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Click here to see this online
 
 
 

June 28, 2019

 

 
 

A research team led by Penn State University developed Beescape to help beekeepers understand what resources and risks bees may encounter when they leave the hive. The team includes Dickinson College, Purdue University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Wisconsin, University of Minnesota, University of California – Davis, and USDA’s Agricultural Research Service. “Bees forage over long distances to gather nectar and pollen, which they use to feed their offspring and, for social bees, to support their colony,” said Christina Grozinger, director for the Penn State’s Center for Pollinator Research. “It is nearly impossible for a beekeeper, or someone who is trying to support wild bees in their gardens or farms, to know what bees will encounter during these journeys.” With its online format, Beescape allows a user to select a specific location and get information about the surrounding area, such as the amount of floral resources, the amount and type of applied insecticide, and the availability of nesting habitat for wild bees. Beekeepers can help the Beescape Team by providing data on the health of their bees through an online questionnaire. The team will use this information to see how different landscape scores relate to bee health, and then develop models for Beescape that are more precise.

 

 
 

Registration is open for the 12th annual Growing Sustainable Communities Conference, Oct. 24-25, 2019 at the Grand River Center in Dubuque, Iowa. Hosted by the City of Dubuque, Iowa, the Growing Sustainable Communities Conference is the largest and longest standing sustainability conference in the Midwest. The conference features workshop speakers with a wide range of expertise. Speakers from municipal governments large and small present case studies on the sustainability initiatives in their respective communities, and researchers from universities and nonprofits present their findings. Workshop topics typically include tree canopy projects and programs, watershed and stormwater management, brownfield redevelopment, solar energy, small-town sustainability, biogas conversion, equity, placemaking, livability, climate action planning, education/community partnerships, mobility planning and design, sustainability tools and frameworks, alternative fuel vehicles, green building and sustainable development, local foods, LED streetlight conversions, affordable housing initiatives, green infrastructure, sustainability metrics, training and community engagement, among others.

 

 
 

WQAD in Moline reported on flood damage to towns along the Mississippi River. Damage is estimated to cost $2 billion for the region from the Quad Cities to Louisiana. Communities from Davenport to New Orleans are now in flood recovery mode. “It is the wettest June to May in the last 124 years for the eastern US and the Mississippi Valley,” said Jared Gartman of the US Army Corp of Engineers. “The Mississippi River in Alton stretched seven miles wide, it was a massive event,” Alton, Illinois Mayor Brant Walker said. “We’ve had 15 sewer failures, 30 street failures all because of the water all in those impoverished areas,” commented Greenville, Mississippi Mayor Errick Simmons. But this flood season, cities along the river south of the Quad Cities are thankful for wetlands north of them on the Davenport riverfront. “First, I want to thank the City of Davenport and it’s nine miles of riverfront park and its ability to absorb, which I'm convinced here in Grafton does tremendously not only to us but also to the other communities in the south,” says Grafton, Illinois Mayor Rick Eberlin. Now, all the cities are taking the flood of 2019 as a lesson learned as they look to improve. The City of Davenport is forming a task force to brainstorm ways to prevent flooding. The Army Corp of Engineers says it’ll be mid to late July when all of the area is out of flood stage except for New Orleans.

 

 
 

The Energy Education Council’s Safe Electricity program advises, “Prevent deadly shocks. Check your boats and docks.” Safe Electricity, with the American Boat and Yacht Council and International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers/National Electrical Contractors Association, recommends adhering to these steps to improve water recreation safety and accident prevention: All electrical installations should be performed by a professional electrical contractor familiar with marine codes and standards, and inspected at least once a year; docks should have ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) breakers on the circuits feeding electricity to the dock; the metal frame of docks should be bonded to connect all metal parts to the alternating current (AC) safety ground at the power source to ensure that any part of the metal dock that becomes energized because of electrical malfunction will trip the circuit breaker; and neighboring docks can also present a shock hazard. Make your neighbors aware of the need for safety inspections and maintenance. Marinas should comply with NFPA and NEC codes.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

July 14-17 (Columbia, MO) - Community Development Society Annual Conference

July 25 (Deadline) - Governor's Hometown Awards

August 12-15 (Moline) - Midwest Community Development Institute

October 25-26 (Dubuque) - Growing Sustainable Communities Conference