This summer - this year, this Fourth of July - let's all celebrate one of America's most diverse & inspiring natural assets, its PARKS.
City, School, State & Federal - Coastal, Mountain, Desert & Canyon -
the park experience is most Americans' only connection to natural rhthym, natural tranquility and outdoor fun. In this issue of THE GOOD NEWS -- we celebrate the American identity by bringing light to 5 of our favorite, park-oriented non-profit groups. Please enjoy visiting their websites & learning more.
The Good News is ... Parks!
PS. Just for a moment, imagine a world without Parks. Imagine a world made up entirely of privatized lands. Bluh! You can donate, "take action," or join any of these amazing non-profits to support park health!
OUTSTANDING GROUPS "FOR PARKS"
> Rails to Trails - possibly our most favorite non-profit of the moment. These folks take old, out-of-use railway easements and turn them into greenways, parks, commuter trails, bike lanes, etc etc etc! From coast to coast Rails to Trails is linking communities and encouraging play, bike vacations, nature walks, and most importantly - the rediscovery of locality. This is fun, refreshing, and beautiful stuff.
Best slogan, "Commune & Commute."
visit www.railstrails.org - link below
> Save the Redwoods League - Tracing their roots back to Julius Ceasar... (that's a joke!) ... and protecting ancient forests since 1918, this group is leading the effort to preserve one of our nation's most irreplaceable and “awesome” resources.
Favorite factoid: Redwood seeds are so small, it takes about 125,000 to make a pound!
visit www.savetheredwoods.org - link below
> The Trust for Public Land - Please check out their beautiful publication, "Land & People" - as well as a long list of effective work. (Projects completed in 2005: 253 … Acres protected across the US - 123,873 … Feet soaked in mountain lakes: "innumerable.") TPL features numerous state offices with projects targeted specifically for success on a local level. TPL's New York branch recently issued this challenge to New Yorkers, "New York City is the well-respected leader in many areas -- why not parks?"
Favorite recent project: "Restoration of the Aqua Fria" Santa Fe, NM.
visit www.tpl.org - link below
> Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) - The NRDC is active in work to preserve land, water and wildlife all around the planet. These folks are experts -- passionate, effective, and encyclopedic!
Coolest spokesperson: Joanne Woodward.
visit nrdc.org - link below
> National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) - Our best advocate at work within the US National System to preserve & improve the attributes we love about our parks. Their publication, "National Parks" is a wonderful educational resource for learning to appreciate what's going on beneath the surface and above our heads in our various local ecosystems. Favorite recent feature/project, "Y2Y" - Blazing a Path to restore indigenous land-animal migration corridors from Yellowstone to the Yukon.
visit npca.org - link below
> PARK QUOTE: "America's parks are the touchstones of our shared history and culture. In some ways, they represent the soul of the nation. They represent our hopes, our dreams, our struggles. They are our absolute best places." -- Tom Kiernan, NPCA President
Let's all get outdoors!
Thanks for reading! Next month: “GeoThermal Energy - the world's most underrated clean, sustainable energy resource?”
LINKS & TIDBITS
PARK NEWS ....
> EU to be CONNECTED BY "GREENWAYS"
Jean-Marie Tetart, Mayor of Houdan, France (since age 25 btw, he's now 56), is spearheading an ambitious effort to develop a continental network of motor-free trails for commuting and recreation. GREENWAYS are walking paths, designed for commuters and errand-runners alike. Tetart: "In most of Europe, there is rarely more than three kilometers between neighboring towns. Why not convert at least one route into a greenway?" Tetart is finding support from both liberal and conserative European politicians, "Greenways are a relatively inexpensive, non-controversial way to improve the welfare, happiness and health of a community... Who wouldn't support that?" ...
via, Rails to Trails, Winter 2006, www.railstotrails.org
> XANTERRA Parks & Resorts Company - the country's largest park management company, has been issuing "Sustainability Reports: since 2003, striving for continuous imporvement in its efforts to reduce the environmental impacts of their hotels, campsites, restaraunts, and offices.
> BRIGHT ANGEL LODGE at the GRAND CANYON, is taking numerous steps to eliminate their environmental impacts. Recently observed were recycling programs, printings on 100% PCW/chlorine free papers, efficient lighting, efficient water fixtures, efficient water programs and more.
> IT'S BIGGER THAN CENTRAL PARK ... IT'S FAMOUS ... IT'S FRESH KILLS ... PARK?!
