Environment & Weather
Scott County Family Y Earns National Certification as Nature Explore Classroom PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Arbor Day Foundation   
Monday, 31 October 2011 14:14

Nebraska City, Neb. (October 26, 2011) – Scott County Family Y-Palmer Learning Center outdoor classroom earned the national designation of a certified Nature Explore Classroom from the Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation.

The national certification places Scott County Family Y in a select circle. The first Nature Explore Classroom is located in the Tree Adventure attraction at Arbor Day Farm, the Arbor Day Foundation’s interactive conservation venue in Nebraska City, Neb.  Nature Explore Classrooms are part of the Nature Explore program, a collaborative project of the Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation. Developed in response to the growing disconnect between children and nature, certified Nature Explore Classrooms are designed to help fill the void by educating young children using research-based principles for integrating nature into their daily learning.

These classrooms, which are being developed across the country, offer interactive elements – including musical instruments made of natural materials, climbing structures, wooden blocks, small waterways, garden areas, and natural materials for building and creating art – that give children important and inspiring nature experiences. While connecting children with nature, such unstructured play and activities are shown to enhance concentration, develop creativity and problem-solving, relieve stress, and improve skills in many areas.

The Scott County Family Y-Palmer Learning Center is located at 724 Harrison Street in Davenport, IA. Outdoor classrooms that are designed according to principles described in the Dimensions Foundation’s Learning With Nature Idea Book are eligible to become certified Nature Explore Classrooms. In a certified Nature Explore Classroom, children can create visual masterpieces in a nature art area, build with natural materials, climb on natural structures, and practice their balance, agility, and creativity in areas designed for music and movement.

“Scott County Family Y has taken an important leadership role in a profoundly needed initiative to connect young children with nature, setting a wonderful example for education centers across the country,” said Susie Wirth, Nature Explore outreach director for the Arbor Day Foundation. “Everyone at Arbor Day Foundation and Dimensions Educational Research Foundation appreciates the commitment that Scott County Family Y has made to the Nature Explore program and to providing nature education opportunities for young children.”

About the Arbor Day Foundation: The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit education organization of more than 1 million members, with a mission to inspire people to plant, nurture, and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at arborday.org.

About Dimensions Educational Research Foundation: Dimensions Educational Research Foundation was formed in 1998 to study how science, math and literacy learning can be enhanced by the addition of more visual-spatial activities into classrooms and homes. For a number of years, the Foundation has conducted and collected research on how children best develop visual-spatial skills and how teachers and families can optimally support this development. Dimensions Educational Research Foundation’s goal is to create and deliver unique educational programming to 1) Help people better understand and appreciate the natural world by developing visual-spatial skills; and 2) Improve science, math and literacy learning through visual-spatial skills.

 
Eastern Avenue Branch Library Celebrates Receiving the LEED Silver Designation PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by LaWanda Roudebush   
Monday, 24 October 2011 15:12

Join the celebration at the Eastern Avenue Branch Library on Tuesday, October 18 at 1:00 p.m. as the library celebrates receiving the LEED Silver designation by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).

 

Bruce Hamous from the Eastern Iowa Branch of the Iowa Chapter of the United States Green Building Council will present the award to the library.  Representatives involved with designing and constructing the beautiful, environmentally friendly library will be present, as well as the mayor and members of the city council.

 

For more information on the library’s celebration, contact LaWanda Roudebush at 563.326.7832.

 
Eastern Avenue Branch Library Celebrates Receiving the LEED Silver Designation PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by LaWanda Roudebush   
Monday, 17 October 2011 12:28

Event Date: October 18, 2011

Join the celebration at the Eastern Avenue Branch Library on Tuesday, October 18 at 1:00 p.m. as the library celebrates receiving the LEED Silver designation by the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).

Bruce Hamous from the Eastern Iowa Branch of the Iowa Chapter of the United States Green Building Council will present the award to the library.  Representatives involved with designing and constructing the beautiful, environmentally friendly library will be present, as well as the mayor and members of the city council.

For more information on the library’s celebration, contact LaWanda Roudebush at 563.326.7832.

