State bird of Missouri and New York, symbol of happiness, poet's inspiration, and indicator of ecological health. All true of Siala sialis, a small thrush found in woodlands, farmlands, orchards - and your yard, if you're lucky and smart enough to offer them habitat.
Ann Earley and Bob Siemer are true friends and helpers of nature - also certified Master Naturalists. Missouri Prairie Foundation recently honored them with the Prairie Volunteer(s) of the Year Award, well deserved. Their knowledge of Bluebirds comes from keen, joyful observation and conserving care.
Ann and Bob are also members of the Missouri Bluebird Society, a feathered fan club about to hold their annual conference in St. Louis, July 12-14, 2019.
As we humans encroach on habitats of others, bluebird lore can inspire a more caring, savvy and careful approach - while singing!
Music: For Michael, performed live at KDHX by Brian Curran
Thanks to Andy Heaslet, Earthworms fine-feathered engineer
Related Earthworms Conversations: Purple Martins: America's Most Wanted Bird (May 2016) The Owl Man of Forest Park (2015)
Bluebird songs in the background courtesy of xeno-canto.
What does local food mean? And what do you need to know - and to prove - to grow capacity for local-food producers, and get their foods to an equitable range of eaters?
Missouri Coalition for the Environment is digging deep, strategically, into these questions, and raising a healthy crop of results! Two big ones are the launch of Known & Grown STL, a branding campaign to help progressive farmers working within 150 miles of St. Louis spread the word about their practices, their products and the sustainable principles grounding their work, and a Farm to Institution Feasibility Study.
Rae Miller (left), MCE's Local Food Coordinator, and Food & Farm Director Melissa Vatterott (right) lead a regional effort to better promote local foods and cultivate connections between farmers and consumers, at both individual and institutional scales. Developing data, partnerships and sound policy supporting Healthy Food Access is one of four areas of priority focus for the Coalition.
This Earthworms conversation is the first in a series that will celebrate MCE achievements and leadership during this 50th Anniversary year.
Music: Hunter's Permit, performed live at KDHX by Mister Sun
THANKS to Andy Heaslet, Earthworms green-savvy engineer
Related Earthworms Conversations:
Just 7 years back, in 2012, Green-hearted architects Frank and Gay Lorberbaum and woodworker Paul Krautman launched an enterprise for city kids. Into an on-loan school gym space, they hustled wood supplies and sets of tools to empower children to design and build: furniture for their rooms and problem-solving skills for their own bright futures, every single Saturday morning.
Today Building Futures continues Saturday workshop sessions, takes tools and skill-building out to schools, collaborates with neighboring writing and cultural groups, runs very cool summer camps, and more STEAM-based project learning - in their own well-equipped city studio building!
Earthworms talked in 2013 with BF students, one of whom is about to enter Ranken Technical College. Today we welcome back Mister Frank (Lorberbaum), and meet program manager Mister Lawrence (Prograis) and Mister Jay (Reeves), BF's board VP who will take the helm in August of Boat Building Camp. Before this interview, these guys worked with 300 school kids, a normally constructive BF day.
Building Futures Summer Camps are registering now. Triple Play camp for students entering grades 4-6 fills each day of camp week (July 8-12 and 22-26) with with Design & Build, Printmaking and Caribbean Festival Arts, as BF partners with neighboring arts groups. Boat Building Camp (July 29-August 2), open to children entering grades 4-8. Scholarships are abundantly available.
Congratulations to visionary leaders whose work building futures for urban children is creating structures with wood, in many lives. Could yours be touched too? Volunteer help is WELCOME!
Music: Big Piney Blues, performed live at KDHX by Brian Curran
THANKS to Andy Heaslet, Earthworms deep-Green engineer
Related Earthworms Conversations: The Big Book of Nature Activities (June 2016)