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Taming the Night for Kid Friendly Dark Skies

By |May 2nd, 2015|Categories: Dark Skies, Ideas & Tools|

Amanda Beck Revisions of classic fairytales to portray “villains” in new and complex ways has become a popular storytelling device these days, and it’s time to get to know another misunderstood phenomenon: the night. Going beyond quotidian worries of a dark sky, many of us can list several fond memories that take place when the sun is down—catching fireflies on a warm summer night, roasting marshmallows around a campfire, counting stars on a crisp winter evening, waiting for a shooting star. This Biophilic Cities newsletter is all about ways cities are embracing smarter policies regarding darkness, and we wanted to include some ideas of how to involve children in rethinking our relationship with the night sky. Build confidence inside. An easy way to celebrate the natural night sky is to pick bedtime stories that celebrate stars, nighttime adventures, and humankind’s rich history of storytelling about constellations. There are a plethora [...]

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Geese Peace: A Strategy for Humane Co-Existance

By |March 2nd, 2015|Categories: Coexisting with Wildlife, Ideas & Tools|

Post written by Dita Beard Many citizens become frustrated when Canada Geese occupy our favorite outdoor recreation areas, especially those with bodies of water. Communities can be torn when faced with how manage citizen frustration and support wildlife. Often, lethal and other non-humane strategies are taken, but these strategies are ineffective over the long run. The problem arose because various national and local agencies resolved to save the Canada geese after overhunting and the use of decoys brought them to the brink of extinction decades ago. Unfortunately, the tactics used to bolster the population of the Canada Goose resulted in non-migrating birds hatched outside of Canada. Due to predator avoidance and nesting behaviors, they tend to seek out areas with bodies of water and plenty of grass to eat nearby - areas that in urban and suburban settings are also in high demand for recreational use by local residents. The [...]

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Legislating the Humane Treatment of Wildlife

By |February 25th, 2015|Categories: Coexisting with Wildlife, Ideas & Tools|

Post written by James D. Brown Our need to plan for nature in our urban landscapes requires a purposeful consideration of how we, as human urban residents, can peacefully co-exist with our more wild neighbors. Some cities are considering the methods by which these interactions occur, especially how we can humanly treat wildlife that may not always be welcome.[i] Deer in Rock Creek Park by Bonnie Jo Mount/The Washington Post One emblematic and well discussed legislative effort was undertaken by the Council of the District of Columbia in the form of its Wildlife Protection Act of 2010.[ii] The Wildlife Protection Act establishes a licensing and regulatory system for “wildlife control operators”. Previously, there were limited provisions that governed the trapping and treatment of “wildlife” within the District. The result was the use of inhumane practices and that also often did not effectively control unwanted interactions with wildlife. Under [...]

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Reinventing Nature in the City: Leave No Trace and Do No Harm Turns Into Do Something, Make It Good

By |October 22nd, 2014|Categories: Ideas & Tools, Interviews, Unexpected Nature|

An Interview with Natalie Jeremijenko, Director of the Environmental Health Clinic, Associate Professor in the Visual Art Department, NYU and affiliated with the Computer Science Department and Environmental Studies program Natalie Jeremijenko is a renowned artist, engineer, and inventor who is innovating in unexpected ways. Jeremijenko, like many others, is dissatisfied with current reactions to many of today’s greatest environmental challenges. Instead of following suit, she has used her ingenuity to create a collection of demonstration projects that celebrate nature and allow citizens to experience nature in unexpected ways. These demonstration projects fall under the umbrella of the Environmental Health Clinic where instead of “patients” there are “impatients.” The “impatients” are fed up with the negative treatment of the environment and the impacts that this treatment of the environment has on cross species health. The Environmental Health Clinic takes a different approach to thinking about environmental A Collection of Projects from the Environmental Health [...]

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