"Fresh Kills Land Fill is Revitalizing" -- Urban ecologist Steven Handel is succesfully underway with a 20 year plan to restore the 2,200 acre Fresh Kills Land Fill into a "mosaic of meadows, scrub forests, & salt water marshes" -- suitable for day hikers and nature lovers, alike. The finished area will be 3xs bigger than Central Park(!) Handel is professor of Ecology at Rutgers University and is working in coordination with The Brooklyn Botanical Garden to complete the project. (Interesting: "Kills" comes from the Dutch word, "Kil" - which means 'channel' or 'brook.' Our best guess: the area was named hundreds of years ago for its natural beauty.)
via "Sierra" the Sierra Club's bi-monthly magazine, Nov/Dec 2005 issue
> President bush designated the world's largest ocean preserve last month, north of Hawaii. here's a link: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/13300363/
> Random thought: Towns with Nice Parks - The New American Dream?
> GRASS ROOFS GROWING -- In progressive, design oriented cities such as New York & Chicago - greenery is begining to pop-up all over buildings, from the walls to the rooftops. Chicago currently has the nation's largest 'grass roof play area. "It's a city park - and it's fun," says Rob Seay, good news friend and reader from Chicago.
> YOUR PARK - If you need any advice, re: gardening, water conservation, landscaping and other earth-wise outdoor tips, we always recommend visiting the resources pages available through the City of Austin's incredible programs:
CARBON GOOD NEWS
> VOLVO goes Carbon Neutral (New Plant)
> UC BERKELEY
UC BERKELEY's GREEK THEATER is going Carbon Neutral
> MOM goes Carbon Neutral
CONGRATS TO our dear friend (and brand new grandma) Vickie Tatum! After reading last month's "Becoming Carbon Neutral" Vicki went out and bought herself some trees! Here's something we all can do. Vickie "thanks for giving me the opportunity to do something else about global warming."
> FOX on GORE
FOX NEWS on AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH: “Not to be missed. It doesn't matter whether you're a Republican or Democrat, liberal or conservative....your mind will be changed in a nanosecond.”
> CELEBRITIES on Global Warming
CELEBRITIES continue to join together in the "March Against Global Warming.” Here's a few new names to consider: General Wesley Clark, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. , Julia Roberts, Al Franken, & George Clooney ... (readers send us your updates!)
> Not Good News:
"5,000 Tons Too Much" - According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), "U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels increased by [only] 0.1 percent in 2005." That's Good News... but not really. Let's be thankful that reductions in Global Warming emissions worldwide - have begun . However, (and here's our soap box for the month:) ANY fossil fuel emissions -- are disruptive to our climate. And we rely on out climate for survival. . . The only good emissions are "no emissions."
> LEARN MORE about Global Warming from this great article:
> And the best new conspiracy website award goes to ... SONY PICTURES CLASSICS!!
...?! Yes, that's right, our friend Doug Marcis (down in Austin) hipped us to this new film's website, "Who Killed The Electric Car?" Take a moment, check it out, and enjoy:
CORPORATIONS GOOD NEWS
Walmart -- currently the 20th largest economy in the world -- is actively seeking to evolve its business model, via the input of sustainably-oriented professionals like Jeffrery Hollander. Here's the recap from MR. Hollander, Seventh Generation's founder and CEO:
Google launched its first eco-tourism site ("Summer of Green") recently:
On Thursday, June 29 - DELL Computer announced it would offer FREE RECYCLING for all of its products -- and to all of its customers, regardless of whether or not they are making any new purchase, worldwide. Manufacturers such as Apple & Hewlett Packard still charge a fee to recycle their products, unless consumers are purchasing new equipment from them. Way to step up, Dell!
I. "THINKING OUTSIDE OF THE BIN"
this month's amazing recycling factoid...
Did you know? Recycling a 4 foot stack of newspapers saves/produces as much paper pulp as a 40 foot pine tree!
II. "dr. marc recommends"
Learn about how one all-American family is living sustainably, harvesting bio-fuels, and growing more than 3 tons of market-ready food every year ... all off of a standard-sized suburban lot:
visit http://www.pathtofreedom.com - link below
NEW TO THE GOOD NEWS THIS MONTH
Welcome aboard to: JD Holt, Dan Super Bongo, Bob Buckner, Jenny Hok, & Stacey Dreher. Thanks ya'll! Two of our new subsrcibers are 'in the biz.' We'll feature links to work by JD & Dan next month. Cool!
MAKE THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCE
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