Environmentalist Lori Grace of Tiburon funds Biorock Technology project to contribute to help SF Bay underwater life

Tiburon, CA, 2016-Sep-03 — /EPR Network/ — Lori Grace, founder of the Bay area organization, Save Our Bay, Save Our Ocean, a division of Sunrise Center, is now funding Tom Goreau of the Global Coral Reef Alliance to work with the Romberg Environmental Research Center in Tiburon in a Biorock project that, if successful, will assist the SF Bay Area in supporting salt marsh, oyster and eel grass growth . It will also help reduce sea level rise at the same time.

Bio-Rock Pemuteran Bali Indonesia / Photo by EunJae Im | www.eiLabs.net
Bio-Rock Pemuteran Bali Indonesia / Photo by EunJae Im | www.eiLabs.net

There is great excitement at the County, NERR, and Richardson Bay Audubon about the possibilities offered by bringing this technology to the SF Bay Area. The results will definitely be fully assessed in the experimental tanks of the Romberg Center by June 2017.

After showing the success of Tom Goreau’s Biorock technology in a tank, plans are to introduce this technology with the County’s approval to the Richardson Bay Audubon sanctuary, Bothin Marsh, the Corte Madera Salt Marsh, and Stinson Beach among other locations.

Media contacts: Edward Ellsworth, 6 Playa Verde, Tiburon, CA 94920

http://saveourbaysaveourocean.org/

https://www.youtube.com/c/sunrisecenterchannel

http://www.globalcoral.org/

Via EPR Network
More Environment press releases

 

The Metropolitan Council approves a $2M grant to fund a landmark, transit-oriented development in the heart of St. Louis Park, Minnesota

St. Louis Park, MN, December 11, 2015 — /EPR ENVIRONMENT NEWS/ — On December 9, 2015 and after overwhelming enthusiasm and support from a rigorous application and vetting process, the Metropolitan Council approved funding for PLACE’s St. Louis Park Community. The Council approved 2 million dollars in funding from its Livable Communities Account for a Transit-Oriented Development (LCA-TOD) grant after the proposed project demonstrated a breakthrough approach to meeting housing and economic development needs in the Twin Cities. The funds will be used to help secure site acquisition at the former McGarvey Coffee property, pioneer alternative energy sources, and integrate stormwater improvement with infrastructure like green roofs and an urban forest.

A nonprofit called PLACE (Projects Linking Art, Community, and Environment) heads up the community endeavor in concert with the City of St. Louis Park, fellow eco-minded and socially conscious companies like Allianz Life, Stantec, Shaw-Lundquist, Lindquist & Vennum, MSR, LIFT, and Rachel Contracting that have invested in the project, other private partners, and public collaborators like Hennepin County. The community will elevate affordable living, design, and artistic culture in the city and will be located near the expected Green Line extension (Southwest Light Rail) Wooddale Station. The development’s potential positive impact is staggering, with healthy homes for 300 households across the income spectrum supported by a mobility hub, urban agriculture, live and work spaces, a hotel, and a renewable energy generation system that consumes food waste created by its inhabitants and surrounding neighbors.

Chris Velasco, PLACE’s Executive Director, observed, “I think this project will be of national significance for communities that want to effectively leverage their scarce resources.”

Ryan Kelley, City of St. Louis Park Planner, says, “The City of St. Louis Park is extremely proud to be the co-recipient with PLACE of the Met Council’s largest transit oriented development grant for a new sustainable community of regional significance.”

“PLACE is an excellent project, for the city and the region. Turning vacant, unused property into a community space with alternative energy features, that is connected to other uses, like transit, is just the kind of investment the Council wants to make toward a livable communities and a prosperous region” – Erin Heelan, TOD Grants Coordinator, Metropolitan Council Livable Communities.

Executive Director Velasco thanks the Metropolitan Council for its confidence and support on behalf of the entire team and the residents of St. Louis Park.

MEDIA CONTACT

Peter Sieve (612) 326-0409 pete@welcometoplace.org
Elizabeth Bowling (612) 326-0399 elizabeth@welcometoplace.org

www.welcometoplace.org

 

Via EPR Network
More Environment press releases

Hays PureWater Launches $10,000 Campaign To Save Lives

WASHINGTON, IA, November 25, 2014 — /EPR ENVIRONMENT NEWS/ — 783 million people live each day without clean water and 3.4 million die annually from a lack of pure water. To combat these staggering statistics, Washington-based nonprofit, Hays PureWater, launched a crowd-funding campaign. The money raised will fund 30 Khlor Glen technology units to purify water for 150,000 individuals. The organization hopes to raise $10,000 by December 1st.

Hosted on crowd-funding platform IndieGoGo, the project offers nine sponsorship levels. Each level includes novelty “rewards” for donors, ranging from stickers to t-shirts to a trip to Haiti. The rewards are unique, innovative and hands on, giving donors a sense of ownership in the project. For just $2,500, an investor can travel to Haiti (all inclusive) to see the life changing benefits first hand.

The Khlor Glen is a simple unit that turns salt water into chlorine. The chlorine treats infected water, removing deadly impurities and toxins in just one hour. It’s solar powered and easily used in remote areas, where clean water is most needed. “It will also impact malaria zones as it can be used as a bug repellant and protect from disease,” says founder John Hays. “Even just using the chlorine produced by the unit as a sanitizer can cut down on so many infections that the natives in these areas don’t even know exist.”

In the last eight years, Hays PureWater distributed over 4,000 purifying units around the world, changing entire communities by implementing this system. It’s proven to work. Hays builds each system with the help of a dedicated group of volunteers. Nothing is outsourced, ensuring the most effective product for the lowest cost. Now all they need is help from their community to change the lives of those in need once more.

See the crowd-funding campaign here: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/hays-purewater-providing-clean-water-globally

ABOUT Hays PureWater
In 2006, after traveling around developing nations on missions trips, John Hays began to create a low cost, portable solution for water purification. John, who worked with municipal water works for over 30 years, put his experience to use and developed the Khlor Gen system. Through the years, the design and look has been changed and improved, but the mission has stayed the same. The organization exists to provide people with clean water, reaching out to them through word and deed. Eight years and 4,000 units later, that mission continues full steam ahead. For more information, logon to www.hayspurewater.com.

###

Contact-Details: TJ Widbin
tj@hayspurewater.com
319-470-7391

Via EPR Network
More Environment press releases

Greenbutts Biodegradable Cigarette Filters Receive Delegate Support In Maryland

On February 5, 2014 in Maryland, the Democratic Candidate for Attorney General, Jon Cardin, defended his proposed legislation to ban the sale of cigarettes with non-biodegradable filters. On the other side of the country, California Assemblyman, Mark Stone, recently presented a similar proposal to ban the sale of filtered cigarettes altogether. What will the tobacco industry do to address these pending legislative mandates? Are biodegradable filters a feasible alternative to implement as early as January 2015?

Standard acetate filters found in nearly all ready-made cigarette brands can take up to 15 years to biodegrade, while companies such as Greenbutts LLC have produced filters manufactured from natural materials that biodegrade within days. Greenbutts is fast becoming known as the alternative biodegradable cigarette filter producer in the world. The company has spent years sourcing and testing the optimal blend of non-synthetic materials that allow for comparable filtration and quality levels as with standard acetate filters. The solution was developed to run on existing machinery for seamless integration with current cigarette manufacturing practices. Prior to any talk of government-mandated cigarette filters regulations, Greenbutts has been in discussions with the leading corporations in the tobacco industry who are proactively addressing the litter issue from all angles – including their own environmental initiatives. While attempts have been made to change consumer behavior, such as the implementation of anti-littering laws, it remains that 65% of cigarette butts are littered. Greenbutts presents a net-positive solution that drastically reduces the environmental and economic impact of cigarette litter. According to Keep America Beautiful (KAB.org), cigarette-butt litter as the most frequently littered item. It is seen as “unsightly, costly to clean up, and harmful to aquatic ecosystems and wildlife” by organizations such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Jon Cardin supports companies like Greenbutts and the shift the industry is making towards a green alternative. “It is good to see states such as Maryland and California taking initiatives to address a significant environmental and economic concern. We are well positioned to assist the tobacco industry shift to biodegradable filters, whether or not a legislative mandate occurs,” – Founder of Greenbutts LLC

Via EPR Network
More Environment press releases

Entrepreneur Goes From Living in His Truck, To Making a Deal in ‘The Den’

Entrepreneur Anthony Jones successfully closed a deal with two Dragon’s Den investors on the November 20, 2013 airing of the show. Jones, thrilled at the outcome, explains how he lived out of his half-ton truck when he first started, to build the business literally from the ground up.

“I remember waking up from the sound of the engine running in my half-ton truck at 5am after a night of sleeping in the back seat. I would park every evening at the local truck stop and I would prepare the back seat with the two “large doggy pillows” that I had scrambled for the cash to purchase, (my reason for the doggy pillows was that they are packed with hay and insulation so not to create dampness and humidity,) lay down my sleeping bag, put on my sweatpants, hooded sweater, 2 layers of socks, turn up the radio and fall asleep. When I woke up, I would climb into the front seat and drive to the local YMCA, use the facilities, shower, gym and bathroom – I would get cleaned up and would head off to work. I would buy food that didn’t have a shelf life and would only eat when I needed because I was more worried about having enough money to purchase fuel to stay warm…that was my priority. After a long day’s work I would repeat the same routine.”

Jones is no stranger to business, in fact, prior to starting “Hunky Haulers” he successfully ran a commercial sub-contracting construction company at the age of 19, with $600 to his name. By the time he was 29, they were up to $20 million in labor contracts ($300 million in labor and supply signed contracts to fulfill.) As a result, Jones moved his operations outside of Canada and set up his business in the United States. Unfortunately, in the fall of 2008 when the recession hit, Anthony had to liquidate this business in order to ensure he could make payroll due to uncollectable receivables. By January of 2009, he had to lay off over 200 union men and women employees and start from scratch.

“When I lost my business in 2009 after the recession – I remember thinking, now what? Now it’s going to get hard, what do I do? I started Hunky Haulers in March of 2011 based on an idea to be in a business that would allow me the opportunity to serve the community and give back, I wanted to create something that changed the way people looked at the service industry – the way the service industry looked at the community and the way we empowered businesses, people, churches, charities, ideas, sports programs – around us” said Anthony Jones, CEO of Hunky Haulers. “When I received the email from the producers of CBC’s hit show – Dragons Den, I immediately was excited but was nervous and scared because I didn’t know how I could afford to get there –I mustered up the courage, the little money I had and started driving, didn’t look back and the rest is history. The most important thing that I learned from this experience is that EVERYTHING that is most important to you – that matters the most, WILL fit into a half ton truck, everything else in life is trivial…”

About Hunky Haulers
Hunky Haulers® offers a full-service Clutter Cleanup Crew that has an edge on the market.

They aren’t your average junk removal company; they don’t look at their community neighbor’s items as “junk.” There are memories associated with every item, so they like to consider what they do as “Clutter Cleanup” and creating a fresh start for these items. They offer a NO OBLIGATION on-site free estimate and are proud to be able to give our customers 100% satisfaction and service at more than 15% – 20% cheaper rate than their competition.

Hunky Haulers® corporate culture and policies are centered around social awareness and being a community leader. They work with a number of local, national and international charities.

About Dragon’s Den
Launching a business is no small task. No matter how big an idea you think you have, it still takes a lot of work and a ton of cash. Enter the Dragons’ Den, where aspiring entrepreneurs pitch their business concepts and products to a panel of Canadian business moguls who have the cash and the know-how to make it happen. They’ve all been there themselves, so you better not enter the Den unprepared. It takes more than passion to convince these boardroom barons that your idea is worth their investment. The Dragons are ruthless and rightly so – it’s their own personal money on the line.

DRAGONS’ DEN is filmed at CBC and airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) and encores Sundays at 9 p.m.

If you are interested in speaking to any of the Dragons or host Dianne Buckner, please feel free to contact Erin Richards at CBC, (416) 205 7994, Erin.Richards@cbc.ca.

Contact Details: Website: www.hunkyhaulers.com
Toll Free: 1-855-438-4865
Direct: 604-355-4865
anthony@hunkyhaulers.com
Mail: Suite 205 – 17750 Hwy10
Cloverdale, B.C. V3S1K4 Canada
The Hunk Quarters: Suite 469 – 604 Columbia St.
New Westminster, B.C. V3M1A5 Canada

For more information about this topic, Hunky Haulers Corporate Giving Strategies, or to schedule an interview with Anthony Jones, CEO of Hunky Haulers, call (778) 549-3419 or email Marco Pasqua, Director of Corporate Giving and PR at marco@hunkyhaulers.com

Via EPR Network
More Environment press releases

Renewable Home Energy.org Educates and Connects

Renewable energy – if you haven’t noticed, it’s the buzz around the world. We are using an alarming amount of fossil fuels every day; fossil fuels that won’t last forever. Some experts say we will be known as the generation that destroys the earth unless we change our energy behavior now.

“Renewable Energy makes sense from both a financial and a green responsibility” says Todd Sachs, co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer of www.renewablehomeenergy.org.

“We are committed in educating consumers on how to turn their homes into Renewable Energy Homes. We help by connecting consumers with qualified installers throughout the United States so they can save money on their fast rising energy bills, create more value in their home investment, and join together in reducing dependency on fossil fuels; together reducing the carbon footprint.” Sachs says.

A recent press release from the whitehouse.gov states the following:
“President Obama is committed to an “all-of-the-above” approach that develops all American energy sources in a safe and responsible way and builds a clean and secure energy future. That’s why the President’s plan:

Challenges Americans to double renewable electricity generation again by 2020. In order to double generation from wind, solar, and geothermal sources by 2020, relative to 2012 levels, the President called on Congress to make the renewable energy Production Tax Credit permanent and refundable, which will provide incentive and certainty for investments in new clean energy. Instead of continuing century-old subsidies to oil companies, the President believes that we need to invest in the energy of the future. During the President’s first term, clean energy tax incentives attracted billions of dollars in private investment in almost 50,000 clean energy projects, creating tens of thousands of jobs. Permanent extension keeps the momentum building, while creating new jobs in clean energy.”

Once Americans realize just how possible it is to remove their home from the grid completely and/or partially, many will turn to clean energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal for home energy systems. Renewable Home Energy (www.renewablehomeenergy.org) just launched last week and is serving-up a great way to connect homeowners with qualified renewable energy installers throughout the entire United States.

Renewable Home Energy is committed to working with local governments, manufactures and installers to help develop affordable ways for consumers to save money with Renewable Energy to remove them from the grid and reduce the carbon footprint by reducing the usage of the finite fossil fuels.

The process is easy. Just click on www.renewablehomeenergy.org and learn about Renewable Energy for your home. You can also complete a form to connect with a Renewable Energy Installer. You will be contacted by qualified installers in your immediate area. They will review your current energy consumption and suggest the best Renewable Energy alternatives for your home.

There are great tax incentives for you to install renewable energy in your home, and great finance options with 4% or less interest rates for up to 10 year terms for qualified buyers.

Via EPR Network
More Environment press releases

Compostory.org Launches IndieGoGo Crowdfunding Campaign to Develop Digital Learning Platform

Educating local government officials on the benefits of recycling their cities’ organic waste is about to become a whole lot easier, thanks to the digital age. Compostory.org, a brand-new media company with operations in Malmö, Sweden and San Francisco, California, just launched its maiden 35-day crowdfunding campaign on IndieGoGo.com.

Compostory.org is dedicated to packaging an unprecedented online learning platform for local governments in effort to bring officials up to speed on organic waste management practices. The team is driven by Camille W. Duran, a recognized media expert specializing in building digital platforms for the knowledge industry.

“As of today, it’s not easy enough for influencers from around the world to get basic education on organic waste management” according to Duran. “The difficulty of the early-stage research is a real barrier to action. We want to build a platform showcasing industry knowledge and great stories, to equip participants with a vision and a thorough understanding of the topic.”

Compostory.org is currently leveraging different funding avenues. The IndieGoGo.com 17k goal will directly finance the production of a first course, featuring seven to twelve minute documentary-style videos with whiteboard animated lessons designed by industry experts. The open course, comprised of several modules, will be accessible on-demand from an online course catalog for free. The first course will be initially distributed to 200 local governments in the US and Europe and aims at encouraging officials to start effectively managing and profiting from their city’s organic waste stream.

Access to best practice guidelines, expert opinions, cutting-edge research and most importantly, success stories in neighboring cities, packaged in one online platform, can ultimately pave way for a domino effect. “It’s very exciting to see the impact that online education is having on other industries” says Camille, “and it’s time for the recycling industry to truly profit from it as well.”

Compostory.org aims to become a premium digital platform for knowledge sharing in the field.

Via EPR Network
More Environment press releases

Environmentalists challenge the RSPO to rein in its members

A group of environmental non-profit groups including Save Wildlife Conservation Fund, Friends of Borneo, Jakarta Animal Aid Network and research scientists today filed a complaint to the RSPO over the destruction of a biodiversity hotspot in Borneo.

The group alleges that the actions of palm oil company PT Mekar Bumi Andalas (MBA) a subsidiary of Wilmar Group is in open violation of many of the RSPO’s Principles & Criteria including encroachments into areas that are considered High Conservation Value Forests. MBA and other RSPO members have been building crude palm oil bulking stations in Balikpapan Bay, East Kalimantan which has open access to sea shipping. According to Stan Lhota, a research scientist that has studied the area since 2005, Balikpapan Bay is home of one of the five largest known populations of proboscis monkeys (Nasalis larvatus). It counts about 1400 animals, which may possibly be 5 % of the world’s population of the species. Proboscis monkeys occupy mangroves, but they are vitally dependent on food resources found on dry land forest. They are therefore critically dependent on the existence of corridors, and the activities of these RSPO members are threatening the integrity of these forest corridors. The activities from building the palm oil refineries and holding stations will have a devastating and permanent impact on the area according to Stan Lhota.

Besides the destruction of terrestrial habitats, there are unique coral reefs and sea grass beds near the estuary of Sungai Berenga, that have been affected by brackish and muddy waters created by the developments in the area. Huge amounts of soil have also been washed away from the construction site and corals are dying as they are being covered by several millimetres of thick sediments.

The area is home to Irrawaddy dolphins (Orcaela brevirostris) with approximately 60 – 140 animals counted. Studies have determined that the area is crucial to their feeding and daily migration between the upper and lower sections of the Bay, in accordance with tides. One of the few remaining populations of dugongs (Dugong dugon) is found in Balikpapan Bay as well and their prime feeding grounds are in in sub-tidal sea grass beds. An early indicator of localized extinction can already be seen in the decreased sightings of Green turtles that once lived in the coral reefs and sea grass beds.

The complaint against PT MBA cites over a dozen violations of the RSPO’s Principles and Criteria and is demanding that the RSPO put a stop to all activities not only from PT MBA but also from all other RSPO members in the area until all environmental concerns have been addressed. This complaint is a new challenge to the RSPO whose Principles and Criteria do not apply to bulking mills or refineries but in the words of Lars Gorschlueter, Director of Save Wildlife Conservation Fund, “If RSPO standards are not mandatory to their members and forests of High Conservation Value can be torn down because it’s a refinery and not a plantation, then when does the RSPO standards apply and why should we trust its certification?”

The group further demanded that the stoppage be immediate to prevent an embarrassing repeat of the Muara Tae situation where a long drawn out discussion between RSPO member, First Resources Ltd of Singapore and complainants became meaningless as the forests in question were almost completely clear cut in the two years it took the RSPO to try and decide on the case.

Via EPR Network
More Environment press releases

Nigerians Object To Land Grabs By A Foreign Palm Oil Company

Nigerian NGO Rainforest Resource Development Centre is challenging the legality of a plantation takeover by Wilmar International in the Nigerian state of Cross River.

Wilmar which has bought over the operations of Obasanjor Farms of Nigeria was supposed to take over plantation lands of some 12,000 hectares. These were to include the Ibad Plantation measuring 7,805 hectares, the Oban Plantation measuring 2,986.385 hectares and the Kwa Falls Plantation measuring 2,014.429 hectares. RRDC in its charges claims that Wilmar was mislead into making the transactions over Obasanjor Farms properties as much of the properties have outstanding claims against them which are in open violations of the RSPO’s Principles and Criteria for its members.

Citing multiple infractions of Nigerian state and federal laws governing land ownership and land use, the RRDC is calling the deal with Wilmar null and void until all outstanding issues are resolved. Some of the issues include land grabs that were initiated by Obasanjo Farms when it was established 11 years ago and the establishment of its plantations inside forest reserves including biodiversity hotspot Cross River National Park. Wilmar is yet to make any comment in respect of the irregularities raised by RRDC concerning the Obasanjor farms.

The most contentious issue revolves around ownership and title of the land. Wilmar in its defense in respect of the Biase New Planting Plantations stated that “The land title belongs to the government of Cross River State whose acquisition dates back to the mid seventies. Therefore, what we enjoy today is a sub-lease from the government who has paid all the ground rents to the landlords”

RRDC Director Odey Oyama in citing the Land Use Act No. 6 of 1978 (Laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria) stipulates that “the Governor is the Trustee, and nothing more. He holds land on behalf of the owners and acts according to the trust bestowed on him, in good faith and for the benefit of the owners, as prescribed by the Act. In LAW this means that he is the manager of another’s property: i.e. somebody who is given the legal authority to manage land on behalf of somebody else.”

The complaint to the RSPO further stated that Wilmar has received only the approval of two of the five affected communities for the plantation and insists on an open forum that will include the participation of all affected communities. Director Odey Oyama further stated that “ the RRDC has absolutely no objections to the good intentions of Wilmar towards the livelihoods and general economic wellbeing of the landlord communities. Our position however is that Wilmar must observe our National Laws and Regulations as they pertain to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), the Land Use Act, the National Park Act, the Forest Laws and regulations, and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. They should also continuously ensure that the rights, privileges and entitlements of indigenous communities are not usurped by any external agencies and /or influential internal minority interest groups.

Global demand for palm oil is expected to skyrocket in the coming years and South East Asian palm oil companies are increasingly looking towards Africa to create new plantations. Sime Darby Berhad of Malaysia was similarly challenged in its plantation in Liberia and agreed to pay reparations and proper compensations for affected communities there. The most contentious palm oil plantation in Africa however belongs to Herakles Farms USA where ongoing disputes between the company and land owners are yet to be resolved.

In addition to the indigenous land rights issues, the plantation areas encroach deep into Cross River National Park, home to several endemic primate species including the endangered Preuss Red Colobus and the Drill. “This plantation cannot be allowed to proceed the way it has been mapped out,” declared Lars Gorschlueter, Director of the Save Wildlife Conservation Fund. “We are already fighting Herakles Farms proposed plantation on the Cameroon side that will impact Korup National Park which is contiguous with Cross River National Park. If this industrial plantation is allowed into the Oban Forest Reserve, it will effectively box in wildlife and our research has shown that wildlife cannot survive in an environment like this.”

In the case of Wilmar’s plantations and operations in Nigeria, the RRDC remains hopeful that the company will abide by the Principles and Criteria of the RSPO.

Via EPR Network
More Environment press releases

National Trust reveals vision for HS2 around Aylesbury

Proposals for an improved design for HS2 around Aylesbury, if it goes ahead, have been revealed by the National Trust.

Whilst being neutral over the principle of HS2, the National Trust opposes the specific proposed route in the Aylesbury area and through the Chilterns AONB.

This is because of its landscape and other impacts, especially on Hartwell House, where it would require the acquisition of the Trust’s land.

The plans revealed today show how the impact on hundreds of people’s lives and the special places they care about could be reduced if HS2 Ltd plans for mitigation on a big enough scale.

This would include acquiring additional land either side of the railway line to give room for the necessary landscaping and other measures, such as creating a 600m long ‘land bridge’ for the route as it crosses through the Hartwell House estate and next to Fairford Leys, where many local people will be heavily affected by the railway.

This would involve building the land up on either side of the line, then placing a lid on top, with vegetation and tree planting covering it. Wide, landscaped embankments which would screen trains and conceal noise barriers and security fencing also feature.

