Survey shows most adults prefer volunteering at local parks and recreation areas

November 4, 2019 by  
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A recent National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) poll revealed that four in five adults (80 percent) look to their local parks and recreation areas for family-friendly, community-focused volunteer opportunities. This is welcomed news, because parks and recreational areas are vital to the health, resilience and vibrancy of communities. Communities deserve wonderful parks, and individuals can make that a reality through volunteer work. The poll was part of the NRPA’s Park Pulse series that gauges the public’s opinion on parks and recreation. Findings showed that the top three volunteer activities include collecting litter along park trails, planting trees within parks and raking leaves for composting. The survey found millennials were the most likely to volunteer, followed by Gen Xers then baby boomers. Related: Trailhead Ambassador Program enhances hiking in Oregon “Park and recreation agencies are a great place to volunteer and give back to the community,” said Kevin Roth, NRPA vice president of professional development, research and technology. “Volunteering at your local park is a win-win occasion. Not only are you giving your parks a much-needed hand, you are able to reap the many benefits of parks, including a connection to nature and physical activity.” To enhance communities, there are two main volunteer-driven NRPA initiatives on volunteering and donating to parks: the Parks Build Community (PBC) and the Heart Your Park Day Service programs. The Parks Build Community (PBC) initiative emphasizes the transformative value of parks. A couple of ways PBC does this is by restoring existing parks or building new ones from scratch with the help of volunteers. Meanwhile, the Heart Your Park Day Service provides a hands-on, corporate volunteering program that brings volunteers outdoors, away from the walls of the office, to boost company morale and employee engagement. The NRPA is a leading nonprofit devoted to advancing public parks and recreation with the help of local volunteers. The NRPA focuses on conservation , health and wellness. + NRPA Image via Virginia State Parks

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Survey shows most adults prefer volunteering at local parks and recreation areas

Ireland will plant 440 million trees in 20 years

September 4, 2019 by  
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Ireland is about to get a whole lot greener. The 84,431-square-kilometer country is determined to fight climate change by planting 440 million trees by 2040; 70 percent will be conifers and the remainder broad-leaf. The initiative is part of Ireland’s larger goal to become carbon-neutral by 2050. Ireland has the lowest forest cover of all European countries — about 11 percent compared to an average of more than 30 percent. Some say planting additional trees could be the answer, while others aren’t completely sold. Related: Scientists confirm tree planting is our best solution to climate change In June, the Irish government said it was going to start planting more trees in its fight against climate change and to reduce carbon emissions, but it never said how many trees it would plant. Now, the government has come up with a specific number. “The target for new forestation is approximately 22 million trees per year,” a spokesperson for the Department of Communications Climate Action and Environment said . “Over the next 20 years, the target is to plant 440 million.” In order to make the tree planting initiative work, Ireland needs farmers to plant more trees on their properties. The problem is that this is not a popular idea among farmers . The government hopes to try to change these opinions by offering local meetings to garner support for reforestation. Other people in Ireland are also against planting more trees. For instance, Pádraic Fogarty of the Irish Wildlife Trust is not on board. “People are not good at planting trees, and trees do not like being planted. They prefer to plant themselves,” Fogarty told The Irish Independent . Rather than handing out around 94 million euros ($103 million) in forestry grants, the government should pay farmers to plant nothing and let their properties regrow on their own, Fogarty suggested. An earlier study explained that planting more than 500 billion trees was the “most effective” solution to combating climate change. Those opposed to the tree planting initiative say reforestation will not reduce greenhouse gases enough, and other ideas should be implemented. Planting trees is not a foreign concept when trying to address the climate crisis, as other countries have grabbed their shovels and dug in. For example, Ethiopia and Scotland have been successful in their efforts to plant more trees for reforestation and fight global warming . Via EcoWatch , The Irish Times and The Irish Independent Image via KML

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Ireland will plant 440 million trees in 20 years

