Thursday, November 29, 2007

ENV: I and the Bird #63

From Mike Bergin at 10,000 Birds:

A green belt as a fashion accessory tends to clash with most outfits. As a product of land use policy, however, a greenbelt is pretty awesome. Greenbelts are undeveloped swathes of land, usually within urban areas, designated to stay wild, partially wild, or agricultural. Zones like these add a great deal to the cities enlightened enough to protect them. Greenbelts help to regulate air quality, reduce soil erosion, protect waterways from polluted runoff, recharge groundwater supplies, and lower energy consumption and summer air temperatures by mitigating the urban heat island effect. Not only do greenspaces deliver the passive economic benefits of improved property value, worker productivity, and consumer interest in local businesses, but they also provide venues for active forms of recreation including hiking, biking, and, of course, birding. Long, continuous stretches of woods and water also offer a cornucopia of physical, mental, and emotional health benefits. They protect critical habitat from destruction, animals from accidents, and cities from sprawl.

Clearly, greenbelts are good things. The Greenbelt, home of The Ridger, certainly is. The Ridger is no stranger to I and the Bird; not only is she a frequent contributor but she also hosted I and the Bird #44. Now she's back with a tasty and terrific Thanksgiving edition of I and the Bird #63.

While we're on the subject of good things, birds are mighty good. So are blogs. Put the two together and good gives way to freaking great. If you're purveying some freaking great bird blogging, share it with the readers of I and the Bird. Our next fine host is Moe of Iowa Voice so send a link and summary to your finest recent bird-themed post to me or Moe (moe AT iowavoice DOT com) by Tuesday, December 11.

While we're talking about bird blogging, we've been giving away copies of the massive BIRD: The Definitive Visual Guide. The deadline for the next giveaway is TOMORROW! Send us your original essay of at least 250 and no more than 750 words in praise of a single bird species. Photos of up to 400 pixels in width are welcome as long as you the author have rights to the images. The title of the post must be "In Praise of (SPECIES)" with content suitable for an audience of all ages. We'll be posting each essay and running some kind of vote. The winner will get a free copy of BIRD but we'll all get to enjoy some exceptional essays. The competition is pretty steep but don't be daunted... send me your essay ASAP.

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