***

 
New USDA TV Feature October 11, 2011: Finding The Best Fall Colors PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by USDA Communications Office   
Tuesday, 11 October 2011 14:07

Finding The Best Fall Colors

The USDA Forest Service can help you find the best Fall colors

A new TV feature is available on the USDA FTP site

Filename: Fall Color feature

Download instructions:

The host: ftp://ocbmtcmedia.download.akamai.com

User name: usdanews

Password:  Newscontent1

The new file is in QuickTime Movie (H.264 ), MPEG 4, MPEG2 and HDV.

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twNOResyOWU&feature=channel_video_title

video podcast: http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/usda-down-to-earth-video-podcast/id461819504?uo=4

RSS feed: http://downtoearth.usda.libsynpro.com/rss

Please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if you have problems or suggestions.

Also, use this free ftp client if you have problems.

http://filezilla-project.org/download.php?type+client

FEATURE – FINDING THE BEST FALL COLORS

INTRO: Leaf viewing season is upon us and the U-S-D-A’s Forest Service has information on the best colors. The U-S-D-A’s Bob Ellison has more. (1:25)

 

FALL IS HERE AND PEOPLE WANT TO SEE THE CHANGING LEAVES. BUT HOW DO YOU KNOW WHERE AND WHEN TO SEE THE BEST FALL COLORS? THE U-S DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE’S FOREST SERVICE CAN HELP WITH ITS FALL COLORS WEB PAGE AND HOTLINE.

 

Tom Tidwell, Chief, USDA Forest Service: So you don’t have to spend any time trying to wonder if this is the right weekend to get out. Call our hotline. We do have a website that you can go to that you can get the best up to date information. We keep it up to date and we’re going to tell you when the Fall colors are peaking in the area where you want to visit.

 

MANY FACTORS INFLUENCE FALL COLORS SO THE FOREST SERVICE RELIES HEAVILY ON EYEWITNESS REPORTS.

 

Tidwell: And each year depending on how the weather develops in the Fall that helps dictate the color changes. So not only do have the science but we also have folks out there observing when these colors are changing so we can give you the best up to date information that’s available.

 

AND WHILE FALL COLORS CAN BE ENJOYED IN MANY PLACES, TIDWELL SAYS SOME OF THE BEST VIEWING OPPORTUNITIES ARE IN THE NATIONAL FORESTS.

 

Tidwell: Where you have the variety of both the hardwoods and also of our conifers. So you get that combination of the brilliant, magnificent Fall colors also with that solid green color from our conifer trees.

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION GO TO F-S DOT FED DOT U-S FORWARD SLASH FALL COLORS OR CALL ONE EIGHT HUNDRED THREE FIVE FOUR FOUR FIVE NINE FIVE. FOR THE U-S DEPARMENT OF AGRICULTURE, I’M BOB ELLISON.

 
Putting America’s Wind Power on the Grid PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Environment & Weather
Written by Elisha Smith   
Tuesday, 11 October 2011 13:58

By Johnathan Hladik, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Center for Rural Affairs

Here at the Center for Rural Affairs we talk a lot about clean energy transmission. We’ve long recognized that improved transmission infrastructure is the key to job creation and economic development, in rural and urban communities alike.

Fortunately, others do too. Last week the Obama administration announced a plan to fast-track the approval of much-needed electric transmission lines. This follows the creation of two USDA Rural Development loan programs designed to improve transmission facilities in rural areas.

What does this mean for rural residents? It means that now is the time to become engaged. Each proposed line offers an opportunity for you to become involved almost every step of the way.

Before a project moves forward, the developer will look for input from the community. Each will hold educational meetings and open house events to share information and better understand your needs.  Objectives will be discussed, as will route estimations.

Next, most states require the developer to demonstrate project need, and to prove the project is in the public interest.  This determination is made by a state regulatory agency, most often the public service commission or a variation thereof.

Finally it will be time to determine the route. This offers yet another opportunity to weigh in and submit comments to your state regulatory agency. Your concerns will be taken into account and influence the final determination.

To get you started, we’ve created a transmission map. Visit http://www.cfra.org/clean-energy-transmission-map to find projects in your area and learn more about those affecting you.

 
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