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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Leadership Through Landscape: Exploring the Power of Place and Its Influence on Public Leadership and Sustainability Policy

June 6, 2013 ~ 6:00 PM
Artisphere ~ 1101 Wilson Boulevard ~ Arlington VA 22209
Join Virginia Tech’s Metropolitan Institute (MI) and the Arlington Economic Development (AED) in welcoming back Sir Robert Harvey to Arlington, VA. Introduction from the Right Honorable Michael Moore, New Zealand Ambassador to the United States.

For the past 25 years Bob Harvey (still known affectionately as Mayor Bob) has infused the diverse dimensions of sustainability throughout his work as an elected official, international peace envoy, President of the New Zealand Labour Party, businessman, and most recently Chairman of the Auckland waterfront authority. A charismatic speaker and visionary thinker, Harvey came to sustainability through his strong personal and professional bond with the amazing landscape of Auckland’s west region. As a young leader of a local surf club at Karekare Beach, Harvey’s respect and reverence for Waitakere’s rugged coastline and temperate rainforest set the foundation for one of his first political activities — advocating for national legislation that permanently protects the Waitakere Rainforest and Ranges from encroaching suburban development. For Mayor Bob, Leadership through Landscape does not end with acts of conservation and preservation, but becomes a starting point for a dialogue with nature, understanding the landscape, listening to the landscape, and learning from the landscape in ways that reflect the values of New Zealand’s indigenous Maori culture. Building on these themes, Mayor Bob will offer his insights and observations on how sustainability leaders in the US can leverage their own landscapes to support their work in making sustainable communities.

MI and AED welcomes the Right Honorable Michael MooreNew Zealand Ambassador to the US, for introducing Mayor Bob; and commentators, Jay FisetteVice Chair, Arlington County Board and Susannah Drake, ASLA, AIA, Principal, delandstudio, New York City.

The full flier is available here.  Please RSVP at by June 4th.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Audubon’s New Online Bird Guide Now Available

from Audubon Magazine:

 Photo by Katey Nicosia / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

For the days when hauling around a tome for identifying birds just won’t do, Audubon comes to the rescue with its new online guide to North American birds, available for $2.99 on the iPhone, Android, iPad, NOOK or Kindle through the Audubon Birds app. One screen pretty much holds it all, displaying information about birding, conservation, even avian anatomy. The guide categorizes more than 800 species by family, common name, or general shape, allowing users to pick the most appropriate identification route.
The third display option is particularly innovative. This category directs users to the quick guide, offering the ability to search the stout, slim, long-legged, and sleek-beaked contours of many birds. It presents a gallery of shapes: There are duck-like birds (think ducks, grebes, loons, pelicans, and swans), perching birds (groups like larks, flycatchers, thrushes, and wrens), or my favorite, chicken-like marsh birds (encompassing rails, coots, jacanas, and gallinules). Others include those cut like sandpipers, birds with the arrow-like anatomy of swallows, and those that feature the same, watchful upright stance as a hawk.
The guide’s homepage also lists aspects of birding beyond identification, from the most basic—such as ‘How to Bird’—to the more technical aspects of classification as well as bird plumage and molting habits. Everything is explained in straightforward terms, making this tool usable for birders of any skill level.
There are tips for beginning birders, and guidelines for selecting the perfect set of binoculars. There’s even a section that describes “stealth”—what any birder intent on spying skittish creatures must master. For the more advanced users, one link opens up a colorful and detailed display about bird anatomy and some of the more technical aspects of this hobby.
Importantly, one section of the guide is dedicated to conservation and endangered species. It includes a list of struggling birds, the threats they face, the changes wrought by climate change, and ways that users can help.
Perhaps best of all, the new Audubon guide lets birders record and then share sightings with others on the lookout for avian beauties. That’s a win for birds and bird lovers alike.

Vital stats:
Guide: Online Guide to North American Birds
Available: National Audubon Society website, iPhone, iPad, Kindle, Android, NOOK
Cost: $2.99
What it includes: 800 bird species from 74 families

Monday, May 13, 2013

Where tree seedlings come from...

Northern Virginia Urban Forestry Quarterly Roundtable
Nuts and Bolts of Urban Forestry
Thursday, May 23, 2013   9:30 – 2PM
Arlington County Department of Parks and Natural Resources
2700 S Taylor Street, Arlington, VA 22206

This is the story of how a seed at a production nursery becomes a tree in the landscape; how the industrialization of the process has ignored the biology of the trees to the detriment of trees and the consumers; and some of the things we are doing to improve.

FREE – ($10 if you want lunch provided)  If you’ve ever wondered why the trees we plant have so many problems, this will help answer.  Great opportunity to meet other jurisdictions Tree Stewards and forestry staff.   Register on line at: