Tuesday 20 November 2012

EcoSask News, November 20, 2012

Northern Hawk Owl

Radiance Cohousing, Nov. 28 
The Radiance Cohousing project is designed to offer a sustainable way of life that balances private home ownership with shared common space. They’re holding an information night from 7-8:30 pm on November 28. Radiance plans to use green, energy-efficient construction design and techniques.

Adopt an NCC Property
The Nature Conservancy of Canada - Saskatchewan is looking for individuals or volunteers who will “adopt” one of their properties and visit it as often as they wish to record wildlife, disturbances and the general condition of the land as well as perform some hands-on activities (e.g. weed pulling, sign installation, cleaning out bird boxes). NCC staff will provide initial training and ongoing support. For more information or to inquire about becoming part of the Property Watch Program, contact Kirsten Jensen at (306) 347-0447 ext 230 or kirsten.jensen@natureconservancy.ca.

Wild in the City 
Bird lovers gathered on the riverbank last week to watch a Northern Hawk Owl devour a pigeon. The owl was right beside the path and road, and iBird Pro iPad app confirmed that the owls “have little fear of humans” and “Eats mostly voles and other small mammals; also takes birds, especially in winter, active during the day.” (via Sustainable Adventure)

Thought-Provoking Articles 
Zero Waste 
Moving towards zero waste requires moving away from waste disposal; supporting comprehensive reuse, recycling and organics treatment programs; engaging communities; and designing for the future. And it can be done. Through incentives and public outreach, San Francisco has reduced its waste to landfill by 77% and is on track to reach 90% by 2020.

America’s Water Mirage
“Americans operate under an illusion of water abundance. That fiction makes the reality of water scarcity a particularly hard concept to get across. From California to Florida, freshwater aquifers are being pumped so much faster than they recharge that many parts of the country can no longer rely on groundwater to supply future populations.

“But we can't see dried-out aquifers the way we could see black Dust Bowl storms in the 1930s or water pollution in the early 1970s. So we still pump with abandon to do things like soak the turf grass that covers 63,240 square miles of the nation. We flush toilets with this same fresh, potable water, after treating it at great expense to meet government standards for drinking.

“We fill the fridge with beef, the shopping bags with cotton T's, the gas tank with corn-made ethanol — all with little inkling of how we're draining to extinction the Ogallala aquifer that irrigates a quarter of the nation's agricultural harvest.”

Life in the Cracks
“Have you ever thought about the grass that grows in sidewalk cracks? These hardy plants are generally written off as undesirable. They're routinely trampled, savaged by extreme summer heat, washed out by rainfall and buried by winter snow. To survive these conditions is a testament to the plants' resilience, but they rarely get much love or attention….

“Plant species that succeed in sidewalk cracks have similar qualities to ones that have adapted to inhabit crevices in exposed, rocky, windswept places….

“Ultimately we need to recognize that while humans continue to build urban landscapes, we share these spaces with others species. Nature surrounds us, from parks and backyards to streets and alleyways. Next time you go out for a walk, tread gently and remember that we are both inhabitants and stewards of nature in our neighbourhoods.”

EcoSask News is a weekly round-up of local news and events. Email us if you have items you would like us to include. Additional upcoming events can be found on our Calendar.

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