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An Alliance for Awareness

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Providing information about issues relevant to Silent Spring and critical today.

An Alliance for Action

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Committed to Rachel Carson’s vision.

An Alliance for Wonder

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Experiencing delight in the natural world and sharing it.

Current Issues & Insights

Protecting Frogs’ Habitats for Their Services and Their Songs

From Rachel’s study window you can see the portion of her property that she wanted kept wild to serve as habitat for birds and frogs. It is from here in early spring that the “wilderness music” of frogs still arises out of the vernal pools and nearby wet places providing a sense of wonder as delightful to today’s families as it was to Rachel Carson 60 years ago.

Walking along the historic Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) Canal towpath in late February of this year you may have been favored with hearing the voices of Wood Frogs and Spring Peepers (a kind of frog) resonating from the wetlands. They are considered to be “among the most ancient sounds of the earth”.

Wood Frog

The remarkable Wood Frogs are unique in occupying a territory ranging from Georgia to the Yukon. However, along with other cold-blooded amphibians they confront multiple challenges including: habitat loss, contamination of available aquatic living sites, as well as lack of sufficient recognition by the public of their special contributions and of their need for better protection. Federal legislation the “clean water rule” passed in 2015 under the Obama administration that could help assure healthier living conditions for frogs and other aquatic creatures has recently come under fire and may soon be abolished or significantly weakened.

The 2015 “clean water rule” could provide future protection for small streams and wetlands nationwide depending on the support from many caring and concerned individuals. A 2017 spring of awareness and action by members of the public is needed now to defend the “clean water rule” and join with others who have championed it including environmental, recreational and sport fishermen groups. (Click here for complete discussion)

Pesticide Misinformation and the Public — Part 1

Pesticide misinformation taking place around us is not a new phenomenon. It was part of the challenge that prompted Rachel Carson to write Silent Spring. Today, it can appear in non-traditional forms, such as in an article from a group with a scientific-sounding name, or in a report by an organization claiming to be citizen-based and studying declines in bee populations.

Rusty Patched Bumblebee

Legislation based on grassroots efforts by citizens or involving “The Endangered Species Act” can counter misinformation and help educate the public about some hazardous aspects of chemical pesticides. Investigative journalists can contribute in-depth information to help further public awareness of questionable actions by chemical industry representatives seeking to protect their products. (Click here for complete report.)

Twelve Important Things About Landscape Pesticides

This overview is designed to help a home owner or interested citizen by providing some basic facts about landscape pesticides.  It is intended to be used in conjunction with Pesticide Misinformation and the Public — Part 1″

Click here for complete article

Rachel Carson’s World: In 1951 and 2016

In her 1951 “Words to Live By” piece Rachel Carson wrote:

Song thrush, Turdus philomelos

Song thrush, Turdus philomelos

“In these troubled times it is a wholesome and necessary thing for us to turn again to the earth and in the contemplation of her beauties to know the sense of wonder and humility. There is modern truth in the ancient wisdom of the psalmist: `I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.’”

In 2016 urgent reports predict grave dangers to wild creatures and their habitats unless we reverse the detrimental impacts of humans on our planet. Today the hills, valleys, streams and seas need our help to preserve ecosystems and biodiversity. Noted ecologists E.O. Wilson and Doug Tallamy have proposed global and local actions that we can take. For further discussion click here.

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Mountain Mint

Colorful blooms (purple, deep red, yellow, orange and pale pink) are flourishing in our Green Legacy Garden at midsummer

(July 27, 2016)

Click here for more about them and their popularity with visiting bees, butterflies and birds

View From Rachel’s Window – July 2016:

California CondorCaring Individuals As Guardians of California Condors, America’s Largest Birds

Work at Protecting Them from Human-Generated Hazards

Click here for full article

 

A Garden is Dedicated to Rachel Carson on Her Birthday

rcla_pollinator_garden_0516May 27, 2016: Rachel Carson was born on this day in 1907. It is also the day chosen for dedicating a Green Legacy Garden intended as a safe habitat for plants, pollinators and feathered visitors as well as a tribute to Rachel Carson and the others who helped bring it about. Ground breaking took place in 2015 and planning started even earlier.

In accord with Carson’s preference for avoidance of hazardous chemical pesticides, the Garden is a chemical pesticide-free natural habitat.

Most plants in the Green Legacy Garden are native to the Mid-Atlantic area, where it is located. They can be counted on to provide flowers that benefit wildlife and bloom from early Spring thru late Fall.

It is not too early for those who admire Rachel Carson to start putting in place plans for a Rachel Carson Tribute Garden to be dedicated on May 27, 2017 which will be the 110th year since her birth.

