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    $2.8 Million in Grants Awarded in New England to Improve the Health of Long Island Sound | US EPA – U.S. - December 10, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    News Releases from Region 01Twenty-four grants awarded to projects in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont



    Long Island Sound Watershed, New York (December 7, 2020) Today, top federal and state environmental officials from New England announced 24 grants totaling $2.8 million to local governments, nongovernmental organizations and community groups to improve Long Island Sound. The grants are matched by $2.3 million from the grantees resulting in $5.1 million in funding for conservation around the Long Island Sound watershed.

    Work funded through the Long Island Sound Futures Fund (LISFF) has shown how projects led by local groups and communities make a difference in improving water quality and restoring habitat around the Long Island Sound watershed. The grant program combines funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF).

    "Long Island Sound is vital to local communities, economies and ecosystems, and these grants will greatly benefit the Sound for years to come," said EPA New England Regional Administrator Dennis Deziel. "Protecting and restoring Long Island Sound requires a watershed-wide approach and EPA is proud to again support diverse and innovative projects in five of the states that comprise the Sound's watershed."

    The LISFF 2020 grants will reach more than 670,000 residents through environmental education programs and conservation projects. Water quality improvement projects will treat 5.4 million gallons of stormwater, install 23,000-square-feet of green infrastructure and prevent 3,000 pounds of nitrogen from entering Long Island Sound. The projects will also open 3.7 river miles and restore 108 acres of coastal habitat for fish and wildlife.

    Representative Rosa DeLauro, Co-chair of the Long Island Sound Caucus, added: "The Long Island Sound is one of our most treasured natural resources, and it is vital that we continue to support programs and services that maintain its health and vitality. Having grown up on its shores, the Sound has always held a special place with me, and I am so proud to have the opportunity to work to ensure that its beaches and waters remain places for children and families to enjoy. We have made extraordinary strides, but issues with sewer overflows, stormwater runoff, and other climate change issues challenge us to do more and so we will. As one of the Long Island Sound Caucus leaders, and the incoming Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, which is the committee that has jurisdiction over all discretionary funding, I am thrilled to have helped provide this funding for a revitalized Long Island Sound. I remain committed to working with NFWF and EPA and with my Congressional colleagues, and the many Long Island Sound advocates here today doing this critical conservation work."

    "The Long Island Sound is a regional and national treasure, as well as a critical economic, recreational and environmental resource. The $3.8 million investment in these 38 programs throughout the Long Island Sound Watershed will allow us to continue to improve the health and vitality of the Sound" said Representative Lee Zeldin, Co-Chair of the Long Island Sound Caucus. "These community projects will make a real difference in continuing our progress towards cleaning up Long Island Sound. The partnerships funded by today's grants show our commitment to the health of the Sound and to ensuring that our children and grandchildren can enjoy it for generations to come."

    "In the last 15 years, we have made incredible strides reducing nitrogen loads, restoring habitat, improving water quality, and involving and educating the public about the Long Island Sound. That progress is a direct result of smart investments and an all hands-on deck approach from stakeholders. This $3.8 million investment shows we are committed to protecting the future health and waterways of the Long Island Sound," said Representative Thomas Suozzi, Co-Chair of the Long Island Sound Caucus. "The Long Island Sound is our 'National Park.' I grew up swimming and fishing here, and I've raised my children in and around the bays and harbors of the Long Island Sound. Preserving and protecting our most precious resource has, and always will be, a priority of mine. As Co-chair of the Long Island Sound Caucus, I have helped increase funding for the Long Island Sound by 500% since I have been in Congress and I will keep fighting to protect the Sound and all its beauty."

    "Estuaries and their surrounding lands and waters represent some of the most productive ecosystems in the world," said Jeff Trandahl, executive director and CEO of NFWF. "Through 15 years of grant-making, the Long Island Sound Futures Fund has supported projects to improve the Sound by fostering environmental stewardship and public awareness and education, restoring habitat for fish and wildlife, preventing pollution, and enhancing the resilience of coastal communities."

    The Long Island Sound Study initiated the LISFF in 2005 through the EPA's Long Island Sound Office and NFWF. Prior to this year's grants, the LISFF invested $23 million in 450 projects. The program has generated an additional $40 million in grantee match, for a total conservation impact of $63 million for regional and local projects. The projects have added 105 river miles for fish passage, restored 773 acres of critical fish and wildlife habitat, treated 200 million gallons of pollution, and educated and engaged 3 million people in protection and restoration of the Sound. For more information about LISFF accomplishments follow the link to Long Island Sound 15 Years of Conservation Success (PDF) (30 pp, 7.7 MB, About PDF).Exit

    "Investing in our coastal marshes pays off -- they protect property and infrastructure from flooding, provide clean water, and support fishery, recreation and tourism industries," said Sharon Marino, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service North Atlantic-Appalachian assistant regional director. "We're pleased to contribute funding to projects this year that will also help the saltmarsh sparrow, a bird whose drastic declines demand urgent efforts to save our salt marshes. Together, we can begin to turn the tide for this species and others."

    "Connecticut DEEP is committed to preserving and protecting Long Island Sound and the rivers that flow to it for the benefit of all who live, work, and recreate in its watershed," said Katie Dykes, Commissioner, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. "This year, we are honored to celebrate the awarding of over $1.8 million in grants to 16 recipients in Connecticut, which also leverage over $1.45 million in local funding. These projects will protect and improve the health of Long Island Sound by promoting habitat restoration, equitable access to the outdoors, sustainable resilient communities, and water quality improvements."

    Long Island Sound is an estuary that provides economic and recreational benefits to millions of people while also providing habitat for more than 1,200 invertebrates, 170 species of fish and dozens of species of migratory birds.

    The grant projects contribute to a healthier Long Island Sound for everyone, from nearby area residents to those at the furthest reaches of the Sound. All 9 million people who live, work and play in the watershed impacting the Sound can benefit from and help build on the progress that has already been made.

    About the National Fish and Wildlife FoundationChartered by Congress in 1984, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) protects and restores the nation's fish, wildlife, plants and habitats. Working with federal, corporate and individual partners, NFWF has funded more than 5,000 organizations and generated a total conservation impact of $6.1 billion. Learn more at Exit

    About the Long Island Sound StudyThe Long Island Sound Study, developed under the EPA's National Estuary Program, is a cooperative effort between the EPA and the states of Connecticut and New York to protect and restore the Sound and its ecosystem. To learn more about the Long Island Sound Study, visit Exit

    Project Title: Restoring Great Meadows Marsh on Long Island SoundGrantee: National Audubon Society (Audubon Connecticut)Project Area: Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge, ConnecticutLISFF Grant Funds: $499,974Grantee Matching Funds: $500,249Total Conservation Impact: $1,000,223Restore 40 acres of salt marsh and other coastal habitats at Stewart B. McKinney National Wildlife Refuge's Great Meadows Marsh in Stratford, Connecticut.

    Project Title: Fish Passage on the Bulkley Pond DamGrantee: Aspetuck Land TrustProject Area: Bulkley Pond Dam, Sasco Brook, Fairfield and Westport, ConnecticutLISFF Grant Funds: $143,300Grantee Matching Funds: $95,700Total Conservation Impact: $239,000Remove a barrier to fish passage at Bulkley Pond Dam, Sasco Brook in Fairfield and Westport, Connecticut.

    Project Title: Ensuring a Resilient Coastal Forest to Address Changing Climate in Southeastern ConnecticutGrantee: University of ConnecticutProject Area: Hoffman Evergreen Preserve, Stonington, ConnecticutLISFF Grant Funds: $57,144Grantee Matching Funds: $33,600Total Conservation Impact: $90,744Deliver a comprehensive strategy of coastal forest management at the Hoffman Evergreen Preserve in Stonington, Connecticut.

