Conservancy Blog

Conservancy Blog

Out of Hibernation: Celebrating Groundhog Day

Groundhog Day is a fun celebration for us humans each year, as we dream of spring, yet often cling to winter’s rest. But in nature, the real Groundhog Day is a serious matter for male groundhogs, who leave their winter dens in late February to scout out females and ensure other males are not...

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Over-seasoned: Our Taste for Salt Is Killing Our Freshwater Ecosystems

The American palate has developed a taste for salt, not only in our diets—to the detriment of our blood pressure—but also, in standard consumeristic fashion, in a cornucopia of markets that promise to make our lives easier. We soften our household water with salt, coat our crop fields and pastures with salt-laced fertilizers and compost, and deice our roads, bridges and parking lots with rock salt and brine. The widespread and intense use of salt is now threatening our streams and rivers, marshes and ponds, and even groundwater—freshwater resources that were never meant to be so salty.
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Invasive Species Spotlight: Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus)

Euonymus alatus is commonly known as burning bush because of its almost neon-red fall color. While this quality—combined with its low maintenance—has made the shrub an ornamental staple in suburban landscaping, it has also become far too common in the woodlands of the eastern United...

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Poison Ivy vs. Look-alike Species

Chances are most nature goers will experience the dreaded poison ivy rash at least once in their lifetime. Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) is a native plant that is valued by wildlife—humans are one of the few species vulnerable to its “poison.” The easiest way to avoid the painfully itchy reaction is to steer clear of the plant. Learn about a few common look-alike species that are often confused for poison ivy or download a handy field guide to take with you during your next nature walk.
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