Environment

Environmental News and Features

Birdmen - future of conservation

Jan 28, 2015
Provided, Cincinnati Magazine, Jonathan Willis

  

  While spring seems a very long way off, local gardeners are getting ready now to get back outside, doing research, checking out the latest seed and plant offerings and gardening news, and planning what to grow once warmer weather returns.

  

  In 1964, Clyde Peeling opened Reptiland in Allenwood, Pennsylvania and for the last 50 years, has been educating generations of visitors about the importance of reptiles in nature. Thane Maynard of the Cincinnati Zoo recently had the chance to talk with Clyde Peeling about his half-century at Reptiland.

University of Cincinnati  Assistant Professor Steve Matter and three undergraduate students traveled to the Canadian Rocky Mountains to study the effect of climate change on the Rocky Mountain Apollo butterfly. He stopped by our studio to share stories and insights from that research trip with the Cincinnati Zoo's Thane Maynard.

  Do you remember when you were growing up, playing in creeks and walking through the woods? Have you ever shared some of those experiences with your children?

 We all know the environmental importance of trees. And most homeowners realize they have a significant intrinsic worth as well. The right tree in the proper setting can define a landscape and add significantly to a home’'s resale value. This is the perfect time of year to plant or relocate trees, but picking, positioning and planting a tree takes some careful thought and planning.

The Monarch butterfly has been studied universally – from its captivating metamorphosis to its amazing 2,500-mile migration. But within just the past decade, there has been a staggering 97% decrease in the butterfly's population. Today we'll discuss this startling decrease and the Milkweed to Monarchs program that our own Cincinnati Nature Center is undertaking to help reverse the decline. Joining us are Bill Hopple, executive director and Bill Creasey, chief naturalist & adult program manager.

  David Gottfried is best known as the father of the global green building movement. His work has impacted the global building industry more than almost any other, having founded both the U.S. Green Building Council and World Green Building Council, with GBCs in 100 countries.

Jessica Metz

  Earlier this year, 25 highly-respected educators from the United States and Canada were selected as 2014 Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic Education Grosvenor Teacher Fellows.

  There was a time not long ago when wetland areas were thought of as useless, or worse, breeding grounds for disease. But wetlands provide values no other ecosystem can, including natural water quality improvement, flood protection, and shoreline erosion control, along with the opportunities they give us to examine and enjoy nature. Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden Director Thane Maynard speaks with Brian Jorg, the Zoo'’s Manager of Horticulture, about the vital role wetland areas play in our ecosystem, and ongoing efforts to preserve and restore them.

The Zoo is holding a native plant sale at its EcOhio Farm this weekend, for information, click here.

  Greater Cincinnati has the good fortune to not only have a vibrant and growing arts, culture and entertainment scene, our region is also an amazing place to discover life in the great outdoors. And to help with that discovery, next Saturday and Sunday the 11th annual Great Outdoor Weekend takes place: 120 free outdoor events spanning the eight counties in and around Greater Cincinnati. Joining us for a preview of the many and varied events you can enjoy this weekend are Kimberly Whitton, communication coordinator for Great Parks! Hamilton County Park District; Amy Sauer, Program & Events manager with Green Umbrella; and Emily White, co-owner of Roads Rivers & Trails adventure outfitter.

  We'’re now into that time of year when gardeners start to ask some hard questions: to prune or not to prune? What fall crops can I plant and harvest before the first freeze? How many gazing globes, concrete geese and solar-powered butterfly lights in the yard are too many?

  The Underwater Museum: The Submerged Sculptures of Jason deCaires Taylor is a one-of-a-kind blend of art, nature, and conservation. The Underwater Museum re-creates an awe-inspiring dive into the dazzling under-ocean sculpture parks of artist Jason deCaires Taylor.

Michael Keating

That annual Cincinnati summer ritual, the smog alert, has been absent this year and last year as well.  The Southwest Ohio Air Quality Agency's Monitoring and Analysis Supervisor, Anna Kelley, says the weather has played a big part in keeping down the pollution:

"We've had wonderful weather the past two summers, maybe not so much for swimming, but as far as keeping the air quality mixed and good, we've had some wonderful summers for that."

On its website the agency defines smog as:

Provided, Cincinnati Zoo

  The Passenger Pigeon was once probably the most numerous bird on earth. Population estimates from the 19th century ranged from between one and four billion. But on September 1,1914, the last Passenger Pigeon, Martha, died at the Cincinnati Zoo.

ArtWorks

  John A. Ruthven is a naturalist, author, lecturer, and internationally acknowledged master of wildlife art, often called the “20th Century Audubon.” In 1974, he led the effort to save the last of the Cincinnati Zoo'’s 19th century bird pagodas – the one where Martha, the last of the passenger pigeons, had once lived. Mr. Ruthven is the final speaker in the Cincinnati Zoo’'s Barrows Lecture Series this year (the event is sold out). The Zoo’'s Thane Maynard talks with John Ruthven, who is the recipient of the 2014 Cincinnati Zoo Wildlife Conservation Award.

In January of this year, Thane Maynard spoke to Joel Greenburg, author of A Feathered River Across the Sky: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction. You can hear that interview by clicking here: Thane and Joel Greenburg

Plant Trial Days at the Cincinnati Zoo

Aug 22, 2014
Provided, Cincinnati Zoo

  Next Thursday, August 28, the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden presents its fourth-annual Plant Trials Day, where the zoo shares the results of its testing program. Learn about the best new plants most suitable for our area, and hear presentations by horticulture experts on a variety of gardening topics, perennials, miniature trees, selecting the best plant materials and more. Here to give us a preview of Plant Trials Day are the Director of Horticulture at the Cincinnati Zoo, Steve Foltz, and zoo horticulturist Scott Beuerlein.

  Taking Root, the  initiative to fight the impending loss of our region’s tree canopy, kicked-off its campaign last fall. Since then more than 56,000 trees have been planted in Greater Cincinnati. But there is still much work to be done in order to reach the goal to plant 2 million trees in our region by 2020. And as new trees are being planted, we are losing existing trees to disease, invasive plants, and pests such as the emerald ash borer and Asian longhorned beetle. We take a look at the Taking Root program, how to protect your trees, and what trees are most suitable for your area, with Cincinnati Zoo Director of Horticulture Steve Foltz and horticulturist and Taking Root Chairman Scott Beuerlein.

Update at 7:20 AM: Cincinnati's water intakes on the Ohio River are re-opened this morning following a diesel fuel spill yesterday at a Duke Energy Power Plant in New Richmond.  Water officials say the spill has passed through the Cincinnati area.

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