At the USDA Earth Day outdoor classroom in Boardman, Oregon, last month, USDA program technician Renee Robinson tests the children on what they’ve learned about saving energy at home. USDA photo.
Last month, USDA Rural Development employees and several partner organizations donated their Saturday to celebrate Earth Day with elementary and middle school-aged children at the Castle Rock farm worker housing complex in Boardman, Oregon.
Volunteers from Energy Trust of Oregon, CASA of Oregon, Sustainable Agriculture and Energy (SAGE) Center, Wind Turbine Industries Corporation, and Kardon Construction joined USDA to lead a variety of interactive educational activities about energy conservation and renewable energy alternatives. Read more »
Secretary Vilsack renewed an historic agreement to accelerate the adoption of innovative waste-to-energy projects & energy efficiency improvements on U.S. dairy farms
Cross posted from The Huffington Post:
U.S. dairy producers are leading the way in productivity and innovation when it comes to sustainable practices. Earlier this afternoon, I joined Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy CEO Tom Gallagher to renew an historic agreement with the dairy industry to lower greenhouse gas emissions and to accelerate the adoption of innovative waste-to-energy projects on U.S. dairy farms which help producers diversify revenues and reduce utility expenses on their operations. Today’s extension of the Memorandum of Understanding is an acknowledgement of the dairy industry’s legacy of stewardship and its ongoing commitment to improve our farms. Read more »
Twenty schools registered as GreenSchools! through the Project Learning Tree/U.S. Forest Service program are among 64 schools and 14 school districts honored April 22 as by the U.S. Department of Education as a Green Ribbon School.
The Education Department gave the awards for the schools’ exemplary efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs, promote better health, and ensure effective environmental education, including civics and green career pathways.
The schools were confirmed from a pool of candidates voluntarily nominated by 32 state education agencies. The list includes 54 public and 10 private schools. More than half serve a student body more than 40 percent of which is eligible for free and reduced price lunch. Read more »
Engineer checking a flowmeterand V-notch weir on a dairy farm in California.
Earth Day is one of our favorite days at USDA Rural Development because we get to showcase the important work that we do to improve water quality for millions of rural Americans. As a part of our Earth Day Celebration this year, USDA Rural Development is announcing 43 projects that will bring new and improved water and waste disposal service to rural communities in 32 states.
For example, one of the projects we’re announcing is in Texas. Buffalo Gap, a rural community outside of Abilene will construct a first-ever wastewater collection system. The community currently is all-septic. The funds will allow construction of sewer lines, manholes, lift station and cleanouts. The system will collect sewage and pump it to Abilene’s wastewater treatment plant. This is just one example of a small community doing big things to help its residents this Earth Day. Read more »
The Upper St. Croix Watershed was the centerpiece of an Earth Day celebration last month in the community of Solon Springs, Wisconsin.
Solon Springs and the Solon Springs School District commemorated the completion of a new and expanded wastewater treatment facility with ceremonies at both the Solon Springs School, and the site of the new treatment facility.
“The Upper St. Croix watershed impacts the quality of water resources from Lake Superior to the Gulf of Mexico,” said Stan Gruszynski, USDA Rural Development State Director. “The citizens of Solon Springs deserve to be commended for their civic-mindedness and willingness to make the investment in a clean environment and responsible stewardship of one of our most critical resources….water!” Read more »
Speaking to a room full of happy citizens in Westmoreland County, Rural Utilities Service Administrator Jonathan Adelstein congratulated them on the new sewer extension project that will be a real game changer for their community. “I am proud to mark Earth Day 2012 with this partnership between Rural Development and the Community and it is infrastructure projects like this that ensures that rural communities have their basic needs met in terms of clean water and modern, up-to-date sewer facilities,” said Adelstein. The ceremony highlighted the new $5.6 million dollar regional sewer extension project that will upon completion provide over 450 new homes and numerous businesses in the area with connectivity to the Coles Point wastewater treatment plant.
Also speaking at the event, Mr. Darryl Fisher-Chairman of the Westmoreland Board of Supervisor and local business owner said, “We would not be able to move forward in this community without this critical assistance. We have several areas of the community where land just would not be suitable for individual septic systems to construct homes and businesses and this new extension will provide us viable options for the future of this region. Read more »