A range of specialist consultants, including experts in rail engineering, landscape character, landscape architecture, noise and hydrology have been brought in by the National Trust to advise on the best possible mitigation over an 8km stretch of the line from Stoke Mandeville, around Aylesbury and up to Waddesdon.

Since the route for HS2 was published in January this year, the Trust has been talking to local authorities, parish councils, landowners, other charities and organisations, as well as HS2 Ltd, aiming for proposals which take into account the views of as many people as possible who are affected by the line.

Peter Nixon, director of conservation for the National Trust, said: “Although HS2 is still not a foregone conclusion, and we object to the route chosen, in case it does go ahead it’s sensible for us to negotiate for the best scheme which minimises its impact for as many people as possible and on the special places they care about.

“We hope our proposals, which draw on our practical experience elsewhere, raise expectations of what could be achieved.

“There is still a lot of detail to work up. This would have to be done with HS2 Ltd, the community, local authorities and landowners and we believe a collaborative approach here will deliver the best scheme if HS2 does go ahead.

“We hope that HS2 Ltd and the Government will adopt this scheme, however we have also been clear that if this is not the case we would be prepared to petition Parliament in order to try and get the scheme included in the necessary legislation.”

The current proposed route of HS2 will pass directly through the Hartwell House estate which has an international history and significance stretching back almost a thousand years to the reign of Edward the Confessor.

It also passes within view of Coombe Hill in the Chilterns; through the Waddesdon Estate which has a Victorian garden thought to be one of best in Britain; and close to Claydon House, once home to Florence Nightingale.

The scheme has already received backing from a number of local groups.

Via EPR Network
More Environment press releases

National Trust hires Kids’ Council

The National Trust has announced that, following a recruitment drive over the summer holidays, a group of ten youngsters, aged between seven and 11 from across the country, have been recruited by the charity for its Kid’s Council. The children will help the charity to evolve its ’50 Things To Do Before You‘re 11¾’ campaign and provide advice on how National Trust places can spark more children’s interest in nature and the outdoors.

The new Kids’ Council held its inaugural meeting at Dyrham Park near Bath and jumped into their roles with gusto. Having all tackled the ’50 Things’ list, the children are passionate about wildlife and outside activities and brimming with ideas to make the National Trust more engaging for youngsters.

Their first proposal to create a mud slide was put into practise with the help of a large hillside and Rob Holden, Head Ranger at Dyrham Park. Installing rope swings at National Trust places and creating a country-wide nature trail were other ideas discussed by the young councillors

The nationwide search for the youngsters opened in August and attracted hundreds of applications from across the UK. The National Trust judges were looking for imaginative and enthusiastic candidates who showed a real passion for the outdoors. The response from the nation’s children both inspired and delighted the judging panel with the applicants sending in photos, drawing pictures and even creating treasure maps.

Some of the more weird and wonderful suggestions that came up in some of the applications included meerkats at National Trust properties, barefoot nature walks and going inside a large rabbit hole to “see what it’s like being a rabbit”.

The successful applicants forming the new Kids’ Council are:

– Jessica Swales, aged 8 from North Yorkshire
– Max Hodgson, aged 8 from West Midlands
– Francesca Carrannante, aged 8 from London
– Kai Bickley, aged 7 from West Midlands
– Kit Le Froy, aged 8 from Cornwall
– Leif Wilson-Palmer, aged 8 from Gloucestershire
– Harry Wilson, aged 10 from Bristol
– Mia McDade, aged 8 from Stockport
– Sophia Tarling, aged 8 from Norwich
– Iona Howells, aged 11 from Kent

The members of the Kids’ Council and their families will be able to visit all National Trust places throughout the year to gain a true and deep understanding of what the National Trust has to offer. The children will report to the Getting Outdoors and Closer to Nature Programme board at the National Trust, and will share their recommendations at four meetings across the year.

Tony Berry, Visitor Experience Director of the National Trust, commented: “The applicants were imaginative, adventurous and exciting and we cannot wait to hear their views and start bringing their recommendations to life. The sheer number of applications shows that the children of Britain do want to get outdoors, have fun and connect with nature and our mission is to make this as accessible to all children as possible.”

Iona Howells, aged 11 from the Kids’ Council, said: “I am really proud to be part of the Kids’ Council. I want to make other children see that being outdoors can be fun and the National Trust has some great places where you can have heaps of fun – I hate sitting still inside so it is great to be part of getting other kids to play outside.”

Via EPR Network
More Environment press releases

National Trust Holiday Cottages wins British Travel Award

National Trust Holiday Cottages has been named in the British Travel Awards 2012 as the winner of Best UK Cottage/Self Catering Booking Company. The announcement was made at a glamorous Gala Awards Dinner held at Battersea Evolution in London, attended by more than a thousand travel industry people.

National Trust Holiday Cottages have been operating as a holiday cottage business for over 50 years with some cottages dating back to at least the 15th century. Today, there are nearly 400 self catering cottages all with a unique style and character set in outstanding locations across the UK with all profits from bookings going directly back in to the National Trust’s conservation work.

Marianne Wanstall (Head of Holidays) said: “It is fabulous to be recognised in such high profile awards which are voted for by consumers and is a massive achievement for us and our unique product.

“The award is a tribute to the hard work and commitment of everyone at National Trust holiday cottages, from our contact centre team who deal directly with customers to the individuals who look after preparing and operating our portfolio of cottages across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.”

British Travel Awards’ chief executive Lorraine Barnes Burton said: “This year more than one million votes were cast by consumers to determine the winners of the coveted British Travel Awards. The Awards were created to reward travel companies, with the winning accolade being the benchmark for excellence when it comes to finding out who really is the best in the business of travel for the UK consumer. National Trust Holiday Cottages is to be congratulated on their achievement.”

Companies were nominated by the public before being voted for by the British consumer, including readers of News International publications – The Times, Sunday Times, the Sun and the Sunday Sun – listeners of Global Radio stations, including LBC and readers of the British Travel Awards magazine, ‘Check-In’. The voting process and results are overseen, scrutinized and audited by Deloitte LLP.

