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  • London’s a real hoot after dark, say twitchers:: This article discusses another aspect of London nightlife, the owls. Owl Prowl, taking place in August is run by the the London Wildlife Trust and aims to survey urban owls to raise awareness of the city’s owl population.
  • Troops called in to scare storks with eye contact:: A fascinating article about a conflict between birds and an air show and a creative, non-violent solution found where people stared at the storks making them uncomfortable enough to leave the area.
  • ‘Weeds’: In Defense Of Botany’s Cockroach:: This NPR story features a look at a new book by British nature author Richard Mabey and discusses the resilience of weeds in post-industrial wastelands and war sites. He also discusses that if we understood the ecology of plants a little better, we may have a better response to those that cause us trouble.
  • Greening the City, One Rain Barrel at a Time:: Chicago is growing their Sustainable Backyard Program by offering rebates to homeowners who install compost bins, rain barrels or plant native plants and trees. They recently hit a milestone of 100 participants in the program.
  • “Nature Trails” is newest addition to Chicago’s urban landscape:: A new garden at a nature museum in Chicago provides somewhere for city dwellers to get a taste of nature in the city. The garden features savannas, wetlands and woodlands with native plants.
  • City Habitat:: This interesting post from the Backyard and Beyond blog features a weedy patch in the city where cicada wasps were nesting on the ground.
  • In Philadelphia, a Garden Grows Wild:: From the New York Times this article discusses the certified habitat garden of a landscape architect and how she successfully challenged a citing from the city proving the plants weren’t ‘weeds’ by providing their botanical names and stating they were native.
  • Landscape tour set for Aug. 3:: The interesting part about this story isn’t the tour, but the fact that that tour highlights landscapes which were winners of the Landscape Ecology Awards Program. This program sounds like a great idea which could be adopted by many groups, organizations or municipalities.
  • Maine filmmaker has eyes on the skies:: This film looks interesting because it addresses the affect of light pollution on wildlife.
  • Trout creek getting makeover in Allentown:: Wildlands Conservancy is restoring a 1.5 mile stretch of an urban creek by removing invasive plants and trying to restore the banks.
  • New York – Empire of Evolution:: A fascinating article about a group of field biologists studying urban evolution in New York and the impact of pollution, human activity and introduced species.


  • Britain and Ireland’s Best Wild Places: 500 Essential Journeys:: This book review from The Ecologist features a book which as first glance may appear to only cover wild places, but impressively the author recognizes the value of urban habitat and also features it in this book. “The wild waits for us everywhere – in the crack of a paving stone, in the crash of seas against cliffs, on a lonely moor, between the bricks of a sheepfold wall.”
  • The built environment – biodiversity and ecosystems – A guide for planners, architects and businesses:: An interesting blog post which features the UK’s White Paper, ‘The Natural Choice’, and discusses the biodiversity measures and how they can be incorporated into design and development.
  • School of Ants:: A new citizen science project from North Carolina State University aims to map urban ants around the country. You can fill out a form and receive a kit to sample ants in your neighborhood and send them back. I just got my kit this week and look forward to participating.


  • Let’s Re-Make: Bat Houses:: An interesting project “made and installed a network of bat houses in Urbana, Illinois, to support the local and regional bat population, but also to begin a conversation about re-making the built environment.”
  • Denver Botanical Gardens – An arid/dry Green Roof:: This case study features a green roof which includes over 1oo plants and flowers common to the steppe landscapes of the southwest.
  • Manhattan’s Newest River:: A New York Times article which features this interesting 400 square foot rain garden growing in only 8″ of soil. The garden contains native plants which attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
  • Wildlife City:: This fascinating design idea from the Trust for Urban Ecology and BTCV in the UK features habitat towers, amphibian hibernacula, hedgehog and duck nesting boxes, native plants and a wetland pond.
  • Can art save the planet? New eco-cultural movement has its roots in the peninsula:: An interesting article highlighting recent contributions of artists providing solutions to real environmental problems and challenges. It discusses how some environmental artists have gone from simple awareness of issues and ecology to being a real player in problem solving and collaboration.
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Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner

Kelly Brenner is a naturalist, writer and photographer based in Seattle. She is the author of NATURE OBSCURA: A City’s Hidden Natural World from Mountaineers Books. She writes freelance articles about natural history and has bylines in Crosscut, Popular Science, National Wildlife Magazine and others. On the side she writes fiction. Kelly holds a bachelors degree in landscape architecture from the University of Oregon and a certificate in non-fiction writing from the University of Washington.

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