These days, while the almond orchards are kept a perfect green, the surrounding landscape is a dull brown, and the yards in front of most of the houses are little more than dirt and weeds. At least 25 families have seen their wells go dry in recent months. Many others are rationing what little water remains. Those lucky enough to be on the city’s system still have to strictly conserve to keep the town’s only well from going dry. — thenation.com
The Nation paints Fairmead – an agricultural town where many personal wells have dried up, pitting indigent residents further into poverty – as a cautionary tale for all those living in historic drought conditions.More on California's historic drought:Fog catchers: squeezing water out of...
The project, estimated at 400 million euros, or $433 million, features designs by the architects Eva Jiricna, Richard Meier and John Pawson, in addition to the 10 emerging firms, three of which are Czech and seven that are British. — The New York Times
Called Lysningen or ‘The Clearing’, it has been designed by the Bergen-based architects 3RW. [...]
“It is actually much better than I had thought,.” [Jørgen Watne Frydnes, the general manager of Utøya,] said. “The frame around the woods and the silence of nature, makes it feel like a well.” — thelocal.no
On July 22, 2011, on the island of Utøyah, a lone gunman named Anders Breivik attacked a youth summer camp run by the Norwegian Workers’ Youth League (AUF), killing 69 people. Today, on the fourth anniversary of the attack, a memorial to the victims officially opens on the island. Known as...
Japan has been hungry for alternative energy ever since the 2011 Fukushima disaster made nuclear power an unattractive option in the country, and golf courses just happen to be perfectly suited for solar power — they're large open spaces that often get lots of sunlight.
Kyocera's first project, now under construction, is a 23 megawatt solar plant on a golf course in Kyoto prefecture. When it goes live in 2017, the plant will produce enough power for about 8,100 households. — businessinsider.com
The California Water Commission, responding to a fourth year of drought, approved sharp new limits on the amount of water that can be used on landscapes surrounding newly constructed buildings, such as houses, businesses and schools.
The revised ordinance will limit grass to about 25% of a home's combined front, back and side yards in all new construction. [...]
Additionally, grass will be all but banned in landscapes of new commercial, industrial and institutional buildings. — latimes.com
More on California's historic drought:The sudden drought gold rush for California landscapers may be overThe best lawn for California's drought may still be greenAs Californians let their lawns turn golden, water conservation targets were exceeded in MayCalifornia's desert resorts struggle to...
These have been boom times for companies that rip out lawns and replace them with drought-tolerant landscaping, but now their business might be drying up.
The Metropolitan Water District said Thursday it would no longer offer rebates to entice homeowners to get rid of their lawns because the agency ran out of money much sooner than it expected.
That is bad news for [...] landscape contractor in Los Angeles. Grass removal has become about 40 percent of his business, driven by the rebates. — scpr.org
As a result of the sudden end of the government incentives, some Los Angeles landscape contractors, that had made turf removal their main business in the past months, began laying off staff. The LA Times reports: "Turf Terminators, which ballooned from a staff of three to more than 450 over the...
The city of Melbourne assigned trees email addresses so citizens could report problems. Instead, people wrote thousands of love letters to their favorite trees. — theatlantic.com
One tree letter excerpt reads: "My dearest Ulmus," the message began. “As I was leaving St. Mary’s College today I was struck, not by a branch, but by your radiant beauty. You must get these messages all the time. You’re such an attractive tree.”Related...
Using his authority under the Antiquities Act, the president created a protected area spanning roughly 704,000 acres in central Nevada’s Basin and Range, as well as smaller ones in California’s Berryessa Snow Mountain and Texas’ Waco Mammoth. [...]
Broadly supported by environmentalists, [Basin and Range] is also home to a major earthen sculpture, “City” which the artist Michael Heizer has worked to create over nearly half a century. — washingtonpost.com
All in all, these new monuments cover more land than the state of Rhode Island, adding significant mileage to Obama's public lands legacy. The Basin and Range (Nevada), Berryessa Snow Mountain (California) and Waco Mammoth (Texas) monuments cover lands that are either completely or mostly...
In a new paper published Thursday, a team of researchers present a compelling case for why urban neighborhoods filled with trees are better for your physical health.
[...] they found that “having 10 more trees in a city block, on average, improves health perception in ways comparable to an increase in annual personal income of $10,000 and moving to a neighborhood with $10,000 higher median income or being 7 years younger.” — washingtonpost.com
"We focused on a large urban population center (Toronto, Canada) and related the two domains by combining high-resolution satellite imagery and individual tree data from Toronto with questionnaire-based self-reports of general health perception, cardio-metabolic conditions and mental illnesses...
The pull of the Hollywood sign has...generated anger along the winding roads in those hills as homeowners have complained of a crush of motorists clogging roads, hikers in the middle of narrow streets and smokers flicking cigarettes into flammable brush... Now some homeowners are taking their battle to court, demanding that the city close a popular path into Griffith Park used to view the famed sign until the effects on the neighborhood have been fully evaluated. — latimes.com
The residents of Beachwood Canyon, a very affluent neighborhood, argue that traffic to one of the only public trails leading to the iconic Hollywood sign is a public safety issue. Claiming that the city has failed to properly address environmental concerns, they've formed a group, Homeowners on...
“In two years Divvy has grown to more neighborhoods and become a transit option for more residents, but cost was still a barrier for too many people,” said Mayor Emanuel. “Divvy only works when everyone has a chance to use it. Today we are bridging gaps by offering $5 annual memberships so more residents can benefit from Divvy, regardless of their ability to pay.” — City of Chicago
Chicago's Divvy ride-share program is one of the most popular in the country. In its two-year history, a reported 9.25 million miles have been logged on more than 4.4 million trips. This Fourth of July alone, 24,500 trips were taken on the pale blue bikes.Earlier this year, the City of Chicago...
New satellite imagery of remote islands in the South China Sea shows several Chinese island-building projects are finished. In five of seven island projects, attention has turned to the next phase: building bases with potential military uses on the islands. — washingtonpost.com
Taking a cue from the Gulf states, China has been engaged in a massive island-building project in the South China Sea. New images from the Washington Post show the staggering progress that is being made, with the first buildings cropping up. While relatively small, the South China Sea is one of...
To be recognized as a Great Tree, in New York City, is not just a matter of having the correct heritage or coming from the right family. [...]
For a person, achieving fame or prominence comes with both perks and pitfalls. But what are the advantages of being a celebrated tree? And what are the dangers? While humans have long venerated old and large trees, we've also cut them down and razed whole forests of their less superlative brethren. — atlasobscura.com
Need to see how your backyard elm compares to America's greatest trees? Click here to search the 2015 American Forests Champion Trees national register or sign up to become a big-tree hunter in your area.
A plan to erect a 10-storey statue in a national park on one of Canada’s most scenic shorelines has prompted outrage and sparked a growing political row [...].
The statue of Mother Canada – a cloaked female figure with her arms outstretched towards the Atlantic Ocean – is intended to honour the country’s soldiers who died overseas.
But growing anger over the plan has made it a new focus of opposition to the increasingly unpopular government of Conservative prime minister Stephen Harper. — theguardian.com
It was the slow retraction of glaciers over centuries that shaped the Hudson Highlands into their gentle, undulating forms, later represented in soft grays and blues by the painters of the Hudson Valley School. By the 19th century, humans had started to hollow them out from below. The hills were...
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