    Project Title: Restoration and Stewardship of Coastal Forest and Dune at the Smith Hubbell Wildlife SanctuaryGrantee: Connecticut Audubon SocietyProject Area: The Smith Hubbell Wildlife Sanctuary Milford, ConnecticutLISFF Grant Funds: $44,468Grantee Matching Funds: $45,474Total Conservation Impact: $89,942Restore coastal beach/dune and forest habitat at the Smith Hubbell Wildlife Sanctuary, Milford Point, Connecticut.

    Project Title: Planning for a "Nature Based" Living Shoreline at the Mouth of the Housatonic RiverGrantee: Sacred Heart UniversityProject Area: Housatonic River, Stratford, ConnecticutLISFF Grant Funds: $67,610Grantee Matching Funds: $75,000Total Conservation Impact: $142,610Create a permit-ready design for a living shoreline at the mouth of the Housatonic River in Stratford, Connecticut.

    Project Title: Planning for a Nature-Like Fishway for Long Pond DamGrantee: Connecticut Fund for the Environment/Save the SoundProject Area: Long Pond Dam, Whitford Brook, Ledyard, ConnecticutLISFF Grant Funds: $172,000Grantee Matching Funds: $85,964Total Conservation Impact: $257,964Develop a plan to install fish passage on Long Pond Dam, Whitford Brook, Ledyard, Connecticut.

    Project Title: Hepburn Living Shoreline ProjectGrantee: Connecticut River Watershed Council, Inc.Project Area: Borough of Fenwick, ConnecticutLISFF Grant Funds: $226,026Grantee Matching Funds: $175,000Total Conservation Impact: $401,026Construct a living shoreline along a barrier spit on Long Island Sound in Fenwick, Connecticut.

    Project Title: Rapid Action Plans to Deliver Green Infrastructure in Coastal Connecticut CommunitiesGrantee: University of ConnecticutProject Area: Farm River, Branford River and Neck River watersheds, ConnecticutLISFF Funds: $272,376Grantee Matching Funds: $136,254Total Conservation Impact: $408,630Develop and implement five green infrastructure projects and provide guidance to local government in communities of the South-Central Basin of Connecticut.

    Project Title: Watershed Planning to Reduce Water Pollution in the Pootatuck River Basin of Long Island SoundGrantee: Town of NewtownProject Area: Pootatuck River watershed, Newtown, ConnecticutLISFF Grant Funds: $29,216Grantee Matching Funds: $15,717Total Conservation Impact: $44,933Develop a watershed plan for the Pootatuck watershed in Newtown, Connecticut.

    Project Title: Still River Watershed Plan Implementation: Brookfield Public Works Stormwater RetrofitGrantee: Town of Brookfield, ConnecticutProject Area: Brookfield, ConnecticutLISFF Grant Funds: $24,299Grantee Matching Funds: $13,150Total Conservation Impact: $37,458Develop design plans and secure permits for a green infrastructure retrofit at the public works facility in Brookfield, Connecticut.

    Project Title: Share the Shore with Shorebirds: A Coastal Stewardship ProgramGrantee: National Audubon Society (Audubon Connecticut)Project Area: Coastal ConnecticutLISFF Funds: $75,285Matching Funds: $77,168Total Conservation Impact: $152,453Provide education and deliver targeted stewardship of American oystercatcher and other migratory shorebirds and habitat along Connecticut's Long Island Sound coast.

    Project Title: Community Conservation Stewardship in New HavenGrantee: Neighborhood Housing Services of New HavenProject Area: Newhallville neighborhood and Beaver Ponds Park, New Haven, ConnecticutLISFF Grant Funds: $17,812Grantee Matching Funds: $24,219Total Conservation Impact: $42,031Conduct environmental education and community stewardship projects in New Haven, Connecticut.

    Project Title: City of New London Watershed Management PlanGrantee: City of New London, ConnecticutProject Area: New London, ConnecticutLISFF Grant Funds: $50,000Grantee Matching Funds: $50,000Total Conservation Impact: $100,000Develop a watershed management plan in for New London, Connecticut.

    Project Title: A Plastic Free Long Island Sound ProgramGrantee: Sea Research FoundationProject Area: The Mystic Aquarium and Groton, New London, Colchester, Stonington, and Norwich, ConnecticutLISFF Grant Funds: $48,042Grantee Matching Funds: $32,288Total Conservation Impact: $80,330Conduct a Long Island Sound-based educational program about the impact of plastic pollution at the Mystic Aquarium and surrounding communities in Connecticut.

    Project Title: Water Quality Monitoring to Improve Fairfield County Waterways and Long Island Sound-VIGrantee: Earthplace The Nature Discovery CenterProject Location: Norwalk River Watershed, ConnecticutLISFF Funds: $73,890Grantee Matching Funds: $56,646Total Conservation Impact: $130,536Conduct water quality monitoring to help improve nine waterways affected by pollution in Fairfield County, Connecticut.

    Project Title: Planning to Reduce Nitrogen Pollution and Improve Water Quality in Long Island SoundGrantee: City of ChicopeeProject Area: Water Pollution Control Facility, Chicopee, MassachusettsLISFF Grant Funds: $14,738Grantee Matching Funds: $14,737Total Conservation Impact: $29,475Prepare a study to identify low-cost improvements to reduce nitrogen pollution from a water pollution control facility in Chicopee, Massachusetts.

    Project Title: Reducing Nitrogen into Long Island Sound at the Springfield Regional Wastewater Treatment FacilityGrantee: Springfield Water and Sewer CommissionProject Area: Springfield, MassachusettsLISFF Funds: $290,385Matching Funds: $168,000Total Conservation Impact: $458,385Install instruments to enhance nitrogen removal at the Springfield Regional Wastewater Treatment Facility in Springfield, Massachusetts.

    Project Title: Green Infrastructure to Reduce Nitrogen Pollution at Montague Town HallGrantee: Town of Montague, Planning DepartmentProject Area: Village of Turners Falls, MassachusettsLISFF Grant Funds: $10,642Grantee Matching Funds: $5,899Total Conservation Impact: $16,541Construct green infrastructure at Town Hall near the Connecticut River in Turners Falls, Massachusetts.

    Project Title: Restoring Riverbanks to Reduce NitrogenGrantee: Connecticut River Watershed CouncilProject Area: Upper Connecticut River in Coos County to Hinsdale in Cheshire County, New HampshireLISFF Grant Funds: $281,063Grantee Matching Funds: $281,900Total Conservation Impact: $532,963Install bioengineered streambank stabilization and riparian restoration projects in Coos and Cheshire counties in New Hampshire.

    Project Title: Planning for Pocket Wetland Restoration to Prevent Nitrogen Pollution from FarmsGrantee: Vermont Association of Conservation DistrictsProject Area: Connecticut River Basin, VermontLISFF Grant Funds: $49,925Grantee Matching Funds: $49,925Total Conservation Impact: $99,850Develop 14 watershed plans to identify high-priority areas to restore pocket wetlands in agricultural fields in Vermont's Connecticut River Basin.

    Project Title: Planning for Cover Cropping to Reduce NitrogenGrantee: Essex County Natural Resources Conservation DistrictProject Area: Upper Connecticut River Basin, Essex County, VermontLISFF Grant Funds: $24,520Grantee Matching Funds: $24,776Total Conservation Impact: $49,296Develop a cover cropping species mix, planting strategy and methods for monitoring reductions in nitrogen from farm runoff in Essex County, Connecticut.

    Project Title: Incentivizing Ecological Restoration and Best Management Practices on Vermont FarmlandGrantee: Vermont Land TrustProject Area: Connecticut River Watershed, VermontLISFF Grant Funds: $199,477Grantee Matching Funds: $125,000Total Conservation Impact: $324,477Produce ecological assessments and riparian/wetland restoration plans for 12 farmland conservation projects and an associated plan for a market-based financing model in the Connecticut River Watershed in Vermont.

    Project Title: Stakeholder Engagement and Planning for Eelgrass Protection on Fishers IslandGrantee: Henry L. Ferguson MuseumProject Area: Fishers Island, New York and New London County, ConnecticutLISFF Funds: $44,798Grantee Matching Funds: $33,661Total Conservation Impact: $78,459Deliver an education program to stakeholder communities presenting scenarios for eelgrass protection at Fishers Island, New York and New London, Connecticut.