Green Legacy Garden Plants in Full bloom on this day (5-27-16) include: False blue indigo (Baptisia australis), Foxglove penstemon (Penstemon digitalis) Salvia nemorosa “Caradonna”, Woodland sedum (Sedum ternatum), Blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium angustifolium), and Heartleaf foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia)

More about blooms in the Green Legacy Garden in the months to come
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Celebrate Rachel Carson (May 27, 1907-April 14, 1964)
During Her 110th Birth Year

Rachel Carson’s 110th birthday anniversary this year finds more members of the public showing concerns about environmental health and the future of life on earth. The unease of a great many Americans reflects plans by the current administration to reduce funds for environmental protection and scientific research as well as to relinquish protection for certain wild lands currently shielded from natural resource exploitation. Many concerned citizens no longer feel comfortable trusting in “so-called authorities” to take care of things. It seems like a good time to invoke Rachel Carson’s prescient 1962 observation, “A sense of personal responsibility is what we desperately need.” (“The Gentle Storm Center,” Life Magazine, 10-12-62).

Click here for full article

RCLA 2016 Contest –
Rachel Carson Intergenerational
Sense of Wonder/Sense of the Wild: 
Winning Entries (14 total)
Congratulations to All!

First Place Winners (8)

Click here for summaries

First Place in the Poetry Category

Theme: Sense of Wonder
“A Day of Wonder”
Katie, age 17, and her Teacher Elizabeth

Theme: Sense of Wonder/Sense of the Wild
“Wandering Wind”
Connor, age 18; Cassidy, age 17; and their Teacher Elizabeth

First Place in the Mixed Media Category (Poem & Photo)

Theme: Sense of Wonder
“Light to Dark”
Haley, age 16, and her Teacher Elizabeth

Theme: Sense of Wonder/Sense of the Wild
“The Dryads”
Ibrahim, age 12, and his Aunt Sanaa

First Place in the Essay Category

Theme: Sense of Wonder
“The Unnamed Waterfall of Mount Rainier”
John, age 17, and his Teacher Elizabeth

Theme: Sense of Wonder/Sense of the Wild
“One Species”
Ashlynn, age 16, and her Mother Shellie

First Place in the Mixed Media Category (Essay & Photo)

Theme: Sense of Wonder
“The Wind: Nature’s Invisible Hero”
Alexis, age 9; her sister Madeline; her friend Lauren; and her Mother Valerie

Theme: Sense of Wonder/Sense of the Wild
“Marvelous Monarch”
Mikala, age 12 and her Grandfather Ross

Honorable Mention & Special Mention Winners (6)

Honorable Mention in the Poetry Category

Theme: Sense of Wonder
“The Month’s Seasons”
Maddie, age 16, and her Teacher Elizabeth

Honorable Mention in the Mixed Media Category
(Poem & Photo)

Theme: Sense of Wonder
“Wisconsin’s Devil’s Lake”
Abbey, age 16, and her Teacher Elizabeth

Honorable Mention in the Essay Category

Theme: Sense of Wonder
“Adventures on a Walk”
Michael, age 17, and his Grandfather John

Theme: Sense of Wonder
“The Great Outdoors”
Nicole, age 18, and her Teacher Elizabeth

Special Mention in the Poem Category

Theme: Sense of Wonder
“Sense of Wonder: A Message to Today’s Youth”
Damian, age 17, and his Teacher Elizabeth

Special Mention in the Essay Category

Theme: Sense of Wonder/Sense of the Wild
“Spring Woods”
Leah, age 17, and her Teacher Elizabeth

Click here for summaries

Glover Archbold National Park visitors check out a marker honoring Rachel Carson and park namesakes Charles Glover and Anne Archbold after its unveiling on Tuesday, September 27, 2016. Photo Credit: John A. Bray

Glover Archbold National Park visitors check out a marker honoring Rachel Carson and park namesakes Charles Glover and Anne Archbold after its unveiling on Tuesday, September 27, 2016. Photo Credit: The Hoe, John A. Bray

Unveiling of Panel Honoring Rachel Carson at Glover Archbold National Park in Washington, DC

A joyous celebration of Rachel Carson under the towering Tulip Poplars and Oaks on September 27, 2016.

The attractive panel is situated on a grassy slope near the Park’s trail access on the south side of Reservoir Road. It provides information on the historical importance of Rachel Carson through her book Silent Spring, a groundbreaking work released in 1962 that warned a then unknowing citizenry about problems with chemical pesticides.

Click here for full article


2016 Rachel Carson Open House “Second Look”

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Poet Meredith Hadaway

Our “Second Look” at this memorable event gives new details not covered in our “First Look” as well as recommendations for action that we all can take to help birds.

 

Click here for full article

 

 


2016 RACHEL CARSON
OPEN HOUSE – FIRST LOOK

Rose-breasted Grosbeak visits the 2016 Rachel Carson Open House

Rose-breasted Grosbeak visits the 2016 Rachel Carson Open House

The 2016 Rachel Carson Open House took place on several different levels. Indoors there were informative presentations by 3 outstanding speakers, poetry readings and a music performance in one room, a table for creative intergenerational artwork was located in another, and there was the new historic exhibit in the corner of Rachel Carson’s study bearing a striking resemblance to photos taken in the 1960s. Organic refreshments were available in the dining room and kitchen. Outdoors there was a native plant sale and the new pollinator garden to draw visitors’ attention. Click here for full article.

Make Your Mark—Take Action


ABOUT RACHEL CARSON

“The more clearly we can focus our attention on the
wonders and realities of the universe about us,
the less taste we shall have for destruction.”

—Rachel Carson

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