I am very excited to be covering the African Rainforest Conservancy’s 21st annual Artists for Africa Benefit in a few weeks for The Chic Ecologist. Honoring Kris and Doug Tompkins and in support of the conservation of Tanzania’s Eastern Arc Mountains and Coastal Forests, this year’s benefit will also feature the naming of a newly discovered frog.
This frog, discovered in the Nguru South and Nguu North Mountains of the Eastern Arc rainforest of Tanzania, changes color from a milky white during the daytime to yellow with brown spots during the nighttime.
|What:||African Rainforest Conservancy Benefit – Artists for Africa|
|Where:||Prince George Ballroom – 15 East 27th St, New York|
|When:||Wednesday, April 11th – Cocktails begin @ 6 p.m.|
|Cost:||Cocktails $125, Dinner $500 – event tickets available here|
Additional event highlights will include silent and live art auctions showcasing the works of over forty celebrated artists—including William Abranowicz, Chris Dei, Gerald Forster, Chris Jordan, Carlo Mari, Arthur Meyerson, Jonnie Miles, Joseph Peter, Mirella Ricciardi, and Spencer Tunick—many of whom have graciously supported ARC over the years and will also be in attendance. Providing the ambiance for the evening is a choral performance by the New York City Master Chorale.
Raising over $1 million over the past two decades, this annual event supports ARC’s mission of promoting the conservation of Tanzania’s Eastern Arc Mountains and Coastal Forests by empowering local communities to become the guardians of their forests. Event proceeds will provide core support for ARC’s grassroot conservation and community development programs in 146 villages throughout the mountain ranges and coastal forests of East Africa—among the oldest and most biodiverse in the world. › Continue reading
Arbor day brings mixed feelings for me, which may sound strange because who doesn’t like trees? Having worked some time as a restoration ecologist, I may be privy to the dark secrets of habitat restoration or ‘enhancement’, that many well-meaning charities and non-profits may be unaware of: Nature heals itself! Be sure you look into where your trees are being planted this Arbor Day, here is what to look for:
Restoration of Existing Habitat – BAD
I have seen many groups attempting to restore National Parks, and wildlands after natural disasters such as fires, landslides and the like, which just makes me cringe. If the area is within a protected habitat and has just been devastated by a natural disaster, the best thing you can do is leave it alone. A restoration attempt in these areas will only introduce non-native and invasive species (usually carried in by the restoration crews in their shoes, clothes, automobiles and equipment). It can further disturb and disrupt the natural environment, causing more damage and long-term affects.
Restoration of Human-Impacted Habitat – GOOD
What is in need of restoration, are the habitats degraded by human activity such as farming, grazing and building. These areas have usually been so disturbed, damaged, or inundated with invasive species that it is unable to recover on its own. Fallow fields, urban lots, intensive agriculture and pastures are all good examples. Restoration is a difficult task and requires › Continue reading
Goes to show that there are varying degrees of sustainability. The worlds first ‘Eco-Friendly Golf Course’ is opening tomorrow (July 25th, 2009) in Memphis, Tennessee. A brainchild of singer and green celeb Justin Timberlake, the Mirimichi Golf Course is the first golf course in the US to receive the Audubon International’s Classic Sanctuary certification and hopes to gain Platinum LEED certification by opening day.
The former Woodstock Hills Golf Course was purchased by the Justin Timberlake, an avid golfer, in hopes of saving it from development. Feeling that it was “such a landmark for the community” and being the first place he had ever hit a golf ball, he was able to “scoop it and save it.”
Long considered a blight on nature and wilderness due to the intense water use, fertilization, and runoff, golf courses have also been criticized for their lack of native habitat. Mirimichi seeks to change all of that with rainwater irrigation, native landscaping, and a new Natural Resource Management Center featuring state-of-the-art biodegradable treatment of rinse water. It even features native grass areas which frame the holes and reduce the mowable acreage of the course.
“Creating an eco-friendly course was a priority throughout the renovations,” said Greg King, director of golf, Mirimichi. “We wanted to create a world-class golf experience that protected and enhanced nature’s canvas.”
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