    Project Title: Deploying a Nitrogen Reclamation Project in the Long Island Sound WatershedGrantee: Rich Earth InstituteProject Area: Rockingham, Windham County, Vermont, Franklin County, Massachusetts and Cheshire County, New HampshireLISFF Grant Funds: $96,734Grantee Matching Funds: $167,500Total Conservation Impact: $264,234Enhance the deployment of nitrogen reclamation technology in Windham County, Vermont, Franklin County, Massachusetts and Cheshire County, New Hampshire.

    Originally posted here:
    $2.8 Million in Grants Awarded in New England to Improve the Health of Long Island Sound | US EPA - U.S.

    Why I Abandoned the Traditional Museum Education Model – - December 4, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    One of the previous owners of the historic Nemours Estate constructed a pediatric hospital "in her literal backyard," but over time the relationship between the two institutions withered. Now, staff at the museum are attempting to rebuild it, with an educational mission focused primarily on hospital patients.

    Personal stories are how we, at Nemours Estate, connect our visitors with the duPont family who once lived in this grand place. So Id like to share my personal story of building a museum education program from the ground up, to illustrate why I have felt the need to create not just another education department, but a new model altogether focused on weaving health and heritage together.

    After studying and working throughout Delaware for yearsfocusing on early childhood education research, psychology, history, and museum volunteeringI moved to London with my husband in 2015 to earn my masters degree and make the career jump into the museum field. London (as many already know) can make any museum professional feel like a kid in a candy shop. I was lucky enough to work for two of its excellent institutions: the Charles Dickens Museum, as a volunteer docent, and The Geffrye Museum of the Home, in the Learning & Curatorial department.

    It was the Geffrye Museum which opened my eyes to how a museum can function in practice as a well-integrated community asset. Hoxton, the Geffryes neighborhood, was severely lacking in green space and embroiled in a tense tug-of-war over gentrification. The museum responded by providing free half-term educational activities for children, engaging youth in programming, and leading regular neighborhood programs for people in the community who were blind, deaf, lonely, older, and had learning disabilities. The museum was a facilitator of community conversations and also welcomed neighbors to picnic on its front lawn or explore the historic gardens, free of charge. (If youre not already familiar with it, please check out The Geffrye Museum here.) This greatly inspired the next phase of my career.

    Formerly known as Nemours Mansion and Gardens, Nemours Estate was once hidden to most of the general public, including the childrens hospital on its campus. It had been the home of Alfred I. duPont and his family, who lived at Nemours for sixty years, from 1910 until 1970. Upon his death, Mr. duPont left his fortune to establish the Nemours Foundation, which would build a pediatric hospital and eventually evolve into a broader healthcare system. Decades later, everyone in Delaware knew about Nemours/Alfred I. DuPont Hospital for Children, but almost no one realized Jessie Ball duPont, Alfreds widow, had constructed the pediatric hospital in her literal backyard. Since her death, leadership at the estate had drifted away from a relationship with the hospital. Visiting the house was a restrictive experience which did not allow children. And so, the mansion and gardens were all but hidden away for years.

    When I was hired to be a historic interpreter at Nemours Estate, a few months after jumping back across the pond, it just so happened that I was joining during a pivotal shift in leadership, philosophy, and culture. Gone now were the guided tours and restricted access policies that previously barred young children from visiting. The fence that separated the hospital and estate was no longer seen as a barrier. New leadership literally opened it up, installing a walking gate for patient and employee access. Our new Executive Director encouraged patient families to visit free of charge, calling the estate a place to engage with mind, body, and spirit.

    Then, in 2018, I was hired to pilot a brand-new role: Community Education and Museum Coordinator. Since the estate now allowed children (finally!), we were in the unique position of creating an educational program from the ground up that engaged with a non-traditional audience of children and families in a meaningful way. It has been an amazing experience (with terrific support from Nemours Estate staff) to strategize and build a learning program from scratch. Here it was, fallen right into my lap: the chance to design a new, dynamic model of integration between heritage and health care. I felt like I had won the lottery.

    Although we are beginning to host on-site learning programs for the general public, our physical location next to a pediatric hospital is practically begging us to think beyond the typical museum education model. So deciding that our primary learning audience would be the children served by Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children felt very natural. For one thing, schoolchildren in the area have plenty of traditional field trip options in the many historic homes, public gardens, and museums that surround Nemours Estate in the beautiful Brandywine Valley. The people who do not have as many options are the patients and families right next door to us.

    One important factor that helps to make this choice possible is our uncommon funding structure. We are extremely fortunate to be able to rely on an endowment for our operations, which allows us to have a single-minded focus on mission- and vision-driven activities. While this special situation can be an amazing opportunity to do social good, it can also come with unexpected downsides. Part of the reason we are so late to the educational programming party in the first place is that Nemours Estate has never been challenged to look for programmatic funding or to compete for audiences.

    As you may imagine, bringing history and horticulture to the hospital and welcoming patient families to the estate requires a bit more preparation than a visit to your local library or school. As such, I have spent the better part of two years meeting hospital associates, learning what needs Nemours Estate may be able to assist with, and defining the scope of our programmatic work.

    I work mostly with the hospitals Department of Child Life, which is a fantastic place to start for any museum looking to get more involved with a pediatric hospital. Through this partnership, the team at Nemours Estate has started to bring patients everything from one-hundred-year-old gingerbread recipes to clocks and carrier pigeons, through a series of pilot programs that dovetail with hospital camps, holiday programming, and regular activities. In 2019 I established our first hospital-handling collection and the corresponding infection prevention protocols. I have also helped to create standalone programs for a Cerebral Palsy group, the Palliative Care Team, and the Nemours Child Development Center, among others.

    The focus for this type of program development is on a carefully tailored experience that best meets the specific needs of the small group. We design on-site programming by looking through a lens of potential patient and sibling needs. While we welcome and encourage the general public to participate as well, we always incorporate accessibility and sensitivity to appointment times into planning.

    Thanks to the tireless work of the Horticulture team at Nemours Estate, we have also found ways to bring horticulture and nature to patients and associates. Ken Darsney, Manager of Gardens and Grounds, also started his job in the midst of the administrative transition, and soon got to work collaborating with several hospital departments to create a vegetable container garden in the outpatient section of the hospital. Named The Can Grow Garden, it was part of an initiative that distributed over six thousand vegetable plants in 2019 to Nemours families to encourage healthy eating and growing produce at home. Thomas Ratay, Garden Specialist, helped me to bring kindergarteners from the Nemours Child Development Center and a cerebral palsy group to the woodlands and gardens to experience nearby nature. The horticultural team also helps me to film videos about the estates woodlands, ponds, and gardens, which bring the outdoors indoors for the children.

    Prioritizing a non-traditional audience has tested many of our assumptions about museum practice. Shortly before the onset of COVID-19, for instance, we were able to install our first in-hospital exhibition, Plates of the Estate, just outside a twenty-four-bed unit. The cases embedded into the hallways were not museum-standard, not an ideal height, and were not temperature- or light-controlled in any way. We chose porcelain as a stable material to test conditions in the non-museum grade cases, but also because the duPonts enjoyed using colorful plates featuring animalsfun for all ages. Across the hospitals atrium, we helped the Delaware Museum of Natural History install an equally exciting exhibit about rocks, minerals, and shells.

    Another shift, especially this year, has been into virtual programming that is either streamed directly to a patients bedside screen or used by the Hospital School program for supplementary material. Virtual programming, familiar to all of us now, has always been important for this audience. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, many inpatients were immunocompromised and unable to leave their rooms. Some children are not healthy enough for visitors or do not have the physical ability to hold objects at any time. While virtual learning does not allow for the same kind of tangible encounters with history that I have become passionate about in my academic and work experience, it is sometimes the only outlet they have.

