#BlackBirdersWeek aims to raise awareness, grow community

#BlackBirdersWeek aims to raise awareness, grow community

Just four days after the encounter between a white dog walker and African American birdwatcher Christian Cooper, a group of approximately 30 Black scientists, birders, and outdoor explorers have created a new awareness campaign to encourage birding among more people of color. The project is called #BlackBirdersWeek, and it will take place from Sunday, May 31, through Friday, June 5. Anyone who is interested should follow the hashtag #BlackBirdersWeek on Twitter and Instagram… “This effort was borne out of a large…

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Our need for the outdoors: The role of nature during COVID-19

Our need for the outdoors: The role of nature during COVID-19

Research on the connection between human health and exposure to nature started to get a foothold in the early 1980s. The renowned biologist E. O. Wilson hypothesized that humans had an innate connection to nature. At the same time, Roger Ulrich, a professor of architecture at Texas A&M University, was looking at how surgery patients with a view of a natural scene out of their windows recovered compared to those with a brick wall outside. He found that patients with…

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April’s International Dark Sky Week urges homebound families to “look up together”

April’s International Dark Sky Week urges homebound families to “look up together”

Press Release: International Dark-Sky Association – For Immediate Release: April 9, 2020 During International Dark Sky Week, April 19-26, the International Dark-Sky Association invites you and your family to engage with dynamic authors, educators, artists, and scientists from around the world who are excited to share their passion for astronomy, our cultural connection to the stars, life in the dark, and how we can work together to protect the night. “Right now, families around the globe find themselves spending many…

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National parks — your Rx for good health

National parks — your Rx for good health

During the current COVID-19 pandemic, visitation to national parks is surging. As more parks close to protect visitors and staff, we can expect another influx when they reopen. In times of crisis and times of calm, national parks are America’s go-to places. Visitation to national parks in 2019 exceeded 300 million visitors for the fifth consecutive year. Numbers of visitors increased by 2.9 percent last year, making it the third highest to date, with nearly 328 million visitors. Read more from Susan Sherman, Executive…

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Essential Austin nonprofit finding new ways to nourish community amid COVID-19

Essential Austin nonprofit finding new ways to nourish community amid COVID-19

Tune into the Urban Roots Instagram feed and you’ll find a new series of videos featuring executive director Max Elliott teaching viewers how to plant peppers; showcasing his ready crop of kale and the helpful, aphid-eating ladybug larvae that live on the leaves; or interviewing (at a safe distance) local restaurant business leaders. His tone is even and hopeful, a brief lifeline to those of us battling isolation as the COVID-19 outbreak wears on. In 2008, Elliott founded Urban Roots as…

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Important Update: Hill Country Living FESTIVAL Rescheduled for October 24, 2020

Important Update: Hill Country Living FESTIVAL Rescheduled for October 24, 2020

Vendors, Sponsors, Partners and Volunteers: Considering recent developments pertaining to COVID-19, and out of an abundance of caution, the Hill Country Alliance FESTIVAL planning team decided yesterday to RESCHEDULE the 4/4/20 Hill Country Living FESTIVAL + Rainwater Revival to SATURDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2020. We have been closely following public health guidelines from local, regional, and state authorities and have watched as numerous cities and counties nearby have reacted accordingly. We believe this decision is in the best interest of our volunteers, vendors, partners, and the…

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Festival in Dripping Springs celebrates Hill Country living

Festival in Dripping Springs celebrates Hill Country living

The Hill Country Living FESTIVAL + Rainwater Revival returns to the Dripping Spring Ranch Park on Saturday, April 4, from 10am to 5pm. This free, one-day event promises something for everyone who loves the Texas Hill Country — whether you call it home now, plan to make it home in the future, or just like to visit and play here. The Hill Country Alliance (HCA), FESTIVAL planner and host, has once again packed the day with fun things to do…

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Ecopsychology: How immersion in nature benefits your health

Ecopsychology: How immersion in nature benefits your health

A growing body of research points to the beneficial effects that exposure to the natural world has on health, reducing stress and promoting healing. Now, policymakers, employers, and healthcare providers are increasingly considering the human need for nature in how they plan and operate. How long does it take to get a dose of nature high enough to make people say they feel healthy and have a strong sense of well-being? Precisely 120 minutes. In a study of 20,000 people,…

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IDA Advocate helps teens open eyes to light pollution in Chicago

IDA Advocate helps teens open eyes to light pollution in Chicago

Each month the International Dark-Sky Association features an IDA Advocate from the worldwide network of volunteers who are working to protect the night. This month we’re highlighting the work of IDA Delegate, Rosalía Lugo.  Self-described as “a true believer in the potential of working-class youth of color,” IDA Delegate Rosalía Lugo works as the teen programs manager at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, Illinois. With a master’s in education policy, organization, and leadership from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign,…

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Splash Into Science Snorkel Program launches at Spring Lake

Splash Into Science Snorkel Program launches at Spring Lake

Spring Lake is renowned for being one of the most biologically diverse aquatic ecosystems in the country. While many visitors view Spring Lake’s artesian springs and teeming aquatic life on a glass-bottom boat, one can now get a closer look by enrolling in a new Splash into Science Snorkel Program from The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment at Texas State University. “Splash into Science is an immersive snorkeling program that provides low-impact educational fun,” said Dr. Rob Dussler,…

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