In 2012 more than one million votes were cast in The British Travel Awards making it the largest awards programme in the UK. The BTAs were created to reward the best companies in travel and are recognised by consumers and travel professionals throughout the UK. With categories spanning 75 types of holiday experience – transport, destination, cruise, customer service, holiday extras, and accommodation – The British Travel Awards is quite simply the benchmark for excellence when it comes to finding out who really is the best in the business.

Via EPR Network
More Environment press releases

Nation rallies to safeguard iconic White Cliffs of Dover

A £1.2 million appeal launched by the National Trust in the summer to raise funds to acquire the iconic stretch of the White Cliffs of Dover coastline has reached its target in just 133 days, raising an average of £9,000 per day.

The Trust needed the money to buy a 0.8 mile stretch of this world-famous and much-loved piece of the Kent coastline overlooking the port.

It completes the missing link of coastline under National Trust care, uniting a stretch of more than 7km (nearly 5 miles) between the Trust’s visitor centre and South Foreland Lighthouse.

More than 16,000 people and organisations* have supported the White Cliffs of Dover appeal which was launched in June 2012 with an average donation of £40.21 (including Gift Aid) from members of the public.

Hundreds of messages of support were posted on a virtual White Cliffs of Dover on the charity’s website**.

Donations from supporters included a significant contribution from the Dover Harbour Board, which helped the Trust to reach its target earlier than had been anticipated, and support from the Regatta Foundation, Royal Oak Foundation and 16 National Trust supporter groups.

The fundraising drive was given a boost in July when a number of household names including Dame Vera Lynn, Dame Judi Dench and the soul singing sensation and Dover-born Joss Stone gave their support.

Writer and philosopher Julian Baggini spent a week in August at the White Cliffs in Dover looking into how they have come to symbolise what they mean for the UK’s national identity***.

Fiona Reynolds, who is in her final week as Director-General at the National Trust, said: “Thanks to the generosity and support of thousands of people we’ve reached our target nearly two months early.

“The Trust will now look to enhance the quality of access to this new land and build on some of the fantastic nature conservation work that has been carried out by the team on the ground.”

Standing proud at over 110 metres (taller than Big Ben or the same height as twenty-five London buses stacked on top of each other), the White Cliffs of Dover have witnessed many dramatic moments in England’s history.

These include the arrival of the Romans and the welcome return of British armed forces after the evacuation of Dunkirk during the Second World War.

The cliffs are also home to a rich array of wildlife including the Adonis blue butterfly, rare coastal plants such as oxtongue broomrape and sea carrot, and birds including skylark, the only pair of breeding ravens in Kent and peregrine falcons.

Alison Burnett, a volunteer on the White Cliffs of Dover team, added: “There has been a real buzz around the appeal with this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to add the missing piece of the White Cliffs so that they are in the care of the National Trust.”

Hundreds of thousands of people come to visit the dramatic chalk cliffs every year with their wonderful views across the English Channel.

Notes to editors:
* The total number of people and organisations that donated to the White Cliffs of Dover appeal is 16,570.
** Examples of the messages of support and messages about why the White Cliffs of Dover matter can be found at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/whitecliffsappeal
** ‘A Home on the Rock’ by Julian Baggini was published in October and can be read on the blog that ran during his residency – whitecliffsofdoverwriter.wordpress.com

Via EPR Network
More Environment press releases

The National Trust Reveals Kids’ Plea For More Family Time

The National Trust has revealed one in five 8-11 year olds want to spend more time with their parents and more than a third of parents said they want to spend more time with their kids.

While watching television and DVDs tops the YouGov poll* as the most common way for parents and children to spend time together in the UK** 26 per cent of children aged 8-11 years old and nearly half (49 per cent) of all parents surveyed said they would like to spend more time together just going for a walk.

To help families get out on an autumn walk, users of the website Mumsnet have provided some top tips on making sure that parents have got everything ready for a fun day out such as climbing a huge hill, flying a kite or hunting for some treasure on a beach.

Over the half-term period there will be hundreds of family walking adventures at National Trust properties as part of the Great British Walk, which has been organised in partnership with PruHealth.

These walks are the perfect way for kids to tick off their ’50 things to do before they’re 11 ¾’, including collecting and play conkers and picking and eating apples straight from the tree.

Simon Pryor, Natural Environment Director at the National Trust, said: “Despite the fact that TV seems to be dominating family life its really encouraging that children and parents want to spend more time together and that walking is seen as a great way of doing just that.

“Walking is a brilliant way for families to spend time together, get fit and discover the joy of the British countryside.

“And with so many great activities taking place at National Trust properties around the country this half-term there’s no better time to get out and go on a walking adventure.”

Mumsnet co-founder and CEO Justine Roberts added: “It’s all too easy to end up spending all family time in front of screens, watching TV or playing video games. Spending time with the children outdoors can be just as cheap as well as fun and educational and offers a bit of balance in a world dominated by X-Factor and Fifa 12.”

Dr William Bird, GP, said: “Children can benefit hugely from walking in the outdoors. High blood pressure, cholesterol and depression can be detected in children as young as 10, due to inactivity. Spending time with family, in the outdoors, can invigorate even the most TV or X-box-obsessed children.”

Free family friendly trails can be downloaded fromwww.nationaltrust.org.uk/greatbritishwalk and families can share their favourite walks online for the chance to win a stay in a National Trust holiday cottage.

Via EPR Network
More Environment press releases

National Trust co-founder honoured at Westminster Abbey

Octavia Hill, leading social reformer and co-founder of the National Trust, has been honoured at a service to dedicate a memorial to her at Westminster Abbey in London.

One hundred years after Octavia Hill’s death, a memorial stone, commissioned by theNational Trust and designed and crafted by Rory Young, has been dedicated at the service that celebrates her remarkable life.

Thousands of flowers, foliage and fruit from National Trust gardens across the South West were incorporated in eight spectacular displays for the service. Conceived by Mike Calnan, head of gardens at the Trust, the dramatic arrangements were made and assembled by London based floral artist Rebecca Louise Law, daughter of one of the Trust’s head gardeners, together with Abbey florist, Jane Rowton-Lee.

National Trust Chairman, Simon Jenkins, and Director-General, Dame Fiona Reynolds, broadcaster Julia Bradbury and writer Robert Macfarlane were among the members, supporters, staff and volunteers from the National Trust and other organisations who paid tribute to Octavia Hill with readings and prayers at the service conducted by The Very Reverend Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster.