    Finally, as a museum professional, the staff and organizational structure at a hospital was not something I was at all familiar with. Working with departments such as Child Life, Volunteer Services, Telecom Support, Interior Design, and the ever-important Infection Prevention is a steep hill to climb, but the view from the top is worth it. I realize that if it is a learning curve for me, a Nemours Associate, it is likely that other museum professionals have run into obstacles climbing this hill as well. In addition to finding out who to talk to, there are many other nuances and best practices that require a degree of experience.

    Knowing there were other museums in the US with health care experience, I wanted to find them to compare notes.So, in July 2020 I posed a simple question on AAMs Museum Junction forum: was there anyone out there who would like to discuss this topic? The flood of positive responses was beyond every expectation. Today, our casual discussion group has close to one hundred members and is still growing. We are in the process of splitting into working groups and discussing more focused topics, like working directly with patients, working with medical professionals and students, well-being & mindfulness, research, and horticultural projects. Group members range from seasoned researchers and experts to those who are simply interested in learning more. (If you would like to join these discussions, please send me an email!)

    For me, the most beautiful thing about working with the hospital is access to a more diverse audience than would ever typically enter a museum. If we, as a field, can help our communities when they are truly in need of diversion, peace, self-exploration, or friendly faces, it only helps to chip away at the figurative wall that sometimes stands between us and non-museum-goers.

    Hospital patients are often waiting. They may be waiting for an appointment, waiting for a procedure, or waiting to feel well enough to go home. My hope is to fill just a small fraction of that waiting time with something enjoyable, something that may lead to self-discovery, or family bonding time.

    I focus on developing programs that encourage mindfulness, exposure to nature, and a discovery of personal interests. I want children to have immersive experiences that improve their mental and emotional well-being and expose them to interesting things in an informal environment. Them learning the facts is less important to me than the lesson that museums and gardens are places to renew and have fun.

    When I was a child, one of my classmates was battling cancer. She would come to school when she could, and one day when she was in class, I noticed her beautiful, long fingernails. I complimented her, amazed that she could keep them for so long. Her response: Growing them out is my hobby in the hospital. It gives me something to do. What we have in museums and cultural organizations is worth sharing with people who need distraction the most. No matter the degree in which we engage with this audience, there will be sincere appreciation.

    We all know that museums are for everyone. To really be for a hospital population, we need to meet them where they are, even if that means creating something new. This is a lesson that applies to all of the many communities we as museums serveespecially in times like these.

    Editors Note: See AAMs Museums, Health, and Wellness Compendium for more examples of museums contributing to health care.

    Annie Thomas-Bubel is the Community Education & Museum Coordinator at Nemours Estate. Annie works to create inclusive museum learning and well-being programs for audiences at both Nemours Estate and the Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, with whom we share a campus and a legacy. Annie is fascinated with the intersections of museums and well-being and strives to build bridges between arts/culture and healthcare initiatives.

    Read more from the original source:
    Why I Abandoned the Traditional Museum Education Model -

    The Black residents fighting Atlanta to stay in their homes – Al Jazeera English - December 4, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Atlanta, Georgia Tanya Washington remembers moving into Peoplestown, a predominantly working-class and historically Black neighbourhood about two miles southeast of Atlantas downtown, a decade ago.

    Across the street from her home was an old Black church, which residents say was at least half a century old. I moved in on a Saturday, recalls the law professor at Georgia State University, who is originally from Washington, DC.

    She is sitting in the living room of her 100-year-old home, where she lives with her husband and two children, aged four and 18. A television plays muted footage of Black Lives Matter protests in the city; book-lined shelves add cosiness to the room decorated with framed family portraits on the blue walls.

    On Sunday morning when I woke up, I heard the sounds of old spirituals like my grandmother used to sing in her choir when I would visit her in South Georgia, the 50-year-old recalls.

    I was thinking What is going on? I thought maybe the Lord was calling me home; maybe I died and didnt even realise it.

    Tanya Washingtons 100-year-old home [Lynsey Weatherspoon/Al Jazeera]She chuckles at this memory of a neighbourhood that quickly became her home. It was a beautiful church. I thought how incredible it was that I got to wake up and listen to this every Sunday morning.

    But the scene she describes bears no resemblance to the cookie-cutter suburban houses that now sit across the street, where the old church once stood. The songs that spilled into Washingtons bedroom with the sunshine each Sunday morning have been replaced with silence.

    About two years ago, the churchs owners sold the building to private realtors, who, driven by the citys development plans, have targeted Peoplestown over the past few years. The pews were moved out onto the lawn, from where they were sold, one by one.

    Washington watched as the church was demolished and residential homes were built in its place. It was not an unusual sight in a neighbourhood where at least every other home has been sold off, renovated or demolished and replaced with a larger, more expensive house.

    The newcomers trickling into Peoplestown to settle in these properties are more affluent, and often whiter, than the mostly working-class residents who lived in the neighbourhood for many decades.

    The noises are different. The people are different. The whole environment of the neighbourhood is completely different now, Washington says.

    New houses where the old church once stood [Lynsey Weatherspoon/Al Jazeera]It is a process of gentrification that has already transformed the city of Atlanta and major cities across the US intertwining with unresolved racial injustices built into the countrys foundations and resulting in mass displacement of low-income and Black residents.

    Peoplestown is one of the last historically Black neighbourhoods to be targeted for gentrification in Atlanta, which has one of highest rates of income inequality in the US and was the fourth-fastest gentrifying city in the country between 2000 and 2014. But while it arrived later than in other parts of the city, when gentrification came, it came with force.

    In 1974, Atlanta became the first major southern city to elect an African American mayor, and every mayor since has been African American. The city celebrates itself as home to scores of civil rights leaders, including Martin Luther King Jr and John Lewis. Its numerous Black-owned businesses and its strong Black middle and upper class have earned the city the title of Americas Black Mecca.

    But this carefully constructed image clashes sharply with the bright red signs staked into the lawns on Washingtons block, where just four homes remain where once at least two dozen had stood.

    Mayor Bottoms, stop displacing Black families, one of the signs reads, referring to Atlantas current mayor, Keisha Lance Bottoms. Stop predatory use of eminent domain, is printed onto another.

    Signs in the front garden of one of the homes still standing on the block [Lynsey Weatherspoon/Al Jazeera]In 2012, a series of storms resulted in severe flooding on Washingtons block, as runoff rainwater overwhelmed a combined water and sewage system built beneath it and caused a major overspill. At least six homes were damaged.

    The city covered the costs of cleaning and repairing the damaged homes, at least one of which was flooded with several inches of sewage, as the citys failure to upgrade the system had caused the overspills. But residents say the city did not finish all the repairs and in response several residents sued.

    About a year later, in 2013, the city offered to buy the damaged homes as part of a settlement with the families and in order to construct a pond on the location of the overspill to mitigate flooding in the neighbourhood. The city allegedly told the residents that if they did not accept the citys offer, they would end up receiving far less in the future and warned them the city was planning to eventually take the whole block of homes anyway.

    While a few of the families settled with the city at this time and parted with their homes, most opted to refuse the citys offers and stay. In 2014, however, the city approved the use of eminent domain which allows the government to expropriate private property for public use to construct a pond and park at the site. In 2015, the other families on the block received letters from the city informing them it would need to acquire their properties.

    The green area where more than two dozen homes once stood and where the city is planning to construct a pond and park [Lynsey Weatherspoon/Al Jazeera]In place of their homes, it planned to develop a $65m green infrastructure project that is expected to include a Japanese garden, gazebos, several retention ponds and bioretention areas to treat stormwater.

    The decision altered the lives of the families on the block, most of whom buckled under the threat of the citys eminent domain ordinance and gave up their homes. Residents who settled with the city were made to sign non-disclosure agreements banning them from sharing the amount they had agreed on with other residents.

    There is still no pond or park in Peoplestown, but the planned project has already transformed the neighbourhood. Washingtons and just three other homes remain; all the others have been demolished and replaced by open green space.

    It just didnt feel right, Washington reflects. My house was never damaged from the flooding. How do you go from wanting to buy a few homes to suddenly needing to take an entire block?

