Created with Sketch.
Houston and Nature
38 minutes | a month ago
11: The Magical World of Houston Squirrels, With Kelsey Low
Even though squirrels are a very visible form of Houston wildlife, we know little about them. Were you aware, for instance, that their brain shrinks and increases in size with the seasons, and that far from being pests, they are crucial to forest ecosystems? Kelsey Low of the Houston Arboretum has studied our squirrels in depth. She'll tell you what's cool about them and what they do to survive. Most importantly, she'll make you appreciate these little rodents in an entirely new way. For transcripts and other resources, visit https://houstonnature.com/houston-squirrels or https://houstonnature.com/11
56 minutes | 3 months ago
10: Prepared for Life? The Boy Scouts of America, With James Sy
Boy Scouts of America promises young men, and now also women, exciting nature experiences and preparation for life as adults. Do they live up to the promise? What’s it like to grow up among the Scouts? Is being an Eagle Scout really as special as some people say? For answers to those questions I turned to Eagle Scout James Sy, who gave me his unvarnished view on the good, the bad, and the great about being a member of Boy Scouts of America. Find episode transcript and resources at: https://houstonnature.com/9
49 minutes | 4 months ago
09: Enchanting Children With Nature: A Teacher’s Tale, With Mary Ann Beauchemin
When it comes to drawing children and teenagers into nature, Mary Ann Beauchemin of Russ Pitman Park is an expert. After earning a Master’s degree in outdoors education in Oregon, she taught generations of young Houstonians how to turn over logs, use bug boxes and marvel at critters. And in the process she bolstered their other skills, from poetry and sketching to the scientific method. Here she explains why it is so important to introduce children to the outdoors at an early age and describes her best strategies for doing so. Find episode transcript and resources at https://houstonnature.com/9
51 minutes | 6 months ago
08: Exploration Green – It’s How You Build Beauty, Nature and Flood Control, With Jerry Hamby
Exploration Green is a beautiful park in flood-prone Clear Lake. The Green functions as a giant detention pond. But it is so much more: a space that welcomes wildlife, a refuge from the hustle of city life, an opportunity for volunteers to make friends and learn about nature. My guest is Jerry Hamby, a lead volunteer at Exploration Green. He tells us how this park has come about, why it means so much to him, and why he will leave it in just a short period of time. For show notes and transcript, go to https://houstonnature.com/8
50 minutes | 7 months ago
07: Houston’s Permaculture Scene, with Shawn McFarland
The Houston permaculture community is lively. And chances are, you’ve heard of their innovative approach towards gardening. But, as you’ll learn from veteran expert Shawn McFarland, permaculture goes far beyond orchards and vegetable beds. It can be applied, she says, to business, architecture, and how you live your life. As a consequence, it lends itself to re-imagining how we function as a society. Find out how it may transform you.
57 minutes | 8 months ago
06: So You Can Heal from Poison: Jackie Young, the San Jacinto Waste Pits, and Other Toxic Sites
The San Jacinto Waste Pits may be Houston’s best-known Superfund site. The chemicals they harbor are at constant risk of leeching out and poisoning both nearby residents and Houston’s seafood supply. But the Pits are not the only toxic site. As my guest Jackie Young Medcalf will tell you, there is a noxious ground water plume on Jones Road in Northwest Houston and a creosote plume in Greater Fifth Ward. She is dedicated to getting all these sites cleaned up. Her goal is to bring justice to the communities they have poisoned. It’s been close to a decade since she entered this fight. For the past five years she’s been able to count on support from her organization THEA, the Texas Health and Environment Alliance. Find out how Young Medcalf found her way into the environmental justice movement and how she grew up within it. I bet you’ll walk away with this impression: When it comes to environmental justice, Young Medcalf is simply relentless.
59 minutes | 10 months ago
05: The Next Houston Hurricane May Be Worse Than Harvey – Let’s Get Ready!
We face serious danger from Houston hurricane. I’m not talking about just any old storm, but one that originates in the Gulf of Mexico, rides up the Houston Ship Channel and destroys our petrochemical complex. Several thousand tanks filled with toxic substances might buckle and spill their contents into the environment. This would poison our area for decades to come. Let's prevent that. Terence O’Rourke of the Harris County Attorney explains the threat, why we have no protection in place and what we can do to get us to safety. Resources: One-pager by the University of Boulder, Colorado, presenting the problem. The Ike Dike, presented by Texas A&M University. Video explainer of Galveston Bay Park. Brochure of Galveston Bay Park by the architecture firm Rogers Partners.
44 minutes | a year ago
04: This Prairie Chicken Will Make Your Heart Quicken: Fighting Species Extinction
A hundred years ago, you could see the Attwater’s Prairie Chicken all across the Texas Gulf Coast. And on mornings during spring mating season, you'd hear thousands of males call out for females. The soundscape they wove was quintessentially Texan – you just couldn't find it anywhere else. Today fewer than two hundred prairie chickens are left, and saving the species from extinction is an uphill battle. But John Magera, who manages the Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge, is ready to fight. Hear him tell me about his motivations, his admiration for the men and women who started the captive breeding program, and the preciousness of this vulnerable bird.
43 minutes | a year ago
03: What’s It Like to Be a Honeybee?
The honeybee is an amazing little creature. It provides us with essential goods and services - honey, wax, and pollination - and is even more social than we humans are. Curious to find out how a honeybee society runs itself, I reached out to Carlisle Vandervoort, a movie producer and beekeeper from Houston’s Heights neighborhood. Carlisle told me about the delights of beekeeping, mile-high drone comets, queen bee servitude, and the profound gratitude these small insects inspire.
44 minutes | a year ago
02: The Green Wealth That's in the Texas Prairie
Glance at the Texas prairie, and all you see is grass and weeds. Look again, and you begin to appreciate the opportunity it holds for all of us: New income streams from carbon storage for ranchers and a slow-down in global warming for the rest of us. It’s win-win all around, courtesy of the circular economy. To find out how it works, I spoke with environmental lawyer Jim Blackburn of Rice University's Baker Institute. He describes the risks we currently face, the new economic model that may help us, and the central role the Texas prairie plays in all of this.
43 minutes | a year ago
01: The Houston Environmental Community
Greater Houston is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the United States and growing. To give us a sense of the challenges this poses to the Houston environmental movement, I invited Jaime Gonzállez, the Houston Healthy Cities Program Director at the Nature Conservancy in Texas. We'll discuss how the coronavirus may impact our attitude towards nature, what Houston's environmental community looks like and how it differs from other cities, what influence philanthropic organizations have had, and how the environmental community might match our region's growing ethnic diversity.
Terms of Service
Do Not Sell My Personal Information
© Stitcher 2021