Environment and Sustainability | WGLT

Environment and Sustainability

Staff / WGLT

Recycling isn't getting any easier. More items can be recycled now, like batteries and electronics. Packaging has gotten more complex, as well, according to Michael Brown with the Ecology Action Center (EAC).

International Crane Foundation

Whooping cranes have long captured the imagination of poets and painters. They are the tallest birds in North America, avid dancers and can live and breed well into their fifties.

McLean County Regional Planning Commission

A plan that's "very different" from any comprehensive plan the Town of Normal has adopted before would change, most noticeably, the community's layout, housing and transportation, according to two people instrumental in its development.

Joan Brehm

Illinois State University scholars, from biologists to sociologists, have been working for years on individual projects involving water.

Staff / WGLT

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is collecting data on recyclables in each county, with the goal of making recycling more accessible statewide.

Cindy Le / WGLT

Have you filed your FAFSA already? That's the question high school seniors and college students should be asking each other these days.

Courtesy of David Haskell

You might have heard about people who talk to trees. But can trees speak?

Staff / WGLT

Future growth of the community's bike share program will likely depend on private sponsorship. 

Dave Martin / The Associated Press

Here in the U.S., if you have to go to the bathroom, chances are there’s a toilet just a few steps away. That’s not the case for some 4.5 billion people across the world who don’t have access to toilets and safe sanitation systems.

Michael Jeffords

Most people would shrink from an opportunity to walk through the woods at night. All that darkness. All those strange insect sounds, not to mention the screeching owls.

The state’s Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday asked the Illinois attorney general to step in and force a mobile home park outside Heyworth to clean up its water supply.

Michael Brown / Ecology Action Center

The Ecology Action Center (EAC) is moving forward with its 2017 Household Hazardous Waste Collection event after meeting an early fundraising goal.

When Steph Davidson and Jennifer Swartout heard talk that the local food trend in Bloomington-Normal had maxed out, they decided to take action.

Bottle of whiskey
Whiskey Acres Facebook Page

McLean County has some of the most productive farmland in the country. As its farmers look to the future, should they be looking beyond corn and soybeans to something a bit more flavorful?

Cows eating
Center for Food Integrity

The public’s increased awareness of food safety has lead to perception problems for some Illinois farmers.

Courtesy / Michael Jeffords

Baby stink bugs. Jealous giraffes. Opportunistic baboons. Seamstress crab spiders. Slipper-shaped orchids. Cypress-studded swamps.

In more than 30 years of observing, recording and photographing insect, plant and animal life across the globe, Michael Jeffords and Susan Post have seen it all—or nearly.

Total eclipse
Hiroko Ono / Flickr

Day will look dark as night. Stars will shine at midday. Birds that are normally vocal during the day will suddenly grow silent. The daytime spectacle will rouse insects and other wildlife that usually come out only at night.

Emma Shores / WGLT

Leaving green grass to grow can save lots of green money.

As residents help develop a new master plan for Bloomington Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Arts, they will be asked to comment on a trend seen nationwide to save money: no-mow.

Midwest Fiber

Contamination in the recycling stream at Midwest Fiber threatens the business model that makes single stream recycling possible.  A company representative says if  the contamination rate increases above the current 10 percent, it could cost taxpayers more. 

Staff / WGLT

The percentage of McLean County solid waste diverted to recycling and away from the landfill has pushed past a goal set in 2007.  

Miller Park Zoo

Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington may be one of the smaller accredited zoos in the nation. It's a leader, however, when it comes to preserving several species of animals that are threatened or endangered.

The zoo currently is helping some 20 species survive, including the snow leopard, the red wolf, and San Clemente Island goat. It is a breeder for about 50 kinds of animals to insure they don't become endangered. Among them are: the sumatran tiger, tammar wallaby, the red-ruffed lemur and the kookaburra, a long-bill bird.

Bill Majoros / Flickr

It’s a perfect night to watch for nocturnal birds. Calm winds, clear sky and waxing moon just above the horizon.

I’m standing at dusk on the Lexington Blacktop, just east of Lake Bloomington. I’m with Angelo Capparella of the biology department at Illinois State University, and Given Harper, another avid bird watcher and professor at Illinois Wesleyan.

We’re on the prowl for owls.

Jim Suhr / AP Photo

The community's mayors have signed the Mayors National Climate Action Agenda

Town of Normal Mayor Chris Koos and Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner both joined more than 250 other mayors in following the U.N. Paris Climate Accord even though President Trump announced he'd pull the U.S. from pact.

During GLT's Sound Ideas, Koos says cities are "ground zero for action in ameliorating these issues." 

Judith Valente / GLT News

People who garden often say there is more to it than putting plants and flowers in the ground.  They feel a sense of serenity and well-being from getting their hands in the soil, from being outdoors and helping a living thing grow.

On Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the University of Illinois Extension office and the McLean County Master Gardeners will offer a Horticultural Therapy Workshop at the Community Cancer Center in Normal. Its message: gardening can be healing.

Judith Valente / GLT News

Walking along Shady Hollow Trail at Comlara Park, Sherrie Snyder spots a small flowering plant in the underbrush that contains a series of delicate deep purple blossoms. She stoops to snap a photograph of it on her cell phone.

"I'm going take a picture of this little guy, the dwarf larkspur," she says.

It's all part of a citizen-science project called Flora of Comlara Park. She and other volunteers—you might call them plant Sherlocks—observe and photograph the current plant life so that botanists can compare the plants growing today with those that grew a hundred years ago in central Illinois. 

Cristian Jaramillo / WGLT

Bloomington aldermen will again discuss and eventually vote on a budget amendment to strike a controversial sewer oversizing project on the city's far east side. 

Michael Brown / Ecology Action Center

The energy economy is changing in a way that there may be no way to save coal and coal jobs as President Trump has pledged.  

Staff / WGLT

A new mobility program in the community has “great potential,” according to the Town of Normal Mayor. Bike Share 309, operated by Zagster, launched on Monday. Zagster provides bike share services to small and medium sized populations across the nation.

Staff / WGLT

Two central Illinois men are biking across Death Valley to raise money to fight climate change. 

Michael Brown is the Executive Director of the Ecology Action Center. Proceeds from the ride will benefit the center. Kevin Loeske owns Peeler's Ovenworks, a mobile, rentable, wood-fired pizza oven.  Both are participating in the Climate Ride Death Valley, Feb. 25 to March 2. 

Michigan State University

It all began over a glass of wine at dinner. A friend of Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha told the Flint, Michigan pediatrician that she suspected there was something fundamentally wrong with that city's drinking water. 

Pages