    She suspected the city was abusing eminent domain to drive private investment in the neighbourhood so, along with a handful of other residents, she decided to challenge it.

    What followed offered them an insight, they say, into the institutional racism and alleged corruption that has shaped Atlantas gentrification.

    Decades of discrimination, racial injustice, and systematic neglect of low-income and Black neighbourhoods may have sealed the fate of Peoplestown long before the 2012 flood, but the residents of these four homes are determined to stay put.

    The civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s when Black Americans challenged the system of segregation commonly known as Jim Crow that was designed to limit their rights after centuries of slavery was accompanied by a process of white flight from the inner cities.

    It was no different for Atlanta, even as, from the 1950s on, it referred to itself as the city that was too busy to hate and local leaders worked to build an image of the city as one of economic prosperity and racial progress.

    Tanya Washington outside her house [Lynsey Weatherspoon/Al Jazeera]According to Kevin Kruse, professor of history at Princeton University who wrote a book on the white flight from Atlanta during desegregation in the 1950s and 60s, when African Americans were permitted to expand from the congested neighbourhoods they had been consigned to into formerly all-white parts of the city, they were threatened by white supremacists and their homes were bombed. But when terror campaigns and pleas to public officials failed, white residents packed up, sold their homes and deserted the city entirely.

    By the 1970s, white people, with the help of government homeowner schemes that were denied to African Americans, had abandoned the inner cities en masse and established communities in the suburbs, with the aim of maintaining all-white neighbourhoods.

    Since the countrys inception, wealth disparities have been shaped by racial injustices and discrimination. In 2016, the net worth of a typical white family was nearly 10 times greater than that of a Black family, according to the Brookings Institution, an American think-tank. So when white people left the inner cities, capital quickly followed.

    Giant figures sculpted on Stone Mountain, Atlanta, Georgia, show Jefferson Davis, the only president of the Confederate States of America with Confederate Generals Robert E Lee and Stonewall Jackson [File: Fox Photos/Getty Images]Tea Troutman, an urban development researcher and Atlanta-based community organiser, tells Al Jazeera that as capital moved to the suburbs, industries and jobs that working-class city residents were dependent on followed suit. While it was predominantly white people leaving the cities, affluent flight also added to the capital drain, as higher-income Black and brown residents also left, Troutman says.

    Deindustrialisation happened at the same time as capital flight, turning cities into these destitute spaces, Troutman explains.

    Austerity policies were then rolled out in the latter part of the 1970s and accelerated in the 1980s when former US President Ronald Reagan slashed federal aid to cities; this resulted in dramatic cutbacks to social programmes that scores of already marginalised communities relied on and exacerbated social and economic issues in the cities.

    One of the new houses built in the neighbourhood [Lynsey Weatherspoon/Al Jazeera]Over the past several decades, cities have attempted to attract outside investment to transform urban neglect and decay into development and renewal by luring wealthier and predominantly white people to return to the inner cities in order to increase the citys tax base especially in the form of sales and property taxes, which are major sources of revenue for local governments.

    But as has become clear to some residents of Peoplestown, urban development and economic progress often begets displacement, dispossession, and increased violence for Black and low-income city residents.

    Peoplestowns residents are all too familiar with the unjust patterns of urban development.

    When city officials wanted to link downtown Atlanta to the expanding white suburbs in the 1950s, three major interstates were constructed in Peoplestown, Summerhill and Mechanicsville, ripping through the heart of these long-established communities and separating the sister neighbourhoods from each other.

    In 1957, the city conceived of another urban renewal plan and bought up about 600 acres of land in portions of Summerhill, Mechanicsville, and Peoplestown, removing thousands of Black residents and closing more than 100 Black-owned businesses in order to make room for housing, businesses, schools and parks that would attract middle-income largely white families.

    According to Larry Keating, a professor of city and regional planning at Georgia Tech Research Institute, the project was designed to also create a buffer between the low-income Black neighbourhoods and the central business district in one of many attempts to keep Atlantas downtown a desirable location for middle-class white people by expelling Black residents from the area.

    The Atlanta Stadium in 1966 [File: Fox Photos/Getty Images]The project, however, never came to fruition and the massive lot of land stood vacant until 1964 when Ivan Allen Jr, Atlantas mayor at the time, decided to build a stadium, now the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. Keating says the plan was likely envisaged to thwart community proposals to use the land for building public housing for low-income Black residents.

    The trumpets of urban renewal and economic growth once again reverberated through the city while more Black residents saw their homes demolished for extra parking spaces around the stadium.

    In 1966, the body of Harold Prather, an unarmed Black man, collapsed along with the homes, after a white police officer shot and killed the 25-year-old in Summerhill. Prather was stopped on a traffic violation and informed of an open warrant for his arrest. The young man ran from the police, who responded by shooting him in the hip and side.

    Frustrations in the neighbourhood, which was settled in 1865 by formerly enslaved African Americans, had reached their boiling point and days-long protests and rioting erupted. When Mayor Allen attempted to pacify the protests by standing atop a police patrol car and speaking to the angry crowd through a megaphone, he was met with bricks, stones and bottles. The crowd drowned out his pleas for law and order by chanting Black power! White devil!

    Mourners waiting for Dr Martin Luther Kings funeral cortege to pass outside Moorhouse College in Atlanta, Georgia on April 9, 1968 [File: Keystone/Getty Images]This process was replayed in cities across the United States. James Baldwin, the celebrated writer and activist, put it bluntly in 1963: Urban renewal means negro removal.

    Following the same trend, in the 1990s, as Atlanta prepared to host the Olympic Games, the city once again took to bulldozers and demolished its public housing. Atlanta was the first American city to introduce public housing in 1935 and by 2011 it was also the first to have demolished all of it.

    When the renewal plans for Atlantas dilapidated public housing were introduced, the low-income Black residents were promised affordable housing units in the new mixed-income apartments that were to be built on top of the rubble of their former homes.

    But stringent screening processes, which barred low-income residents from returning if someone in their household had a criminal record or they did not have full employment, made it so very few displaced residents were permitted to return. Others received Section 8 vouchers, which subsidise costs in the private housing market; but which also limit the areas recipients can live in depending on which landlords accept the vouchers.

    Many former public housing residents who were not eligible to return were made homeless. According to Troutman, some parts of Atlanta where public housing once stood are now gentrified and are the most expensive parts of the city, while other areas still remain completely vacant since the housing was demolished.

    Atlantas Olympic Stadium is shown under construction in 1995 [File: John Bazemore/AP Photo]In the years leading up to the Olympics in 1996, city leaders once again loudly touted economic progress and marketed Atlanta as the cradle of the civil rights movement, while promising enormous benefits for the community. At the same time, roughly 30,000 low-income residents were evicted or displaced from the city.

    The city moved to clean the streets of anything that contradicted the glossy spectacle of an up-and-coming international hub that Atlantas leaders intended to portray to the world. Thousands of homeless people, most of them African American, were unlawfully arrested and thrown into the newly built Atlanta City Detention Center, where their poverty would not distract from the citys newly polished image.

    The city allocated more land for the construction of the Centennial Olympic Stadium, located adjacent to the Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, adding more displaced Black residents to the thousands who were expelled decades earlier. Peoplestown once again felt the heavy burden of Atlantas development.

    According to Haythem Shata, an Atlanta-based civil engineer, the area where the Olympic Stadium now called Turner Field was to be built was plagued by historic flooding, documented from at least the 1950s, as the location was the site of a stream through which a large amount of run-off drainage passed.

    The city, therefore, constructed two culverts, or channels, from the two major interstates to redirect the run-off water into a junction box located underneath Peoplestowns now-contested block to divert flooding from around the Olympic Stadium, says Bill Eisenhauer, an Atlanta-based engineer and analyst from the Metropolitan Atlanta Urban Watershed Institute.

    The junction box was already the site where at least 145 kilometres (90 miles) of combined sewer lines join, before releasing into a large trunk line that runs partly down Atlanta Avenue, where Washingtons home is located, and into a combined sewer overflow basin and eventually into a wastewater treatment plant.

