Become a fan on Facebook Follow us on Twitter USDA Blog Feed Watch USDA videos on YouTube Subscribe to receive e-mail updates View USDA Photos on Flickr Subscribe to RSS Feeds

Forest Service Partners with Wilderness Inquiry Program in D.C. Area

Wilderness Inquiry staff member Emily Walz leads a group in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area on the Superior National Forest, Minnesota

Wilderness Inquiry staff member Emily Walz leads a group in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area on the Superior National Forest, Minnesota

You don’t have to be in a lake or river, on a forest or in a wilderness area to participate in the outdoors.

If you live in a city, a fun and interesting outdoor experience can be right in your own backyard.

Through the Forest Service’s partnership with the Wilderness Inquiry’s Urban Wilderness Canoe Adventures program, hundreds of inner city youth from the Washington, D.C. area are exploring the beauty of the Anacostia River in voyageur canoes Oct. 23-27. Read more »

Feds Feed Families Helps End Hunger in Tennessee

The fourth annual Feds Feed Families food drive has come to a close and USDA employees helped to bolster local efforts to feed those in need in a big way.  USDA employees, farmers, and friends donated 2.77 million pounds of food this summer and the federal-government-wide total was 7.29 million pounds of food!  This week, USDA is recognizing the great work of its employees and community partners who volunteered to make the food drive a success.

Beyond donating much-needed perishable and non-perishable foods, USDA employees showed their generosity in other ways as well. As the Rural Development state office in Nashville, Tennessee demonstrated, donations of time can be very valuable in helping an organization in your community. Read more »

In South Dakota, Jackson County-Kadoka Economic Development Effort Moves Forward

With the assistance of a South Dakota USDA Rural Development Rural Business Enterprise Grant (RBEG), the Jackson County-Kadoka Economic Development Corporation is closer to its vision of assisting residents and businesses in achieving their full potential to increase economic security. The grant will allow the development corporation to establish a revolving loan fund to grow and retain local businesses.

“This project provides opportunity and resources to support services in Jackson County. The partnership with Jackson-Kadoka Economic Development shows what can be accomplished when government and entrepreneurs work together to bring increased economic stimulus and jobs to rural South Dakotans,” stated USDA Rural Development South Dakota State Director Elsie Meeks.  “The Obama Administration is committed to improving the lives of rural Americans, put people back to work and build thriving economies in rural communities.” Read more »

Forest Service and Partners Dedicate Improved Trail System in California

The Mary Road Bike Path gains nearly 1,000 feet of breathtaking elevation over 5.3 miles of Inyo National Forest land. US Forest Service photo.

The Mary Road Bike Path gains nearly 1,000 feet of breathtaking elevation over 5.3 miles of Inyo National Forest land. US Forest Service photo.

A ceremony Oct. 20 in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., marked the completion of a series of important federal, state, and locally funded trail projects, the official grand opening of the Mammoth Lakes Trail System, and the celebration of the agency partnerships that supported it. The project helped to create a network of trails from within the town of Mammoth Lakes going out to the surrounding public lands.

Several noteworthy long-term trails projects were honored including the completion of the Lakes Basin Path, and the wayfinding and interpretive signage that was installed along paths and trails in the area. Read more »

Prickly Plants Might Cleanse California Soil

Studies show prickly pear cactus could be a useful tool for absorbing unwanted selenium from soils in California’s San Joaquin Valley.

Studies show prickly pear cactus could be a useful tool for absorbing unwanted selenium from soils in California’s San Joaquin Valley.

This post is part of the Science Tuesday feature series on the USDA blog. Check back each week as we showcase stories and news from USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

It’s hard to believe that ancient seas once covered a large part of California’s San Joaquin Valley—until you check the soils. Read more »