It’s time to decide: clean your room or plant a tree

February 5, 2019 by  
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Are luxury and sustainability compatible? The Parq Vancouver complex in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia strives to have it all by balancing two luxury hotels, a casino and eight restaurants with LEED gold standards and a host of environmental initiatives, including the option to forgo one common hotel amenity in favor of a greener option. One of the Parq’s newer programs is a twist on skipping housekeeping in favor of an alternative reward, something becoming more popular among hotels . At the Parq , when a guest checks in for more than two nights, they can skip room cleaning and opt instead for either 500 bonus Marriott points per night or having a tree planted. That’s one tree for every two nights. If they stayed at the hotel long enough, soon they’d foster a small grove. Related: Meet the teen planting 150 trees for every person on Earth To personalize the tree planting program, the Parq allows guests to include their names or dedicate the seedling to somebody else. This information appears on a webpage showing a cartoon version of the forest, including where the tree is planted and to whom it’s dedicated. Workers plant the trees in the Ann and Sandy Cross Conservation Area near Calgary, Alberta. Cutting down on hotel housekeeping is better for both the environment and the hotel’s operating costs. Less frequent washing of towels and bedding means decreased water usage and fewer chemicals dripping into sewers. “You get the benefit of not using cleaning chemicals in the rest of the room,” Jeanne Marie Varney, who teaches courses on sustainability at Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, told the New York Times . “Not running vacuum cleaners saves energy .” The Parq, open since late 2017, also offers an unusual 30,000-square-foot park on its sixth floor, designed by landscape artist Christopher Phillips of PFS Studio. This elevated park combines an oxygen hit from more than 200 pine trees with dramatic views of Vancouver’s skyline. If that’s not enough green space , travelers can visit next door province Alberta to look for the tree that exists because they skipped room cleaning. The Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area welcomes hikers and snowshoers. + Parq Vancouver Via New York Times Images via Heiko Stein

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It’s time to decide: clean your room or plant a tree

Transforming the Aral Sea’s dead zone into a forest could save lives

June 5, 2018 by  
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Once, the Aral Sea provided fish for the Karakalpak people of Uzbekistan . Today, it has dwindled to a mere 10 percent of its old size . Toxic chemicals in the sea bed, now exposed, have endangered human health . But saxaul trees could prevent wind from carrying contaminated sand into the air. Forestation specialist Orazbay Allanazarov told the BBC, “One fully grown saxaul tree can fix up to 10 tonnes of soil around its roots.” The plan is to cover the whole dried sea bed — millions of hectares — with trees. The Aral Sea began withering away in the 1960s as the Soviets diverted water for cotton fields from two main rivers flowing into the sea. As the volume of water in the sea slumped, the concentration of salt increased and poisoned fish. Almas Tolvashev, a former fisherman, told the BBC, “There were 250 ships here. I used to catch 600 to 700 kilos of fish every day. Now there is no sea.” Related: “It has totally changed how people feel:” new forest transforms former UK coal community And it wasn’t just the loss of fish that caused issues. Pesticides and herbicides from cotton plantations ended up in the sea. When it went dry, sandstorms picked up the toxic chemicals exposed on the sea bed and humans inhaled them — with dire consequences. The BBC pointed to one study that discovered the incidents of liver cancer doubled from 1981 to 1991. Locals experienced reduced fertility, stunted growth, elevated rates of cancer and heart and lung problems. Authorities didn’t acknowledge the Aral Sea’s disappearance until after the Soviet Union’s fall. Saxaul trees, a shrub-like tree native to central Asia’s deserts, are able to survive in salty, dry soil, and they could offer an answer. Workers have covered around half a million hectares of the desert with the trees — but there are more than three million hectares to go. The BBC said it could take 150 years to cultivate a forest at the current pace, but there’s hope the trees could improve quality of life for the Karakalpak people. “We are slow,” Allanazarov said. “We need to speed up the process. But for this we need more money, more foreign investment.” Via the BBC Images via Depositphotos (1, 2)

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Transforming the Aral Sea’s dead zone into a forest could save lives

