Health & Activity

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Who Can Put a Price on a Forest?

Tree captures carbon and kite

Actually, the Forest Service did just that (and not in the logging sense either). The USFS recently completed a nationwide study of urban trees and the economic and environmental benefits they provide. The Forest Service study calculated urban tree canopy cover, annual carbon sequestration, air pollution removal and their value for each state and many cities in the United States.

Winds of Change in the Four Corners?

North Wind blowing

The Four Corners region where Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico meet can be pretty windy. On a particularly breezy day between the Grand Canyon and Four Corners Monument I saw roadside vendors having a 'Wind Sale'. Unfortunately, no one was buying. The question of the day: 'Is the wind blowing away from dirty coal and toward renewable energy?' Or are we caught in a dust storm with no idea of which way is up?

Putting Water in its Place

Mulched Basin for Rain and Grey Water Drain

Water in the Southwest may be worth more than gold. Even growing the hardiest of native plants requires considering how they will be watered. In our backyard I've used rain barrels for two years to water the vegetable garden. But until now my front yard was dependent on direct rainfall and the garden hose. I've finally added a branched drain system that directs rainfall from the gutters to mulch-filled basins that water our trees and perennials. Hopefully, I can water the front landscape without moving a hose again!

A Perfect 10/10/10 10/10/10 Global Work Party

So, do you have big plans for the weekend yet? If your Sunday is still open, check out the 10/10/10 Global Work Party to see if there are any events in your area. There are 10/10/10 events planned worldwide that range from group bike rides to trash clean ups and tree plantings. Santa Fe is home to a Skill-Share event and a long bike ride to join the Albuquerque event.

A Wild Time in Rocky Mountain National Park

Red Fox in Rocky Mountain National Park

In celebration of our upcoming anniversary, my wife and I visited Rocky Mountain National Park this fall. We love camping and neither of us had seen this great example of accessible wildness. Our trip turned out to be much more educational and exciting than expected. We had close encounters with wildlife, a tour of a lodgepole forest ravaged by pine beetles and a brush with wildfire all while surrounded by a gorgeous landscape.

Your Car is making you Fat, Angry and Broke (and what you can do about it)

bike vs car stencil

I've discovered some bad news. Your car is making you fat, angry and broke. But, I've also found out what you can do about it. You may be wondering who I am and what do I have against cars. Believe it or not, I'm a gearhead and I do love cars. As a kid my favorite t-shirt had a silk-screened '57 Chevy. I read car books and magazines from cover to cover. I think cars can be useful, fun, beautiful and exciting. Unfortunately, it turns out that our cars don't love us.

Welcome to Mountain Bike Club

Four Dapper Cyclists

The first rule of Mountain Bike Club is that you need a club. Are you looking for a group to ride and socialize with, tips for beginning mountain bikers, or do you want to lend your hand at trail maintenance and local trails advocacy? Now is the time to join a varied and enthusiastic group of mountain bikers in Santa Fe, NM as we start a new club. Read below for details on the first mountain bike club events. Mark these dates on your calendar and start brainstorming a great name for the new club.

What: Trail Maintenance Party and Trail Ride

Why I Garden #17

New Mexico Hops

I planted New Mexico Hops (Humulus lupulus L. var. neomexicanus) in the backyard several years ago and they have flowered prolifically this year. Each year these perennial vines spread further and are close to covering the fence they grow over. Hop flowers aren't likely to win a beauty contest but they are wonderfully fragrant in a way that few IPA lovers can resist. Now it's time to visit the local home brewing store and find a beer recipe to go with wild hops!

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Behold, the Majestic Plastic Bag

A little Monday humor, especially if you've watched a few too many nature documentaries like I have.

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Why I Garden #16

Squash Blossoms and Honey Bee after the rain

The monsoon rains have been coming pretty regularly and everything in the garden is growing with vim and vigor. I expect that the various squash and other vining plants will soon break out of their beds and overwhelm any slow moving bystanders. Of course that includes the weeds, but the fruit and veggies are keeping pace. My only worry is that I might miss pulling any of the insidious Siberian Elm (aka Chinese Elm) seedlings that are sprouting from any and everywhere.

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