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An Illinois River Almanac

Jason Haupt's Energy and Environment Blog
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The Mind Mending Power of Nature

I am sure that no one will deny that nature is exceptionally beneficial. Trees and other plants provide oxygen; nature provides recreational opportunities and food for some. Access to water without rivers, streams, and lakes would be much more difficult. However, there are some much less tangible benefits to nature as well. Nature provides mental renewal, reduces healing time for patients in ho...

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Birds Bees and Wild Things: Sting Like a Bee

Posted by Jason Haupt -

Pollinators play a significant role in keeping habitats healthy and diverse. They are important to agriculture pollinating crops and help in ensuring a good healthy yield. When most people think of pollinators, their first thought is honeybees. However, there are so many more bees than just honey- bees (which are non-native) and more than 3,500 species of native bees in the United States with 2...

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Bird Bees and Wild Things: Float Like a Butterfly

If you read the first part of Birds Bees and Wild Things, you will remember that to attract birds to your yard; insects are an essential element of a bird's diet for part of the year. Attracting wildlife to your yard is an interconnected effort, and to attract all types of wildlife, you need to look at your yard as a habitat you have food, water, shelter, and space. When you are looking...

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Birds Bees and Wild Things: Feathered Friends

Attracting wildlife to your yard is something in which everyone seems to be interested. But knowing how to do this is what many people lack.  As you think about attracting wildlife to your yard, the first step is to start looking at your yard as a habitat. All habitats have four elements: water, shelter, food, and space. To attract and keep wildlife coming back all four elements must be readily...

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Radon Testing

Posted by Jason Haupt - Air Quality

It is that time of the year again - time to think about radon in your home. January is Radon Action Month, and is one of the best times to test your home for radon. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization both classify radon as a "Known Human Carcinogen." The U.S. EPA estimates that 21,000 lung cancer deaths...

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Trench Composting

Trench, Keyhole and Mound Gardening reuses plant materials. By Kelly Allsup

Guest author Kelly Allsup   Start your gardening endeavors this fall by using plant materials (organic matter) that you would normally put on the curb for pick-up. Whether you use the trench, keyhole, mound (also known as Hugelkultur) gardening methods, you will be creating a growing environment that requires no fertilizer, little irrigation and ideal for root growth. Fr...

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Happy Halloween

Historically nature was a dangerous place. The wild areas were where "evil" lived. Just take a look at the many fairy tales. The witch lived in the deep woods, the wolf was the bad guy and the vampire turns into a bat. So often the unknown turns into the aspects that need to be feared. But as I have written before, much of the "scary" parts of nature are also some of the most interesting....

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