    According to Eisenhauer and residents who lived in the neighbourhood at the time, before constructing the culverts to reroute the streams to Peoplestown, the Georgia Department of Transportation had assured the communities that a relief trunk line would be constructed from the junction box in Peoplestown, through Grant Park a wealthier and predominantly white community located about two miles from Peoplestown, and into the nearby combined sewer overflow basin in order to relieve the pressure on the combined sewer and water system in Peoplestown.

    But the relief trunk was never built. They [the city] thought it was better to disrupt the lives of the poor and Black neighbourhood rather than the wealthy and white neighbourhood, says Columbus Ward, a prominent neighbourhood advocate and longtime resident of Peoplestown.

    Despite the dramatic increase of water flow into the junction box, the city did not build additional stormwater storage capacity upstream from Peoplestown or add the relief trunk, Eisenhauer explains, causing the system to get overwhelmed during storms the pressure of which results in the lids of the junction box and manholes popping off and sewage spilling out into the neighbourhood.

    Since Peoplestown sits on a low basin, the more the city was built up after the Olympics, the more Peoplestown was inundated with stormwater runoffs from the concrete that smothers the ground of the city. We have all of this development happening around us, but we still have that same stormwater sewage system that was not made to accommodate this much growth, Washington explains. So we end up with floodings.

    After the 2012 flooding in Peoplestown, Kasim Reed, Atlantas mayor at the time, had hired a national consulting firm to estimate the cost of constructing the relief trunk line, according to Eisenhauer. But nothing came of it, likely because the construction of the trunk line would be too costly, Eisenhauer says.

    According to residents, the city also fails to adequately clean the drains, which has compounded the problem. The city has created a problem and then they use that problem to further gentrification and displace us from our homes, Washington says.

    A large cement lid, where the junction box is located and the source of the overspills, is perched atop the expansive grass stretching across Washingtons block, and sits in the backyard of Bertha and Robert Darden, an elderly couple who have lived in Peoplestown for three decades. Their quaint brick house is adjacent to Washingtons on the other end of the Atlanta Avenue stretch of the block.

    Robert and Bertha Darden in front of their home [Lynsey Weatherspoon/Al Jazeera]I knew right when I saw this house that this was the one; this was where I was going to raise my children and build a family, Robert, 70, tells Al Jazeera. His living room is blanketed in a patchwork of framed photographs of his children and grandchildren; it feels like walking inside a family photo album.

    The neighbourhood wasnt as safe back then as it is now. But it had everything that I needed, adds Robert, who had worked as an engineer for the city for decades. His home is also located walking distance from the Greater Christ Temple Holiness Church, where he has attended service since 1975 and where he met and fell in love with Bertha.

    Their home was one of the houses damaged in the flooding in 2012. Sixty-five-year-old Bertha immediately feared that forcible displacement might follow.

    The Dardens, along with the rest of Peoplestown, have watched as neighbourhoods around them have transformed over the last decade and a half; each following the same trend: Black and low-income residents pushed out while wealthier and mostly white residents replaced them.

    In 2005, the BeltLine was conceived and exacerbated this cycle of gentrification that was already on a runaway train, Troutman tells Al Jazeera. The multibillion-dollar megaproject will ultimately connect 45 neighbourhoods to a 22-mile (35-km) loop of multi-use trails, parks and eventual street cars that follow abandoned railroad tracks that loop around the perimeter and throughout the core of Atlanta.

    A section of old rail tracks is preserved next to the Atlanta BeltLine as the midtown skyline stands in the background [File: David Goldman/AP Photo]The BeltLine, which is expected to be completed in 2030, is touted as a project to improve transportation, establish green spaces and promote development and has become a major driver of gentrification in Atlanta.

    The canopies of trees along the BeltLine shade the winding trails that slither through parks, upscale residential neighbourhoods and commercial areas lined with craft breweries, restaurants, and luxury apartments; city residents can bike to work or around the city on the trail. The project has painted a picturesque and charming image for the young and affluent professionals the city wants to attract.

    But it has brought another wave of displacement for surrounding low-income and largely Black communities, triggering sharp increases in home values pushing out low-income renters who cannot afford the jump in rent and homeowners who cannot afford the increased property taxes.

    Old Fourth Ward, considered the ground zero of the BeltLines development, was an historic Black neighbourhood in the heart of Atlanta with a rich and vibrant history; it is the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr and the home of the famous Ebenezer Baptist Church, where he served as pastor up until his assassination in 1968.

    The neighbourhood, which is situated along the eastside trail, is now used as a precautionary tale for other Black neighbourhoods bracing for the hardships that follow in the BeltLines path.

    While Old Fourth Ward was neglected for decades, nowadays large multi-storey homes, townhomes and condos are built alongside old shotgun houses, while some of the citys most popular restaurants and bars are located in the area. Street art is splashed around the neighbourhood, with a mural of George Floyd painted onto the side of a building and, just down the street, another building has Black Futures Matter: End Mass Incarceration etched across its length.

    Like other neighbourhoods around the BeltLine, the Black population in Old Fourth Ward has steadily declined, while the white population continues to increase. In 2000, 76 percent of the 12,444 residents in the neighbourhood were Black and just 16 percent were white.

    In 2015, however, the population had increased to 14,321 people, but the Black population had shrunk to 49.5 percent and the white population rose to 39 percent. Over the same period, median household income had more than doubled, from $19,614 to $42,627.

    A pedestrian walks along the BeltLine, a transportation project being built within the old rail corridor which will eventually connect 45 neighbourhoods with public use trails and a light rail line, in Atlanta [File: David Goldman/AP Photo]Along the Southwest segment of the BeltLine, which the city broke ground on earlier this year, surrounding neighbourhoods, which includes Mechanicsville, saw median sale prices jump 68 percent between 2011 and 2015. Peoplestown is also located on the south end of the BeltLine.

    According to Troutman, the housing market collapse in 2008 added gasoline to the fire that was already ripping through Atlanta. The city, which has a strong legacy of Black homeownership, was hit hard. About a quarter of a million residents lost their homes to foreclosures and many others were targeted by private investors who swooped in to take advantage of the crisis.

    You saw a lot of people being approached to sell their homes around this time, recalls Ward, the neighbourhood advocate. And this was when a lot of people were vulnerable to selling their homes because they could no longer afford them.

    We also saw a lot of city code enforcers coming around at this time, he adds. They would tell people who already couldnt afford their taxes and bills that they had to paint their houses or install a new roof. It almost seemed like everyone was just coming together for the sole purpose of kicking people out the neighbourhood.

    But nothing prepared Peoplestowns residents for the drastic changes that were about to take place.

    Many of the residents of the contested block in Peoplestown had initially vowed to stick together and fight the city, Bertha says. But after 2015, residents buckled, one by one, settled with the city and moved out.

    A lot of the residents in Peoplestown are senior citizens, Bertha, an evangelist minister, explains. They didnt have the energy or the resources to fight the city and they gave up and left.

    It was really hard for us, she continues. You would leave in the morning and a house would be there, and then youd come back in the afternoon and the same house would be demolished into rubble.

    Robert and Bertha Darden with their family in front of their home [Lynsey Weatherspoon/Al Jazeera]The rest of the neighbourhood, meanwhile, was aggressively pressured by private realtors to sell their homes, the prices of which are expected to dramatically jump in value after the construction of the pond and park. Residents continue to receive phone calls several times a week, regular emails and even real estate postcards that display pictures of their own houses, urging them to sell.

    Youre being targeted in this predatory process, and at the same time the neighbourhood is changing around you, says Troutman, who has worked with the community in Peoplestown. Theres something that weighs on your soul and spirit when you look up and everything you loved about your community has dried up whether its the people you knew for years who are being displaced or the places you frequented that made the community a home for you.

    But overwhelmingly its the pressures of being poor and the pressures of being trapped in an undervalued and underserved community that lead people to sell their homes, Troutman adds. Private realtors will then flip the properties, selling them for sometimes double or triple the amount, residents say.

