.

The Pothole Gardener
Welcome to a sneak peak of the  Pothole Gardener!

His blog outlines a 'bunch of gardening efforts around east London.'
He has  created a blog and  pictures to log  gardening activity and take some 'Snaps.' The pothole gardener came up with the project as part of a university course, and it has grown from there (no pun intended!). "Part art project, part labour of love, part experiment, part mission to highlight roads are – the pictures and gardens are supposed to put smiles on peoples faces and alert them to potholes! I don’t leave any of the props out after we shoot them, I have only ever created low gardens on very quiet streets, mostly dead end lanes and on footpaths in my areas.
"He doesn't  claim to be the first Guerilla Gardening , or even the first pothole gardener for that matter – there are loads of examples of similar projects on the Guerilla Gardening  website.
Pothole gardening seems to date back to a school group in the US about  four years ago and there have been various other similar projects.
Enjoy – and if you want to get involved, visit GardenGreenAngels.com to read more and find contact information.

 

Getting Together at the Local Level

Getting Together at the Local Level


    • A wonderous sense of sharing and activity has started to occur in the green, farming, gardening and food world.


    • In many places, everyone involved in these interests is working together to create a cohesive healthy local market and local energy in one group.

      A prime example of this wonderful new step in agriculture and eating is the Wintertime Farmers Market in Providence, Rhode Island.

      The Market not only sells vegetables and products but also offers the community, the state, as chance to experience a workshop of education for themselves. Farm Fresh Rhode Island is partnering with local organizations to host a workshop every week during its Wednesday evening Wintertime Farmers Market at the Hope Artists Village. The topics include beekeeping, honeywine brewing, composting, storytelling and more. The Urban Beekeeping Primer will help explain what it takes to raise bees in the city.
      For a full schedule visit the events section of the Wintertime Market page in Providence, or check out your local farmers Market for wintertime events.


    Beekeeping and Seed Starting at the Market

Where Rivers Meet the Sea

Living in a Estuary

 

Living in an estuary rich country, we often overlook the wondrous 'ocean life kindergartens' that surround us on every coastline and river and stream mouth. These breeding grounds are the basis for most food chain supplies. Explore these living classrooms and laboratories and discover their importance and beauty, and learn what you can do to protect them. Learn more about this site.


Learn About Estuaries:
Can you name a few "endangered species" that live in an estuary?

Can you name the locations of 3 Research Reserves?

Can you name a law that protects our nation's estuaries?


You can  read about experts in the ocean and estuarine field such as Estuarine Educator  Melanie Reding who works for the Jacques Cousteau NERR, New Jersey Estuarine,

http://estuaries.noaa.gov

Find information about careers in NOAA, the knowledge and skills required to enter these careers, and much more.

estuaries.noaa.gov