Environment and Sustainability | WGLT

Environment and Sustainability

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. 

The Ecology Action Center

McLean County's future solid waste plan could include provisions that would divert up to 74 percent of items and materials being landfilled today. 

Connect Transit Buses Rolling Into 2017

Dec 1, 2016
Staff / WGLT

Bloomington-Normal's transit system is avoiding a planned shutdown at the end of the month.

Emma Shores / WGLT

Future development could someday trigger the need for an East Side Highway. But a new, detailed study of the environmental impact of the possible highway route located approximately a mile east of Towanda Barnes road includes suggestions that could push off the need for decades.  

Steven Depolo/Flickr

Bottled water is a $14 billion-dollar business. Americans consume about eight billion gallons of packaged water each year. But is the water you sip out of the bottle really any better for you than what comes out of your tap? 

Facebook

Epiphany Farms Hospitality Group is reaching goals in year 7 of its 10 year business plan. During  an on-location edition of Sound Ideas at Epiphany on Main, co-owner, founder, chef and farmer Stu Hummel said there was never any question of failure when the farm to fork enterprise was started.

Jim Browne / WGLT

An Illinois State University Professor of Economics does not support a move by the McLean County Board last week that prevented a change to the wind farm siting ordinance, sending the proposal back to the Zoning Board of Appeals for review.

Research from Illinois State University's Department of Economics is being used to support legislation increasing the statewide requirement for renewable energy sources, called the Renewable Portfolio Standard or RPS.

Enbridge Fined For Michigan Oil Spill

Jul 20, 2016

Enbridge Energy Partners will pay a $61 million penalty for the costliest inland oil spill in U.S. history under an agreement with federal officials.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice announced the settlement over a 2010 pipeline rupture near Marshall, Michigan, that released an estimated 843,000 gallons of crude oil.

A nearly 40-mile stretch of the Kalamazoo River was polluted as shoreline residents fled their homes.

Joan Brehm

MIKE McCURDY: This is Sound Ideas. I’m Mike McCurdy in the studio with Kevin Bersett, editor of ISU’s Redbird Scholar Magazine and the Ask An Expert column in the Redbird Scholar magazine. Thanks for joining us on Sound Ideas.

Ralph Weisheit

During a Bloomington council discussion of a complete streets policy, 4th Ward Alderman Amelia Buragas introduced two related resolutions. She said the resolutions to add transparency to a traffic committee and to hire a traffic engineer would complement a complete streets ordinance.

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