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Click here to see this online
 
 
 

September 3, 2021

 

 
 
Green Infrastructure  
 

Communities are turning to green infrastructure to reach stormwater management goals. With green infrastructure, we see beautiful gardens and walkways, but perhaps more important are the things we can’t see. Communities must consider financing, ordinances, state and federal regulatory requirements, and public input in their decision making and planning processes. On Wednesday, September 15, at 2 p.m., a webinar will feature a deep dive into resources that can help communities do green infrastructure right. Speakers include Paula Conolly, Director, Green Infrastructure Leadership Exchange; Harry Zhang, Program Director, The Water Research Foundation; and John Watson, Civil Engineer, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago. The webinar is free to attend, but you must REGISTER.

 

 
 
  Apple
 

Tom Brown has reclaimed about 1,200 heirloom apple varieties, and his two-acre orchard, Heritage Apples, contains 700 of the rarest. Most haven’t been sold commercially for a century or more; some were cloned from the last known trees of their kind. “These apples belong to the [foodways] of my grandparents’ and great-grandparents’ generations,” says Brown, who was raised in western North Carolina. Thousands of varieties probably still exist but saving them is a race against time. The people who hold clues about their locations are typically in their 80s or 90s. Each year trees are lost to storms, development, beetles, and blights. Brown has devoted his later years to beating the clock. Today Brown’s orchard is filled with clones of trees recovered in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. He divides time between apple-hunting, tending trees, donating scionwood to nonprofit heritage orchards, and selling about 1,000 saplings annually.

 

 
 
USDA  
 

The USDA recently released a re-evaluation of the Thrifty Food Plan, used to calculate Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits. As a result, the average SNAP benefit – excluding additional funds provided as part of pandemic relief – will increase for Fiscal Year 2022 beginning on October 1. As directed by Congress in the 2018 Farm Bill – and with the expressed support of President Biden’s January 22 Executive Order – USDA conducted a data-driven review of the Thrifty Food Plan. The resulting cost adjustment is the first time the purchasing power of the plan has changed since it was first introduced in 1975, reflecting notable shifts in the food marketplace and consumers’ circumstances over the past 45 years.“ A modernized Thrifty Food Plan is more than a commitment to good nutrition – it’s an investment in our nation’s health, economy, and security,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. For more information, read the USDA press release.

 

 
 
  LGE Webinar Series
 

Prior to publication of the U.S. Principal Ports List in October 2020, the tri-state area of Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri Locks and Dam 26 (the Heart of the Corn Belt) had no federally recognized ports. The Heart of the Corn Belt handles enough freight tonnage to be ranked as the equivalent of the largest inland port in the nation. On September 7 at noon, Illinois Extension will welcome Robert Sinkler, Chief Operating Officer for Streamside Systems, Inc., on a Rural Partners Corn Belt Ports Initiative webinar, to discuss the significant value of waterborne commerce to this region, and how the initiative will expand recognition of our regional multi-modal transportation system with national agencies and outlets, thus enabling rural (downstate) Illinois to be more competitive for direct and indirect investment. See here for more information and to register.

 

 
 

UPCOMING EVENTS

September 7 – Corn Belt Ports Initiative

September 15 - Getting the Green Light for Green Infrastructure: Considerations and Resources for Success

September 30 – Making Inroads into the Substance Use Disorder Crisis: Mobilizing New Approaches to Rural SUD Services

 
 
 
 
 

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