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USDA Funding Helps Convert a Michigan School Building into Quality Senior Housing

Recently, a USDA Rural Development project received one of the 2011 Governor’s Awards for Historic Preservation from the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office.  The ceremony was held in the state Capitol rotunda and dozens of citizens and legislators from across the state turned out.

Michigan State Housing Development Authority Executive Director Gary Heidel opened the ceremony by noting the rich historic heritage of Michigan’s towns and cities and how the preservation of these sites is vital to keeping our state a place where people work, live and spend their leisure time. Read more »

Human Ecology Mapping and “All-Lands” Conservation

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 the USDA’s rich science and research portfolio.

U. S. Forest Service social scientist Lee Cerveny has carved out a special niche in the world of research. While her colleagues go into national forests and other protected areas to study things like trees and wildlife, she enters these natural environments to study humans – how they interact with and use a range of sites and resources.

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A North Dakota Community Lessens Arsenic Levels in its Water Supply with USDA Funding Support

Lidgerwood kindergarten students planting one of seven Hackberry trees donated by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Lidgerwood kindergarten students planting one of seven Hackberry trees donated by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

After a long, blizzard-filled winter, Earth Day was celebrated April 29 in Lidgerwood, North Dakota.  USDA Rural Development delivered the latest in a number of loans and grants to help offset the cost of a $1.58 million project to provide safe drinking water to the city.  Lidgerwood’s leaders first learned of arsenic in their water supply twenty-three years ago.  After a number of other methods failed to solve the problem, the city eventually joined a regional rural water district.  Rural Development North Dakota State Director, Jasper Schneider said the USDA is proud to partner with the city and other funding sources to make safe and reliable water a reality for its 700 citizens. Read more »

Recipes for Healthy Kids Advances; Judges Visit Greeley, Colo., School

Cross posted from the Let’s Move! blog:

On April 26, I had the pleasure of visiting Harold S. Winograd School in Greeley, Colo., to kick off the judging for the First Lady’s Recipes for Healthy Kids competition. As I arrived at the school, I could feel the excitement, enthusiasm, and deep pride among the students and staff.

The students greeted us at the entrance of the school, dressed in professional-looking aprons embroidered with their names, and crisp, white chef hats. Four 8th-grade students – Jace, Bethany, Abraham, Amairani – along with local chef Amanda Smith, Kara Sample, RD, SNS, the administrative dietitian for Weld County School District 6, and Emily Wigington an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer, developed the recipe of Chic’ Penne, one of 15 semi-finalist recipes from around the country. Read more »

Healthy Students, Healthy Schools, Cultivating Communities of Wellness

Dr. Kevin Concannon (left), Undersecretary, Food Consumer and Nutrition Services,  Dr. Elizabeth Hagen (center), Undersecretary, Food Safety and Emily Wise (right), a fifth grade student at Maryland City Elementary School in Laurel, MD, discuss the plants native to Maryland that will be going into the school garden. Undersecretary Concannon and Undersecretary Hagen were at Maryland City Elementary for the USDA, Food Safety Inspection Service, Food Safety Education Camp on Thursday, May 5, 2011. USDA Photo by  Bob Nichols.

Kevin Concannon (left), Under Secretary, Food Consumer and Nutrition Services, Dr. Elisabeth Hagen (center), Under Secretary for Food Safety and Emily Wise (right), a fifth grade student at Maryland City Elementary School in Laurel, MD, discuss the plants native to Maryland that will be going into the school garden. Undersecretary Concannon and Undersecretary Hagen were at Maryland City Elementary for the USDA, Food Safety Inspection Service, Food Safety Education Camp on Thursday, May 5, 2011. USDA Photo by Bob Nichols.

For most kids, summer vacation means picnics, parks and play. But for some children, summer vacation can, unfortunately, mean going hungry. Anne Arundel County Public Schools in Maryland understand this harsh reality and have taken steps to keep children fed during the summer months. Read more »

Secretary Vilsack Addresses Tribal Leaders at the Department of Energy’s Tribal Energy Summit

On Wednesday May 4th, Secretary Tom Vilsack joined tribal leaders to discuss energy opportunities across Indian Country at the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Tribal Energy Summit here in Washington, DC. The event was a culmination of Energy Roundtables that had taken place across the country over the past few months and provided an opportunity for tribal leaders to hear from cabinet officials about energy programs across the United States Government. Read more »