Thursday, January 29, 2009

Birds in Snow

It is really enjoyable to see what's happened This Week at Hilton Pond. The snow cover wasn't amazing this past week, but the bird studies really are. Be sure to scroll down that page to see the great photographs and read about them all. There is a good deal of information at Hilton Pond Center of Piedmont Natural History in York County, SC.

Director Bill Hilton Jr. is apparently heading for Costa Rica about this time to band hummingbirds in his Operation Rubythroat. Hmm.... it says space is still available for week two of this project. It would be so wonderful to go! For right now, I'll plan a field trip when he returns to Hilton Pond. What a treat it is to have such a resource and naturalist here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Carolina Cooler on Jan. 24th

What's a Cool City? The Sierra Club says it has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions levels. On the Cool Cities America site, we can find local cities listed, from Bethania, NC, to Charleston, SC. Each city pursues its goal in its own way. A Cool City could increase its use of hybrid cars and renewable energy. Another might choose to connect greenways to bus routes and implement energy-efficient building codes.

Sierra's NC Chapter is offering a workshop, Building Solutions for Cool Cities, in Winston-Salem. Raleigh's project will be featured. Participants will hear about constructing or rehabbing municipal buildings for energy efficiency, along with steps toward LEED certification (explained here by Wikipedia).

It's this Saturday, January 24th, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Worrel Building, Wake Forest Law School, in Winston-Salem, NC. For more information and registration, please call 919-833-8467.

Monday, January 19, 2009

On the Wing

If you have ever thought of visiting Wing Haven Gardens and Bird Sanctuary in Charlotte, Thursday would be a good time. Michael Balough will begin this year's lecture series, speaking about Dwarf Conifers in Southern Gardens. Wing Haven, almost three acres enclosed in brick walls, includes formal gardens, fountains, and statuary, integrated with woodland areas and paths, as shown in the photo at right.

The lecture series is appropriate for novice or expert gardeners. Speakers will include authors, horticulturists, garden designers and conservators. There are also many other ways to get involved in Wing Haven. The education department offers a full schedule of public events: garden tours, workshops, classes for children and adults, and plant sales. Volunteers are welcome; gardeners are always needed in the nursery. A new group will help in the Herb Garden the first Thursday of the month, and others will be recruited to work with the antique plants in the Rose Garden.

Elizabeth Barnhill Clarkson wrote that her gardens "were no less than a paradise to the thousands of feathered guests, both winter and summer." Wing Haven continues to provide excellent habitats for many kinds of birds.

During this year, Wing Haven plans to open the garden of Elizabeth Lawrence. She produced very successful books about plants that she watched and studied. Her garden, located at 348 Ridgewood Avenue, will be also used to teach about preserving green space and conserving the environment.

The Balough presentation will be held at Wing Haven, 248 Ridgewood Avenue in Charlotte, on Thursday, January 22nd at 9:30 a.m. If you are interested in volunteering or finding out more about their programs, call Wing Haven at 704-331-0664.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Got Carbage?

Last month, a South Carolina group launched a company to create a better car litter bag. Do-GreenNow, based in Hilton Head, calls it the CarbageSac, intended to prevent highway litter. They must hate roadway trash as much as we do.

The idea began in a pick-up truck on the way to a recycling center. President Bretton Griffin says it is designed to hang from the glove compartment or headrest posts, for collecting litter in your vehicle. Griffin points out that it could also be good on boats; the water does need to stay clean too.

They say the well-designed bag can be imprinted as a marketing tool, for advertisers to distribute as an environmental initiative. We like it when someone works to clean up the joint! Get more information and contact the company at CarbageSac or phone (843) 384-6535.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Citizens for the Planet

"Who threw out Aunt Emma's bug spray?"

Here's a fun way learn about caring for our world. There are some neat resources on Citizens for Planet Earth, an educational campaign for the PBS series Journey to Planet Earth, hosted by Matt Damon. Another area offers field adventures that explore environmental issues. Check it out!