The memorial stone, measuring 600mm x 600mm, is made of Purbeck marble, and has been laid in the nave of Westminster Abbey.

Octavia Hill founded the National Trust in 1895 with Sir Robert Hunter and Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley.

They were concerned about the impact of uncontrolled development and industrialisation and set up the Trust ‘for the protection of the public interests in the open spaces of the country.’

Octavia Hill also played a pivotal role in the housing reform movement and had a lifelong passion for learning and welfare.

Dame Fiona Reynolds said: “Octavia Hill had a profound impact on this country both as a social reformer and as a co-founder of the National Trust. She and her fellow reformers believed passionately that access to beauty, heritage and nature was a basic human need. Her biggest legacy has perhaps been the National Trust, which last year reached 4 million members – surely exceeding even her ambitions. All year we have been commemorating the work of this remarkable woman, and I am delighted by the opportunity to honour her legacy in this way.”

Via EPR Network
More Environment press releases

IL 1st Congressional District Cook County Voters Support Peloquin Suburban Preservation

The first election using the 1st Congressional Redistricted South Side of Chicago and their Southwest Suburbs extending into Will County has city voters crossing over to support the states suburban life style.

With 74% of the new district voters being from the original 1st district, many of original voters are pushing to preserve their weekend getaways in the suburbs and the continued expanse of the commuter train stations for their suburban and rural lifestyle.

City Folks are now realizing they’re far more dependent on their rural and suburban agriculture businesses and how city politics overlook the needs of the rural and suburban growth at their cost.

It’s a wake-up call for many in Cook County; with Will County positioned as one of the new “Agriculture Cross Roads Of America”, their grain export business offers significant growth in the emerging markets such as Viet Nam, Russia, and China, and that means more jobs, revenue for the state and lower costs for their districts agriculture needs.

This 1st Congressional Districts election is fast becoming the center stage for a nation, as Big City residents learn “Intermodal Growth” is the ticket to world competition, not a party ticket.

You simply cannot achieve Intermodal Growth for the agriculture business with the city politicians quest to keep the spend in the city at the expense of the state’s best opportunity to sustain and gain more jobs outside its original district. Here is a short video clip on Intermodal Job Growth.

As the 3rd largest city in the U.S., the voters are realizing they’re dismal job growth has been limited to their federally subsidized projects within the city versus rebuilding the city through better decisions on how to compete globally within the state.

A Win Win situation, without a solution for decades, it’s time for a change, and it starts with educating the people on how to best affect change, and why. There’s a need here, a need to turn things around before we lose the opportunity to reduce our state and nations overall deficit, which ultimately results in the loss of the federal funding we’ve grown to know as the way the City Politicians create more jobs.

The Don Peloquin Campaign for the 1st Congressional District supports growth through voter education. Many people are totally unaware that if Congress doesn’t pass the new Farm Bill, you may as well forget about the food stamp program with its $80 billion a year, or 80 percent of all spending in the $500 Billion Farm Bill. Our position is to grow globally with the best opportunities, and our suburbs and rural areas have the best potential of securing grants for jobs like the $6 million awarded to UW-Madison. That focuses on encouraging more farm-to-school programs like the Research, Education, Action and Policy Food Group’s farm-to-school program, which supplies area schools with fresh, locally produced fruits and vegetables. We need a well balanced spend to gain the maximum benefits for all.

The Time For Change Independent Voice:  Dedicated To Public Announcements That Affect Our Suburban and Rural Life. We simply state what’s before us from the eyes and ears of those affected.  Get Out And Vote For A Change, Visit www.peloquinforcongress.com and read for yourself.

Via EPR Network
More Environment press releases

National Trust Finds Getting Kids Into Nature Starts At Home

The National Trust has revealed that parents need more support to make the outdoors a part of everyday family life to avoid rearing a generation completely cut off from the natural world.

The Natural Childhood Inquiry – which sought submissions from experts and the public on the barriers and the solutions for children’s connection with nature – found that children’s love of nature is best started in the home.

The Inquiry follows on from a national childhood report for the National Trust by award winning nature author and wildlife TV producer Stephen Moss, published in March, which documented children’s declining connection with the outdoors and nature.

Inquiry respondents said parents need more access to family-friendly, green and natural spaces, as well as more opportunities for children to enjoy nature.

Fiona Reynolds, Director-General of the National Trust, said: “It is clear from the huge public response that our Natural Childhood report struck a chord with the nation.

“Parents want their children to have a better connection with nature, but they don’t feel completely confident in how to make that happen in a safe and stimulating way.

“Our inquiry showed that there is widespread agreement that this is an important issue and that now is the time to act. The worlds of conservation, government, education and child welfare need to work together with families and communities to find solutions.”

The Inquiry however recognised that there were some big barriers to a closer relationship with nature. These include excessive health and safety rules, the rise of indoor entertainment competing for children’s time and attention, traffic dangers, over-stuffed school days, and the poor quality and accessibility of green and natural spaces in many communities.

Research with children and parents commissioned by the National Trust to accompany the publication of the inquiry findings strongly validates these conclusions.

A YouGov survey* of 419 UK parents of under 13s revealed that a range of parental fears and concerns could be preventing children from getting the most of the great outdoors.

Stranger danger (37%), lack of safe nearby outdoor places to play (25%) and too much traffic (21%) were the top ranked barriers amongst parents of children aged 12 or under.

Just short of half (45 per cent) of parents of pre-teens identified ‘more local safe places to play’ as the thing which would most encourage them to let their children get outdoors and explore more where they lived. The other two top solutions supported by parents were ‘more supervised play spaces’ (32%) and ‘more activities organised by schools or youth groups’ (31%).

As part of its response to the lack of connection between kids and nature the National Trust launched its 50 Things to do before you’re 11 ¾ campaign in May. More than 250 Trust places took part and in the first two months more than 200,000 activity scrapbooks given away and nearly 20,000 users registered on the 50 Things website.

