What is a “Green School”?

There are many elements of a green school, including reduction of environmental impact and costs; improvement of the health and wellness of students and staff; and provision of effective environmental and sustainability education, which incorporates science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts, civic skills, and green career pathways. Also important is strong partnerships and networks, and a focus on service learning.

Here are some links to learn more about green schools:

New Changing Roles Materials Available

The Changing Roles Professional Development program provides natural resource agencies and other organizations with a set of flexible resources for building the knowledge and tools required to address wildland-urban interface issues. Our newest module addresses emerging issues, such as climate change, ecosystem services, environmental justice, interface entrepreneurs, and succession planning. This new module includes fact sheets, exercises, Powerpoint presentations, and case studies. Additional fact sheets and exercises will be added in the future. To view this module visit: http://www.interfacesouth.org/products/changing-roles/changing-roles-notebook/module-5-emerging-issues.

2013 Urban Forestry Institute – Registration Deadline Extended Until April 26

Over 80 percent of the U.S. population lives in urban or urbanizing areas.  Change in land cover from agriculture and forest land to developed land increases the amount of impervious surfaces, loss of forest cover, stormwater runoff, and pollution levels for both air and water.  Urbanization in the United States is projected to continue to increase in the near future.  The Urban Forestry Institute (UFI) will provide the most up-to-date tools and techniques to address these issues related to urbanization and improve the planning, management of our built environments.

The UFI is a weeklong, intensive training workshop that will take place in Nashville, TN, May 6 – 10, 2013.  The workshop is designed to provide state agency foresters, municipal planners, and other related professionals working in natural resources with in-depth, current urban and interface natural resource management education and training.  This training will enable these professionals to better assist municipalities in planning to lessen the effects of changing land use and urbanization on the environment.  The Institute will include formal presentations and case studies from some of the leading researchers and practitioners in the urban forestry/urban planning field.  Focusing on urban forest adaptive management, planning, and technology, the workshop will walk participants through the urban natural resources planning process and provide abundant hands-on management plan writing exercises.

Target audience:  This institute is geared toward state agency foresters who provide technical assistance regarding urban forestry to local communities, allied professionals (i.e. horticulturists, landscape architects, municipal arborists, etc.), and community planners who have an interest in learning how to effectively plan and manage their city’s natural resources.

Location:  Holiday Inn Express Downtown, 920 Broadway, Nashville, TN; A limited block of rooms will be available for the Urban Forestry Institute for $107 per night from Sunday to Thursday night of that week.  The hotel offers a complimentary, full breakfast every morning.

Registration:  The registration fee is $275 per person. This fee will cover all training materials, lunches and breaks. You may register on-line at: http://treesvirginia.org/joomla/. Please register by April 26, 2013.

Continuing education credits:  Society of American Foresters – 32.5 Cat. 1 – CF; International Society of Arboriculture – applied for

For more information about the Urban Forestry Institute, visit the Trees Virginia website at http://treesvirginia.org/joomla/.


The Benefits of Exercising Outdoors

Article from the New York Times

By Gretchen Reynolds

While the allure of the gym — climate-controlled, convenient and predictable — is obvious, especially in winter, emerging science suggests there are benefits to exercising outdoors that can’t be replicated on a treadmill, a recumbent bicycle or a track.

You stride differently when running outdoors, for one thing. Generally, studies find, people flex their ankles more when they run outside. They also, at least occasionally, run downhill, a movement that isn’t easily done on a treadmill and that stresses muscles differently than running on flat or uphill terrain. Outdoor exercise tends, too, to be more strenuous than the indoor version. In studies comparing the exertion of running on a treadmill and the exertion of running outside, treadmill runners expended less energy, to cover the same distance as those striding across the ground outside, primarily because indoor exercisers face no wind resistance or changes in terrain, no matter how subtle.

Click here to read the full article.