How Removing Asphalt Is Softening Our Cities

photo: an alley (alleyside) converted from pavement to more-nature-friendly materials

Portland alley advocates estimate there are 76 miles of alleys in their city—all potential green public spaces. This northeast Portland neighborhood is one of many projects reclaiming forgotten concrete pathways for nature and people. Derek Dauphin

Rachel Schutz hated watching the kids play outside, and not because she was a curmudgeon. As director of an after-school program in a Latino neighborhood near Portland, Oregon, she likes the outdoors, the piney … [more…]

California: A ‘Water Tax’ Is Looking Increasingly Likely

photo: the Colorado River is one source of California water

The Colorado River / Image via Shutterstock. This post initially appeared in the Feb. 8 Sacramento Report.

The Legislature looks increasingly likely to impose a statewide tax to fund more water projects.

In the past five years, California voters have approved over $10 billion in statewide bonds to fund water projects, some in areas could not otherwise afford to improve their own water systems.

Now, faced with perhaps several … [more…]

‘Our water is our diamond’

photo: Minnesota water lilies growing in recovering lakes

Photo: White water lilies bloom in South Center Lake off the shore of Loren’s Park in Center City. Three cities — Chisago City, Lindstrom and Center City — are surrounded by the Chisago Lakes Chain of Lakes. Most of Lindstrom’s 3.5 square miles lie within the shoreland district. Photo Credits: Ann Wessel, BWSR

As urban and rural conservation practices improve water quality, two lakes in the Chisago Lakes Chain of


California’s ‘dry farmers’ grow crops without irrigation

photo: Jim Leap, one of California’s ‘dry farmers’

The environmentally conscious practice relies on rainwater to grow seasonal crops

DECEMBER 18: Jim Leap is photographed on his property on Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018, in San Juan Bautista, Calif. Leap grows grains, fruits, and vegetables on about one acre of his land using dry farming techniques. (Aric Crabb/Bay Area News Group)

SAN JUAN BAUTISTA — Jim Leap fondly recalls the first Early Girl tomatoes he grew at UC Santa … [more…]

Green water-purification system works without heavy metals or corrosive chemicals

Green water-purification system works without heavy metals or corrosive chemicals

This photo shows a concentrator where samples were placed. Credit: Dan Wang

Scientists at the Institute of Process Engineering (IPE) at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing and Yangzhou University (YZU) in Jiangsu have developed an effective and energy-efficient technique for purifying water by using graphitic carbon nitride sheets.

Their prototype, presented February 7 in the journal Chem, purified pathogen-rich water in 30 min, killing over 99.9999% of … [more…]