conservation

UConn CLEAR Webinars in May

WEDNESDAY, May 12, 2021 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Experimenting with Climate-Adaptive Forestry Practices: Challenges and Opportunities
Christopher Riely, Sweet Birch Consulting, LLC
Following a brief overview of general forest climate adaptation strategies, this talk will present one experimental project begun in Scituate, Rhode Island, in 2015, when Mr. Riely helped manage 13,000 acres of forestland buffering the reservoirs for Rhode Island’s largest water utility. Site work included planting both native tree seedlings and non-native species projected to be adapted to future climate conditions, such as shortleaf pine and sweetgum. To assess deer impacts on one site, half the seedlings were planted inside a large exclosure fence. While foresters monitor early results, the project has provided significant educational value through engaging public audiences and a professional community of practice. This webinar is the 3rd of the series Finding the Right Trees for the Right Time, sponsored by the National Fish & Wildlife Foundation.

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WEDNESDAY, May 19, 2021 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Building Capacity for Conservation: Engaging Local Teens
Nicole Friedenfelds and Amy Cabaniss, Natural Resources Conservation Academy (NRCA), UConn Dept. of Natural Resources and the Environment
Have a great idea for a conservation project in your community or land trust, but not sure you have the staff power, technical know-how, or energy to carry it out? Wouldn’t it be great to connect with local youth in that effort? Tune in to this webinar to learn how the UConn Natural Resources Conservation Academy (NRCA) is engaging high school students in wildlife monitoring, water quality, promoting pollinators, outdoor recreation, and other environmental projects in communities throughout Connecticut. NRCA faculty will share insights on ways to build capacity for your organization through youth engagement. Through this webinar, you’ll learn about tangible projects that can help address local environmental needs and hear directly from teen and adult participants about their experiences in UConn NRCA programs and the community actions they carried out.

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WEDNESDAY, May 26, 2021 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
Introducing Connecticut Trail Finder
Kimberly Bradley, UConn Department of Extension and Trails Program Coordinator, PATHS (People Active on Trails for Health and Sustainability) Team
The State of Connecticut has a vast number of open space and outdoor recreational opportunities, however information for trail users can be inconsistent, inaccurate, and difficult to find. The Connecticut Trail Finder, currently in development through UConn Extension, will be a free, interactive mapping website designed to help Connecticut residents and visitors explore trail and outdoor recreation opportunities, trailside services, and events across the state. Connecticut Trail Finder will compile trail manager approved trails with the goals of becoming the primary trails data source for the State of Connecticut and connecting users with trail management organizations and resources. This webinar will provide an overview of the resource to trail users, exploring the current and developing features of the website, and provide information for trail and land managers on how you can add your trail systems to the Connecticut Trail Finder.  The Connecticut Trail Finder is funded through generous support from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and the Department of Transportation.

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Plant and Seedling Sales

Spring Plant Sale! Pre-orders are open for the 19th Annual New Haven County Extension Resource Council, Inc. Spring Plant Sale! The sale includes a variety of annual flowers and vegetables, hanging baskets, and herbs.  All proceeds Benefit UConn Extension Programs in New Haven County and orders must be placed by April 15 at noon prepaid by check. Pick up will be: Thurs., May 7th, 2-5 or Sat., May 9th, 10-1* at the UConn New Haven County Cooperative Extension Center – 305 Skiff Street, North Haven, CT (corner of Skiff St. & Whitney Ave.). Plant pick up will be designed with social distancing and best practices to maintain the health of everyone involved.

Access the order form here: http://s.uconn.edu/plantsale  Thank you for your support!

The Connecticut Conservation Districts are ready to take your orders for their annual plant and seedling sales, Each district will have some unique plants for their sale, such as bloodroot (shown above), pagoda dogwood, swamp milkweed, highbush blueberry, chokeberry and many others. There are five districts throughout our state so check out the ones near you for their sales brochures and ordering forms on the link below.

https://conservect.org/northcentral/plant-seed-sale/?inf_contact_key=96613844f2127d3e82fbeafbec4f8ae8

STEM Education for Teens, Adults, and Teachers

nrca students in waterThe Natural Resources Conservation Academy (NRCA) is a group of three linked projects that focus on connecting STEM education for high school students with natural resource conservation at the local level. With over 130 land trusts in the state and each of its 169 municipalities having a Conservation Commission, Connecticut has a long history of local conservation. NRCA provides an assist to these efforts, while educating students and teachers about the science and issues surrounding natural resource protection. The TPL is joined by the foundational NRCA project, the Conservation Ambassador Program (CAP), and the Conservation Training Partnership (CTP). CAP brings high school students from around the state to campus for a week-long intensive field experience at the UConn main campus, from which they return home to partner with a community organization on a conservation project of their own design. CTP moves around the state for two-day training of adult-student teams that teaches them about smart phone mapping applications and their use in conservation. The teams then return and implement a conservation project. Together the three programs have educated 308 participants and resulted in 187 local conservation projects in 105 towns, involving 119 community partner organizations.

Article by Chet Arnold