‘Trump Forest’ plants trees to offset president’s climate ignorance

August 15, 2017 by  
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President Donald Trump is notorious for his ignorance on climate change . So instead of sitting by while his administration harms the planet, a British climate scientist, American PhD candidate, and French and Kiwi sustainable hat company founder decided to take action. They started Trump Forest to encourage people to plant trees , and have seen a huge response: so far hundreds of people around the world have pledged 130,999 trees . “Where ignorance grows trees” is the tagline of the Trump Forest project. Dan Price, Jeff Willis, and Adrien Taylor initiated the project in March of this year in New Zealand with a contribution of 1,000 native trees from Taylor’s company Offcut (which plants a tree for every cap sold). From there, hundreds of people in places as far-flung as Malawi, Japan, and the United States pledged to plant trees too. Related: Meet the teen planting 150 trees for every person on Earth Trump Forest isn’t after money, according to their website. Instead, they hope people will pay for and plant trees where they live in the name of America’s president, or donate to charity Eden Reforestation Projects . Taylor told the BBC of Trump, “Only a small percentage of the world voted him in, but we all have to deal with the consequences of his climate ignorance.” The organizers told the BBC they would need to plant a forest as big as Kentucky to offset Trump’s policies. They also estimated they’d need to offset 650 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2025 to make up for the actions of America’s commander-in-chief – that’s over 100 billion new trees. They think it’s feasible. Wouldn’t a forest named after Trump just bolster his already large ego? The organizers say people have complained about that, but they’d prefer if the president got on board. Taylor told the BBC, “We kind of want him to love the forest; this is his forest after all. We would love it if he tweeted about it.” Price said, “All we’re trying to do is pick up the slack he created and do the work for him.” If you want to get involved, you can check out the project here . + Trump Forest Via BBC Images via Pixabay and Ozark Drones on Unsplash

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The Cocoon: a biodegradable vessel that nurtures tree growth in harsh and arid conditions

September 23, 2016 by  
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https://vimeo.com/164734151 The Cocoon has two primary benefits to the seedlings it houses: a safe shelter from the harsh surrounding environment and an adequate water supply to develop healthy roots during its first year. The cylindrical shelter also protects seedlings from becoming lunch for small animals, as its high walls surround the tiny plant. The process results in strong adolescent trees that do not require external irrigation, and the Cocoon disintegrates into the surrounding soil as the tree’s root structure expands. Related: Growing trees from seeds: which will work and which won’t Before planting , the Cocoon looks a bit like a bundt cake pan made from cardboard, which is to say it’s pretty plain. The biodegradable shell has super powers, though. The material is made from a variety of organic materials that the Food and Drug Administration has deemed safe for the soil, and when planted, the Cocoon creates a moat-like reservoir that ensures seedlings have all the moisture they need to thrive and grow. The addition of mycorrhizal fungi , which is present in 90 percent of the world’s forests, supports the root systems’ ability to absorb moisture and also enhance the surrounding substrate by releasing enzymes that contribute vital nutrients. Land Life Company , which produces the Cocoon, has partnered with tree-planting programs in 12 countries to help bring back plant life where it has been lost, including recently launched efforts in Peru and Chile. Other programs are already up and running in North America, Mexico, Europe, Africa, and Australia. Land Life works with local nurseries to source high quality seedlings best suited to the environment in which they will be planted, for a better chance at long-term growth of strong, independent trees. Because the Cocoon is a self-contained support system that requires little maintenance, this approach is more cost effective than traditional tree planting techniques. Land Life says the Cocoon is 10 times cheaper, in fact. That means this method can plant a lot more trees for the same budget as traditional planting methods. + The Cocoon Images via Land Life Company

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The Cocoon: a biodegradable vessel that nurtures tree growth in harsh and arid conditions

Project Urban Forest Infographic Shows How Trees Effectively Combat Carbon Emissions