    According to Robert, families in Atlanta are experiencing intergenerational displacement, and some of the residents who have recently been displaced from Peoplestown had settled into the community after gentrification pushed them out of Old Fourth Ward.

    Robert and Bertha Darden with their family in front of their home [Lynsey Weatherspoon/Al Jazeera]Bertha and Robert knew they had to make a decision to pack up and leave or stay and fight. They had no reason to believe they would have a chance at winning and challenging the city would inevitably cause financial and mental hardships during what were supposed to be their golden years.

    We didnt have the answer so we turned to God, Bertha says.

    They prayed for direction. God spoke to my heart one night and told me to stand still, Bertha says; she did not know that Robert had prayed and received the same answer that night.

    The next morning Robert came to me and held my hands and told me: Were in a fight and in order to win we got to stay in the fight. We need to stand still, Bertha recalls. I was shocked. God had spoken to us and we were told clearly not to move.

    The Bible verse that convinced Robert and Bertha to stand still [Jaclynn Ashly/Al Jazeera]Bertha pauses from her story to grab a Bible from her living room table; she sifts through the pages until she finds the scripture that she and Robert had both read. Smacking her finger onto the page, she reads out loud: And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.

    The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore Criest thou unto me? Speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward.

    This scripture is from the Book of Exodus in the Old Testament and describes the ancient Israelites deliverance from centuries of enslavement in Egypt.

    God told us to stand still. So why would I ever consider selling my house now? Robert says. He speaks in a low, matter-of-fact tone. I dont care how much money they offer, Im not selling. My father is already rich in houses and land. Thousands upon thousands of hills belong to Him. Their money means nothing to me.

    The decision to stay and fight the city has not been easy for the Dardens. In 2016, the city sued the residents and condemned three of the homes. The perpetual anxiety of possibly being evicted and having their most cherished possession taken from them at any moment has weighed heavily on the couple.

    Its been eight years of this now. Its been up and down, Bertha says. But God comforts us through this, even though we have moments that make us want to lie down and cry.

    Robert and Bertha Dardens home [Lynsey Weatherspoon/Al Jazeera]The Dardens and Washington tell Al Jazeera the city has also systematically harassed them since they refused to leave the block. In a repeat of what Ward described during the Great Recession, city code inspectors targeted the Dardens home. After being visited by code inspectors several times, Robert posted an officially stamped letter confirming their house had already passed a city code inspection onto the front door in the hope of warding off future inspectors.

    The city also sent a company to both the houses to shut their gas off to prepare for demolitions. We all just happened to be home that day. But imagine if we werent? Bertha says, incredulous. They didnt send us a letter or call us to warn us that this company is coming over to turn our gas off so our home can be demolished.

    See the article here:
    The Black residents fighting Atlanta to stay in their homes - Al Jazeera English

    60 Backyard Pond Ideas (Photos) – Home Stratosphere - October 30, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    A collection of large and small backyard pond ideas and designs... in a series of photographs. includes koi ponds, Japanese ponds, terraced ponds and more.

    Welcome to our gallery featuring a selection of residential backyard water features, specifically in the form of ponds. Similar to backyard gardens, they add an extra element of beauty and relaxation to any outdoor space.

    All backyard ponds are a type of man-made water feature that have a primary focus on aquatic plants, although many larger ponds may contain ornamental fish, like koi.

    Not all plants are suitable for planting near or in a backyard pond, however. Youll need to grow plants that are best adapted to shallow pools and ponds. The type of plant you add to your pond will depend entirely on how deep and large your pond is.

    The types of plants best suited to pond life fall into three distinct categories: submerged plants, marginal plants, and floating plants. Submerged plants are those that live almost completely under the surface. Some of these plants have leaves or flowers that grow to the surface, like a water lily. These plants are also called oxygenators, because they create oxygen for any fish in a pond.

    Marginal plants live with only their roots under the water. Examples of these are irises, lotus flowers, cattail reeds, or bulrushes.

    The third type, floating plants, are not anchored into the soil at all, and are free-floating at the surface of the water. In a water garden, floating plants are used to reduce algae, as the shade they provide inhibits the growth of algae. Floating plants are usually fast-growing and multiply quickly.

    Backyard ponds may contain many different elements that help integrate it into the overall design of the yards landscaping, including fountains, statues, waterfalls, and boulders.

    You may also see some with underwater lighting, unique edging details, or even watercourses that add visual interest to the design. Natural ponds are often times so inspiring, a home is built around them to take advantage of natures beauty.

    We hope youll enjoy this gallery filled with awesome backyard ponds, and that youll be inspired to replicate some of them in your own backyard!

    Find more backyard ideas in our definitive guide to backyards!

    A peaceful area behind the house, featuring a small waterfall, Koi fish and beautiful potted flowers. A couple chairs and a good book is all you need for a relaxed afternoon.

    A beautiful tropical pond with a tall waterfall tumbling into the pond surrounded by moss-covered slabs of stone. Just under the surface we can see koi fish.

    An enormous water feature in a Japanese garden filled with bold Japanese maple trees, flowering bushes, and thick grasses. A stone lantern and a stone statue of an egret can be seen in the background. The pond itself is populated by many large koi fish.

    A large pond in a Japanese garden with thick plants growing right up to the waters edge. The pond is populated by huge koi fish.

    Another view of the Japanese garden with a stone lantern and heron from the pathway. The view changes as visitors walk past the tranquil scene.

    A koi pond edged by hedges and maples. This view is from a curving walkway through an expansive Japanese garden.

    Hidden under the trees, this Japanese garden pond feature some colorful Koi fish and lush vegetation around the pond.

    Ferns and cute puppies adorn this small pond tucked away in a corner of the yard. Theres even a couple of pillows to make it more comfortable sitting by the pond.

    Pink and yellow flowers cheer up this tiny garden pool. I love the colorful rocks path and the numerous types of plants around this pool of water.

    Tiny pond created by stacked red colored flagstone and surrounded by lush vegetation: a perfectly relaxing spot for someone looking for a bit of time away form the daily grind.

    A small two-section pond with a waterfall between the two. Both sections have small umbrella fountains. The entire pond is edged by stacked stones that help hide the black liner. Petunias, hostas, and lilies are planted around the outside of the pond, with a few water lilies on the surface.

    Buy this backyard kit here.

    A simple pond edged with stone bricks. At the head of the pond is a small waterfall. Daylilies and other leafy plants surround part of the pond. A metal heron statue stands in the shallows.

    A shallow pond fed by a cascading fountain tucked into the stone edging. A narrow stone footbridge connects the two sides of the pathway.

    This water feature focuses on the large waterfall tumbling into a small, shallow pool at the bottom. The entire structure is encased by large stones and surrounded by grasses.

    A well-like garden pond with a small fountain that pours into the deeper well of water. Thick grasses drape over the stone edges. The garden is filled with stone statues and other accents.

    A simple bright blue garden pond with a tall center fountain. Small enough to fit nicely in a small section of a larger garden, and as a feature piece in smaller gardens.

    Buy this backyard pond kit here.

    Small backyard pond surrounded by uneven rocks, is a great place for children to have some fun. Small, yet so pretty!

    Peaceful garden with a little pond and a backyard pavilion to relax and entertain.

    Clear water and beautiful rocks make this garden pond the perfect spot for a family gathering, where kids can hunt for rocks and have fun.

    This pond, surrounded by orange and yellow toned bricks and rocks is an inviting spot. Bring your favorite garden chair and a good book to enjoy.

    A large, shallow pond with a stone three-tier waterfall flowing down from a retaining pond further up. Boulders and small reeds sit in the shallow, clear water. Evergreens and daffodils line the sides, just beyond the rock edging.

    A somewhat deeper, small pond with a single fountain creating ripples from the center of the water. Round stones are piled around the edges, creating a bank. Grassy plants and hardy daisy flowers are integrated into the landscaping around the pond.

