The Rosenwald Schools

The Rosenwald Schools

One philanthropist built thousands of schools for African-Americans in the era of Jim Crow. (Photos: EHT Traceries) As our nation struggles to address a record of racial conflicts and challenges, we may gain encouragement by reflecting on positive stories of the past....
Keeping America Beautiful

Keeping America Beautiful

This week, Lighting Update welcomes its new writer, Warren Brown. Along with appearances of some guest writers, Warren will now be the regular writer of Lightning Update. Warren had an illustrious career with the National Park Service, including as the Chief of Park...
Lifelong Learning and Gratitude

Lifelong Learning and Gratitude

Last week’s Lighting Update shared some reflections on “pushing boundaries.” In part II of some closing observations, I feel compelled to write of the lessons and people who have taught me as a conservationist. Where does a whole landscape sensibility come from? How...
Pushing Boundaries

Pushing Boundaries

After writing weekly Lightning Updates for almost three years, I’m about to enter a new post-full-time-job phase of life. Perhaps you will pardon my using this and next week’s updates for some personal observations. Here’s part I. I’ve been reflecting on forty years...
Location. Location. Location.

Location. Location. Location.

Yes, there are enough optimal siting locations for solar panels to avoid impacts on important natural and agricultural lands. (Photos: Chesapeake Conservancy) Recent Lightning Updates focused on aspects of the climate crisis. Today’s is on one major climate mitigation...
Intelligence Report

Intelligence Report

The National Intelligence Council’s new quadrennial report sets out trends shaping the future. Climate change and the environment play a big role. (Image: National Intelligence Council) Last week we featured how little attention was given to climate change by...
Covering the Climate Crisis

Covering the Climate Crisis

If the public discourse about climate change is influenced by broadcast TV networks, how did the networks cover the climate crisis in 2020? (Graphic: Melissa Joskow / Media Matters) As conservationists, we tend to think about the climate crisis fairly often. After...
Maryland Goes Big for Open Space

Maryland Goes Big for Open Space

The Maryland General Assembly just passed a fiscal year 2022 budget with substantial funding increases for parks and open space. (Photo: Annapolis.gov) Late last week, the Maryland General Assembly overwhelmingly passed a $52.4 billion state budget for fiscal year...
Advancing 30 by 30

Advancing 30 by 30

Sharing Perspectives with Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland In late January, President Biden issued an Executive Order (14008) on “Tackling Climate Change at Home and Abroad.” Within the order, the President set out a goal of conserving at least 30...
The Urgency of Urban Green Space

The Urgency of Urban Green Space

The image above is a screen shot from a compelling short video about the urgency of urban green space. (Photo/Video: The Washington Post) In one neighborhood on the west side of Chicago, the county and the state of Illinois spent at least $238 million over five years...