Via EPR Network
More Environment press releases

National Trust-commissioned Writer Delves into Meaning of the White Cliffs of Dover

The National Trust has commissioned writer and philosopher Julian Baggini to spend a week at the White Cliffs of Dover, much of which is cared for by the Trust, exploring through verse what this much loved stretch of the Kent coast says about the UK.

Based at the world famous and iconic South Foreland Lighthouse, he will be delving into why the White Cliffs have become so wrapped up with our national identity and the role they play in creating our sense of belonging.

Julian Baggini, who co-founded The Philosophers’ Magazine, said: “For millions of Britons living across the world the White Cliffs is a clear symbol of Britain, in much the same way that the Statue of liberty has defined America. Even if we’ve never been to or seen the White Cliffs of Dover there is a collective sense that they matter.

“I want to get a real sense of what the White Cliffs of Dover mean for British people, including those for whom the cliffs were the first sight of the country, which would become their adopted home.

“But it’s not just about symbolism. Many important episodes in our national story have taken place on this stretch of coast, so I also want to look at how its local history has shaped our national history. And I also want to talk to people about home some contemporary debates, such as fishing and immigration, are being played out here.

“My suspicion is that if we look, there is an insightful portrait of the nation to be found engraved in the chalky cliffs of East Kent.”

Julian was born in Folkestone, his mother is from Dover and his father is an Italian whose first sight of his adoptive land in the early 1960’s was the White Cliffs of Dover.

The National Trust is currently trying to raise £1.2 million to acquire a stretch of the most famous segment of the White Cliffs above the Port of Dover.

Launched in late June*, the White Cliffs of Dover appeal has seen more than ten thousand people supporting the campaign to acquire this missing link: the National Trust already owns five miles of the White Cliffs.

During his residency Julian will be blogging and capturing on camera his thoughts and observations and will be talking to the people that live and work in vicinity of the White Cliffs, taking time out to travel to France for a fresh perspective and debate their meaning with local experts, trying to appreciate why the coast has defined our sense of collective and personal identity.

A book of Julian’s observations and musings from his time at the White Cliffs of Dover will be published in late September this year.

Via EPR Network
More Environment press releases

National Trust names Dame Helen Ghosh as next director general

The National Trust has announced Dame Helen Ghosh DCB will be the next director-general of the charity.

Helen joins the Trust from her current role as permanent secretary to the Home Office. Previously, Helen held a variety of civil service roles including as permanent secretary to Defra between 2005 and 2010.

Dame Helen Ghosh joined the civil service from Oxford University, where she read Modern History. She has worked in a number of government departments, starting off in the Department of the Environment, and returning to environmental issues when she became Permanent Secretary at Defra in 2005. In between, she followed her interest in providing public services to local people with jobs in the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Revenue and Customs and the Government Office for London, and has also worked at the centre of government, with two spells in the Cabinet Office. Helen is a long-term member of the Trust and of her local Wildlife Trust in Oxfordshire.

She will take over from Fiona Reynolds who has been at the helm for nearly 12 years. During that time, Fiona has grown the charity’s membership to four million and built a volunteer base of more than 67,000 people.

Helen said: “I have been an admirer of the Trust and its work all my life, and I am thrilled that I have been given the chance to be part of its future. I am delighted to be able to build on Fiona Reynolds’ great work in setting the Trust’s direction for the 21st century.”

Simon Jenkins, chairman of the National Trust, said: “The Board of Trustees is delighted that Helen will be the Trust’s next director-general. The Trustees’ strategy is to widen the Trust’s appeal and grow its membership. Helen is a distinguished and energetic public servant. We are convinced she is ideal to lead the organisation through what is proving a challenging time. We all look forward to working with her.”

Fiona Reynolds, who moves on to become Master of Emmanuel College, Cambridge in 2013, said: “I am delighted by Helen’s appointment. The National Trust is a fantastic organisation to work for and I wish her, and the Trust, all the very best for the future.”

The National Trust was founded in 1895 to protect threatened coastline, countryside and buildings for the benefit and enjoyment of everyone.

Today the Trust employs more than 5,500 people and cares for special places across England, Wales and Northern Ireland, including 250,000 hectares of countryside, 710 miles of coastline and 300 historic houses and gardens.

Via EPR Network
More Environment press releases

The National Trust Recruiting for Kid’s Council

The National Trust has announced it is recruiting a group of advisors made up entirely of children to provide advice on how to get more of the nation’s kids outdoors.

The idea follows the charity’s recent Natural Childhood Report and 50 things to do before you’re 11 ¾ campaign, and shows the Trust stepping up its game in encouraging children to explore the outdoors and get closer to nature.

The National Trust is looking to sign up ten children aged between seven and twelve to the Kids’ Council* where they will play an important role in developing the charity’s outdoor campaigns, and making their properties more fun for younger visitors.

The perfect candidate will be brimming with enthusiasm and fun, plus have a natural love for the outdoors and fresh air. Potential applicants are also required to have an adventurous spirit and a wild imagination. A fondness for rolling down hills or jumping in muddy puddles would be considered a bonus.

To offer children a chance to try out the National Trust and get inspiration on what they would like to change if they were appointed to the Kids’ Council, the Trust will open up its doors to children for free for the whole month of August. Over 200 places will be free of charge to children**, giving them the opportunity to explore National Trust places across the country.

The successful council applicants will be announced later in the year and will be offered free access to National Trust places for themselves and their family. Canoeing, surfing and camping are among the activities that will be part of the winning prize to ensure kids and their families experience the full National Trust offering. The Kids’ Council will meet throughout 2013 and report their findings into the National Trust’s Visitor Experience Director, so their suggestions can be put into practise to help make the outdoors more fun for the nation’s kids.

The application process will close on 7th September 2012. Applications can be downloaded from the website at www.nationaltrust.org.uk/kidscouncil and sent back via email, post or handed in at National Trust properties***.

Tony Berry, Visitor Experience Director of the National Trust, commented: “We are really committed to helping kids enjoy the great outdoors and we want to make our places the most fun and family-friendly day out destinations in the UK. I’m really excited that our new Kids’ Council will help us do just that. Our kids go free promotion for the entire month of August will not only give kids and their families the chance to get out and explore, but hopefully inspire them to apply for our Kids’ Council and let us know what we can do better in the future.”

Via EPR Network
More Environment press releases