October 8, 2013 by  
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Planting trees remains one of the cheapest, most effective means of drawing excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere – which is why it’s the main objective of the Sustainable Glasgow Project . They created this infographic to share some interesting facts about trees and how much carbon people produce. The Sustainable Glasgow Project funds carbon offsetting projects through the receipt of donations, and they offer individuals and organizations opportunities to offset carbon dioxide from their day to day activities by planting trees. Check out the full infographic after the jump! The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link . Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing! Read the rest of Project Urban Forest Infographic Shows How Trees Effectively Combat Carbon Emissions Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: carbon dioxide emissions , Climate Change , Gardening , glasgow , global warming , green design , infographic , planting trees , project urban forest , sustainable design , sustainable glasgow , tree planting , Trees        

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Project Urban Forest Infographic Shows How Trees Effectively Combat Carbon Emissions

UK Drivers Trade Their Old Cars for New Trees Through the ‘Scrap Car Plant Tree’ Program

January 11, 2013 by  
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Cars accounted for a whopping 21% of the total greenhouse gas emissions in the UK in 2009, but a creative new program from Giveacar and Trees for Cities aims to repair some of the damage caused by cars through the use of cars themselves. Scrap Car Plant Tree takes donations of cars and uses the money they get from the scrap or from the car’s auction value to plant trees across the country. Read the rest of UK Drivers Trade Their Old Cars for New Trees Through the ‘Scrap Car Plant Tree’ Program Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: beautifying urban areas in the uk by planting trees , car donations in the uk , cars as polluters of the environment , collection and disposal of cars , giveacar , greening the uk , money raised from car donations used to plant trees across the uk , one car donations funding 13 trees , planting and caring for a tree through maturity , planting trees in the uk , scrap car plant tree , trees for cities

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UK Drivers Trade Their Old Cars for New Trees Through the ‘Scrap Car Plant Tree’ Program

HOW TO: Grow an Avocado Tree from an Avocado Pit

June 25, 2012 by  
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Avocados are one of the wonderful fruits of summer . High in nutrition and flavor, nothing signals the start of summer like a zesty lime guacamole dip with tortilla chips . The next time you’re making guacamole or slicing an avocado for a salad, try saving your pits to grow into avocado trees . It’s surprisingly easy to grow your own avocado tree from seed , and it makes a great educational project for home and classrooms. Check out our handy-dandy guide below, complete with photos, to learn how to grow an avocado tree from seed . Read the rest of HOW TO: Grow an Avocado Tree from an Avocado Pit Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: avocado tree care , avocado trees indoors , bing , bing dearch engine , bing search , caring for an avocado tree from a seed , eco gardening , Gardening , gardening tips , green gardening , green gardening tips , grow an avocado tree , grow an avocado tree from a pit , grow an avocado tree from seed , growing trees indoors , how to grow a tree from a seed , how to grow an avocado tree , how to grow an avocado tree from a seed , how to plant trees , planting tips , planting trees , start growing a tree indoors , tree planting tips , what to do with avocado pits

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HOW TO: Grow an Avocado Tree from an Avocado Pit

Detroit’s Urban Agriculture Movement Could Help ‘Green’ the City

January 16, 2012 by  
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Often dubbed a “shrinking city” , Detroit has been plagued by urban decay and is known for its vacant houses and abandoned plots of land. But in some areas local residents are reinventing the urban landscape and attempting to “green” the city. Back in 1989, the organization Greening of Detroit was formed with the goal of improving the city’s suffering ecosystem. After the mass urban expansion in the last century where an estimated 500,000 trees were lost to concrete and buildings, this nonprofit had the idea of reforesting the city. Now agricultural initiatives, environmental education schemes, and community buildings are flourishing, and many open spaces are being reclaimed for planting and farming projects across the city. Read the rest of Detroit’s Urban Agriculture Movement Could Help ‘Green’ the City Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: agricultural projects , city regeneration , eco design , environmental intiatives , green design , greening of detroit , planting trees , reclaimed land , sustainable design , urban decay , Urban Farming

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