Archive for the ‘news’ Category

Explore the Chicago River, One Click at a Time

Posted by EcoMyths Alliance on

— by Betsy Hands, director of outreach and community relations, Friends of the Chicago River

FriendsChicagoRiver-Explore-map

Click to learn about all the potential fun and intrigue along this gem of an urban river.

Outdoor adventurers and map enthusiasts, take note: Friends of the Chicago River has unveiled a new tech-savvy tool to navigate the ever expanding array of recreational and entertainment options throughout the city and highlight restoration work along the river. Explore Chicago River is an interactive website that functions as your guide to any and everything the Chicago River has to offer.

Want to know the nearest place to launch your boat, or the best place to grab a cool drink and a bite to eat while taking in the city architecture and boats along the river, or even a little history of the bridges that span the urban canyons of downtown? All of this and more will be a click away on Explore the Chicago River’s easy-to-navigate map. While scrolling through the map you can discover the Chicago River like never before, from finding a park or preserve in your area to uncovering the rich history of Chicago along the banks.

Along with innumerable recreational and entertainment options, the map will showcase the tireless work Friends and its partners do to restore the Chicago River, including events, active restoration sites, and the many successes that have made the river the more beautiful and hospitable waterway that it is today.

All of this and more is just a click away! So go ahead: Make Explore the Chicago River your own personal tour guide of this unique waterway.

What’s Your Question?

Posted by Daisy Simmons on

Flickr/Moe

Nosy, er, inquiring minds want to know: What environmental questions do you have?

Leave a comment below or drop us a quick line with your most burning Qs about the environment, and we’ll sniff out the answer for ya.

 

 

 

 

It’s On! (Our Curriculum Pilot, That Is)

Posted by Daisy Simmons on

Across the country, classroom chalkboards are once again filling up with fresh ideas. So in honor of the new school year and our own big news, we decided to share a happy update of our own—from our chalkboard to yours…Curriculum-update

Ladies and gents, we’ve got a pilot! And we’ve begun collaborating with schools to test and refine it. (more…)

Toledo 411: Fast Facts on Water Pollution

Posted by Daisy Simmons on
Talk about a scary post to read at 1:21 am.. (Via Facebook)

Talk about a scary post to read at 1:21 am.. (Via Facebook)

Desperate times call for desperate measures…such as when the city issues an “URGENT NOTICE” on Facebook in the middle of the night, warning you not to drink the water—even if boiled!—and you find yourself high-tailing it to the 7-11 at 2 a.m. to buy all the bottled water you can carry before it sells out across Toledo in the morning.

Yes, while filtered tap water may be the general eau de choice environmentally speaking, disasters like the recent contamination in western Lake Erie leave us with little choice but to hit the proverbial bottle. (more…)

DIY Behind-the-Scenes Tours Around Chicago

Posted by Daisy Simmons on

Don’t worry, it’s totally natural to feel a little envy…if you didn’t win one of the beyond cool auction items from last month’s Naturally Funny Gala. Featuring behind-the-scene tours of eight of incredible spots around town dreamed up by our partners, the prizes included everything from a Field Museum-led birding expedition to a unique twist on your typical architectural tour from DePaul.

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You have to admit it’s kind of awesome that Suzanne W. of the Wetlands Initiative, which also contributed a tour, won the Brushwood prize.

So, in hopes of making us all a winner of sorts, we decided to come up with simple DIY versions of these truly inspired tours.  (more…)

The Naturally Funny Gala: Be There or Be…Less Amused

Posted by Daisy Simmons on

Please join us for what’s sure to be a memorable evening of eco-inspired hilarity: EcoMyths’ Naturally Funny Gala on Tuesday, April 8 at Second City’s UP theatre. Proceeds will support our innovative new science curriculum, which is being produced in partnership with the National Wildlife Federation and Second City, and will include environmental myth-busting for middle school and high school kids, classroom lessons, and outdoor activities. It will also include video shorts acted and produced by the professional funny people at Second City.

During the cocktail hour, volunteers will conduct a “roving” silent auction featuring behind-the-scenes tours at our various partner institutions. Then we will have a short presentation, including short videos, and a Dutch auction (paddle raise). The evening will cap off with a naturally hilarious 1-hour improv show by Second City.

Get your tix below!

(more…)

Make Like a Film Fest Insider: 5 New Nature Docs to Catch Now

Posted by Daisy Simmons on

Wild-Scenic-fest-posterAnd the winner of best picture in the green film category goes to…wait, what? You haven’t seen any environmental documentaries this year? Now’s your chance. Fresh off a weekend of reveling in eco-inspired cinema at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival in Nevada City, California, I’ve got your fest-fresh picks right here.

First, I’ll just say it: Depending on the subject, eco-flicks can be a buzz-kill (which is kind of inevitable when you’re talking about things like poaching endangered species, destroying pristine wilderness, and getting scary sick from a host of sketchy contaminants…) Still, many of these films provide ample reason to hope for a better tomorrow, if enough people come together to make a change.

The trick in my book is to know what to expect before you go, so you can mentally prepare for a potentially complex range of feelings. As such, I’ve included a handy “mood clue” in each of the following reviews, as well as One Green Thing you can do to help turn the tide.

Without further ado, here’s a brief guide to the genre’s latest and greatest. (more…)

What’s in a Name? At Ryerson Woods Org, Plenty

Posted by Daisy Simmons on

Ryerson Woods in Deerfield, Illinois, has earned its reputation as one of the region’s most unique and important conservation areas, with many thanks for its continued success owed to the support of our partner group, the Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods.

What’s that you say—what happened to the “friends”? Yes, you probably know the organization under its former name, Friends of Ryerson Woods, which began as a small, volunteer-based organization in 1984. In celebration of its upcoming 30th year anniversary, the nonprof decided to take the plunge and update its name to something it deemed more fitting.

We caught up with executive director Sophie Twichell for a little intel on that and more: (more…)

Killer Whale Flick Inspires New Questions

Posted by Jessica Walsh on

As the lights started to dim at a recent screening of Blackfish, I suddenly wondered what kind of cinematic experience I had gotten myself into.

"Why would a highly intelligent animal attack its trainer – in effect, bite the hand that feeds it?" That question spurred the making of Blackfish.

“Why would a highly intelligent animal attack its trainer – in effect, bite the hand that feeds it?” This question inspired Blackfish.

I’d read that at the 2013 Sundance film festival, CNN Films and Magnolia Pictures had partnered to acquire the U.S. rights to this action-packed documentary about killer whale attacks. I knew Variety had dubbed it “a mesmerizing psychological thriller,” while the Hollywood Reporter had called it a “emotionally powerful.” But what came next, I did not expect…. (more…)