High Tunnels New for Cincinnati Area

The United States Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will offer a new opportunity to those interested in growing urban and rural produce in the Greater Cincinnati area to apply for financial and technical assistance for high tunnel systems, commonly referred to as hoop houses. Imagine the delicious taste of baby spinach freshly harvested from your own garden, in Cincinnati, all winter long. Impossible, right? Not anymore. High tunnels make growing vegetables possible long after the first frost. A high tunnel sits over top of the garden. Arch shaped aluminum poles support removable heavy plastic sheets that trap heat from the sun, warming the air. Most have a peak height that allows an adult to stand easily with room to spare. They look similar to greenhouses except plants grow in the ground instead of in pots. Follow this link to learn more.

Sourced from: Morning Ag Clips

Ohio Celebrates the Agriculture Industry

Monday morning, assistant director Derickson kicked off Ohio Agriculture Week during a visit to 80 Acres Farms, a state-of-the-art, tech-centric indoor farm that’s housed entirely inside a Cincinnati-area warehouse. 80 Acres Farms is a 100 percent pesticide free, eco-friendly farm that delivers fresh produce to grocery stores across Ohio. “As a dairy farmer in Butler County for many years, I have a sincere appreciation for Ohio agriculture,” said Derickson. “This week recognizes and celebrate the many contributions that Ohio’s agriculture communities make to enhance the quality of life not only in our state, but throughout the country.”

Assistant Director Derickson will continue to celebrate Ohio Agriculture Week with more than a dozen events across Ohio in the coming days, including a stop at Jones Fish Hatchery, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Jones Fish is a family owned, industry leader in aquatic resource management, pond aeration, and Midwestern gamefish stocking. Jones has six locations across Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and northern Tennessee.

Follow this link to learn more.
Sourced from: Morning Ag Clips.

University of Dayton Engineering Students Help Mission of Mary Cooperative

University of Dayton engineering students have helped Mission of Mary Cooperative, a Dayton-based urban farming operation, become the city’s first net-zero energy organization through the New Buildings Institute, a third-party non-profit organization pushing for better energy performance in buildings. The Cooperative produced 52,000 pounds of food last year on its 2-acre campus in the Twin Towers neighborhood, all while operating on 100 percent renewable energy. “By becoming the first net-zero organization in Dayton, Mission of Mary Cooperative hopes to inspire other organizations and residents all while continuing to be a catalyst and partner for urban sustainable development,” says Michael Schulz, executive director of Mission of Mary Cooperative and one of its lay Marianist founders.
Follow this link to read more.

Sourced from: University of Dayton

Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s Sustainable Urban Landscapes Symposium

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is hosting its 9th Sustainable Urban Landscapes Symposium as part of its Excellence in Horticulture Series of Symposiums. Speakers will tackle various talks under the loose headline of “Success Stories in Sustainable Horticulture.” The lineup this year includes: Peter MacDonagh, an internationally renowned expert in green infrastructure; Dr. Jamie Strange, Entomologist at Ohio State University and an expert on bumblebees; Joe Boggs, Hamilton County OSU Extension; and from the CZBG, Mark Fisher, Steve Foltz, and Scott Beuerlein. The event will be held on Thursday, March 12, 2020 from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden. Registration closes March 6, 2020. 

Follow this link to learn more.
Follow this link to learn more about the presenters.
Follow this link to join the Facebook event.

Sourced from: The Cincinnati Zoo

There’s Nothing Smeary About Lake Erie Anymore

In the Ohio Sea Grant education program office in 1986 (Ohio’s Year of the Lake) they were two graduate students who acted to make a difference. Students Claudia Melear and Marjorie Pless saw that children reading Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax were encountering a view that no longer fit the better environment. These students wrote and asked if Dr. Seuss would consider changing the line “…in search of some water that isn’t so smeary. I hear things are just as bad up in Lake Erie.” since it was not accurate. To everyone’s delight he answered and agreed to remove the line in future editions of The Lorax. He also thanked the writers “for the great Loraxian work you have been doing.”
Follow this link to learn more.
Follow this link to learn about the Lorax Project.

Sourced from:
Ohio Sea Grant;
Sandusky Register;
and Seuss, and Random House. The Lorax, 1971

Behavior Change Tactics for Urban Challenges

The Meeting of the Minds Behavior Change Project features 12 case studies comprised of international, cross-disciplinary change initiatives that have been successful because their leaders intentionally worked to change human behavior in their field. The 12 pieces are informed by interviews with thought leaders and change agents from Meeting of the Minds’ international network of urban sustainability, mobility, energy, and health practitioners. The Behavior Change Project applies the theoretical frameworks from behavioral economics to understand how each organization moved the needle in their given focus area. Each case study offers a summary of a given change initiative, its intended goals and outcomes, and a brief analysis of the effort involved in advancing behavior change among a particular target audience.

Regardless of specific context, these case studies show that behavioral economics is an important tool for driving change by:
1. Gaining insights about human behavior;
2. Using those insights to develop change strategy; and
3. Implementing those strategies to change feelings and behaviors among actors in a system.

Follow this link to read more.

Sourced from: Meeting of the Minds

Cuyahoga County Urban Tree Canopy

Cuyahoga County tree canopy assessment update details lossesCuyahoga County’s newest urban tree canopy assessment, released last month, shows the Clifton Park neighborhood has suffered one of the highest levels of tree losses in the county over the past decade. Clifton Park is a snapshot of what tree advocates are calling an emergency for climate resilience, natural habitat, property values, and human health. Lakewood topped all 59 Cuyahoga communities with an 18.5% loss in its tree canopy, according to the assessment, which analyzes data gathered in 2017 to determine rates of change since an earlier report based on 2011 data.

Follow this link to learn more.

Follow this link to access the Urban Tree Canopy Viewer.

Sourced from: Cleveland.com

Cities Are Cutting the Salt from their Winter Road Diets

If you live in a place with both cars and snow, chances are you’ve witnessed first hand the annual salting of the roads. Since at least the 1940s, Americans in the snowy states have salted annually, often many times a year, in an effort to make our roads safer. Ask anyone who has spun out while driving, or unwittingly hit a patch of black ice: slippery roads are nothing to scoff at, and salt can be a necessary, even life-saving, tactic for winter road warriors.

Today, shutting down a state’s roads due to winter weather can cost hundreds of millions of dollars, says Michael Smith, technical training specialist with Bay State Roads at the University of Massachusetts Transportation Center. For example, shutting down the roads of Massachusetts (as happened statewide during a 2013 nor’easter) can cost between $300 and $700 million dollars per day, Smith says.

And so, as a nation, we dump 22 million tons of salt every year on our roads.

Fish, animals, insects, plants, and algae have changed their behavior in response to the current levels of road salt washing into their habitats. Some species of frog are, incredibly, changing sex as a result of these massive doses of salt. High enough doses can kill them and other wildlife. For the naturalist, folks who like to fish or otherwise enjoy nature, and for locals who rely upon natural tourism, salt’s side effects can’t be ignored.

Follow this link to learn more.

Sourced from: Next City