    A tranquil backyard pond with a few small ornamental fish, lily pads, reeds, and water lettuce. The pond is edged by both large, square boulders and smaller, round stones.

    A large water garden with stacked stones around the edges and thick tufts of plants growing in patches around the outside, wherever they can get a foothold. This pond is quite a bit larger and deeper than other ponds in this collection.

    A stream-like pond with a small waterfall, edged by small stones and larger boulders. Small mushroom-shaped lights add unique ambiance at night. Small leafy plants, ground cover, and taller bushes surround the water feature.

    A small, shallow pond created by stacking stones. This pond is integrated into the enormous yard by a few ornamental trees, bushes, and a bed of wood chips around it. Click here for even more landscaping ideas!

    A garden pond surrounded by large reddish boulders that tapers off into a shallow stream blocked by stones to keep the tiny ornamental fish in. A small crocodile toy is perched on one of the boulders.

    A large backyard pond edged in flagstone that connects to the patio. A curving landscape connects to the dip in the pond.

    A narrow fish pond with water lilies and lots of little red ornamental fish. A purple Japanese maple hangs over the edge. Fish can be wonderful pets! With any garden, its important to keep your pets safe by planting safe plants. Learn more about how to keep your four legged friends safe!

    A simple pond with a few small ornamental fish and lilypads. Multiple small cascades run along this water feature.

    A circular garden pond in the center of a manicured lawn. Planters full of white daffodils are placed equal distances apart around the perimeter of the pond. Interested in how you can design your own container garden? Click here!

    A more natural-looking garden pond with a flagstone path leading up to the waters edge. A wide waterfall cascades into the main pool.

    A small, shallow blue pool of water at the bottom of a cascade of stones. Water trickles down through the stones, creating the crystal clear pool at the bottom.

    A beautiful backyard pond on a secluded lot. A large waterfall tumbles into the pond, which has a greenish-cast from the moss on the rocks covering the bottom. A branch across the top of the waterfall adds another natural element to this pond.

    An awe-inspiring stone waterfall pouring into a shallow basin at the bottom. Small figures of ducks sit on either side of the largest cascade.

    A unique pond with two tiers. The top tier has a small rock waterfall. Fields of tulips and other plants surround the rock enclosure.

    A green garden pond with small maples growing along the widest side. A small stream connects to the pond and can be crossed via a small wooden footbridge.

    An enormous crystal-clear gold-tinted pond with large reeds and bamboo growing on either side of the wide cascade. A bronzed figure of a fairy lays on one of the rocks.

    A view from further back of the above pond, showing the drop off in the center of the bottom pond.

    A deep pond at the bottom of a hill covered in cedar wood chips. A stone waterfall cascades down the hill into the pool. Stone steps lead up to the right.

    A shallow garden pool with a few ornamental rocks and grasses along the pebble edging. A small terra cotta Japanese lantern sits on one edge.

    Read more:
    60 Backyard Pond Ideas (Photos) - Home Stratosphere

    Landvista Aquascapes – Pond Design, Installation, Repair … - October 30, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Call us @ 856-768-9404Customer service hours: 9am-9pm

    Thank you for your interest in well crafted, naturalistic waterfeatures. We appreciate your time and consideration, as wewelcome you into the wonderful world of water gardening!

    At Landvista Aquascapes,we design and install beautifully crafted, naturalistic, lowmaintenance water features of all sizes. From cascading waterfallsinto Koi fish and lily filled ponds, to babbling brooks and streamssurrounded by aquatic plants, bogs and wetlands, to rainwaterharvesting systems (RainXchange).

    Our work is inspired by the wonder, intrigue, and magnificence of the natural world around us herein South Jersey Area These days, however, not many of us are asfortunate to take the time to venture out to enjoy these naturalwonders, due to longer working hours and busier schedules,especially if we live in the city area.

    Based in Atco NJ We Proudly Service all of South Jersey Including:Camden, Burlington &Gloucester County----Including the Cities of----Atco, Berlin, Elm, Cherry Hill, Gibbsboro, Hammonton, Marlton, Sicklerville, Voorhees, Waterford& Surrounding Communities. Contact Us if you do not see your community listed..

    Call us @ 856-768-9404

    Read more here:
    Landvista Aquascapes - Pond Design, Installation, Repair ...

    The Mandalorian season 2: Everything we know ahead of Baby Yoda’s return to Disney Plus on Oct. 30 – Best gaming pro - October 20, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    That is the best way.The Mandalorian, which gave us the reward thatsChild Yoda, kicks offseason 2 on Friday, Oct. 30. A trailer launched on Monday gave us one other glimpse of the upcoming season, and a report instructed that season three will kick off manufacturing earlier than the tip of 2020.

    If you wish to get primed, youll be able to watch or rewatchall eight episodes of the primary season of the live-action Star Wars collection onDisney Plus. Or you possibly can simply learn this helpful primer.

    Listed here are particulars in regards to the subsequent season.

    The Mandalorian and the Youngster proceed their journey, dealing with enemies and rallying allies as they make their method via a harmful galaxy within the tumultuous period after the collapse of the Galactic Empire, reads the synopsis that dropped with the primary trailer for the second season.

    We acquired one other clue about Mandos goal within the second trailer for the upcoming season he mentions monitoring down different Mandalorians to allow them to information him to Child Yodas form.

    The season will encompass eight episodes, they usuallyll drop each Friday, in line with a Disney Plus fact sheet for The Mandalorian season 2. That offers us a way of the schedule, so youll be able to plan your viewing instances accordingly. Season 2 additionally continues the chapter naming conference from the primary season, so it would not begin from chapter 1:

    Theres additionally a tweet youll be able to prefer to obtain a reminder when every episode drops on Disney Plus.

    Administrators for the brand new season embody creatorJon Favreau, Dave Filoni, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rick Famuyiwa, Carl Weathers, Peyton Reed (the person behindAnt-Man and its sequel) and Robert Rodriguez (Desperado,From Dusk Till DawnandAlita: Battle Angel), the discharge famous.

    Entertain your mind with the best information from streaming to superheroes, memes to video video games.

    Favreau is hoping to start out manufacturing on the presents third season earlier than the tip of the 12 months, hetold Varietyon Oct. 15. He is been writing it for some time, in line with aVariety reportfrom April, and Lucasfilms artwork division has been engaged on idea designs. Manufacturing design reportedly kicked off on April 20.

    From right here on, well spotlight among the reviews about casting and returning characters for the second season. If you happen tod moderately not know, watch out forPOSSIBLESPOILERSfrom right here on out.

    On March 20, Slashfilm reported that season 2 will see Ahsoka Tano, former Padawan of the late Anakin Skywalker, make her dwell motion debut. Shell apparently be performed by Rosario Dawson, whom you may keep in mind enjoying Claire Temple in Netflixs Marvel reveals.

    That is not confirmed but however when that occurs, I shall be very completely happy. I am very excited for that to be confirmed sooner or later, Dawson told Variety in April.

    Rosario Dawson will reportedly play Ahsoka Tano within the second season.

    Katee Sackhoff will apparently convey Bo-Katan Kryze, a Mandalorian warrior she voiced in The Clone Wars and Rebels, into dwell motion within the second season. She shot her scenes in February,Slashfilm reported.

    Bo-Katan, who performed a pivotal function within the just-concluded The Clone Wars, held the Darksaber and united the clans of Mandalore within the remaining season of Rebels. Since these occasions, Moff Gideon took the weapon, however we do not know the way that occurred.

    Michael Biehn, who performed Kyle Reese in The Terminator and Corporal Hicks in Aliens, will be part of the forged as a bounty hunter, in line with The Hollywood Reporter. Invoice Burr will apparently additionally reprise his function as gunslinger Mayfield,according to i09.

    In a Feb. four earnings name, Disney boss Bob Iger additionally talked about the likelihood that among the presents characters may go in their very own instructions when it comes to collection hinting that wed see some Mandalorian spinoffs down the road.

    Boba Fett hasnt been seen for the reason that occasions of Return of the Jedi.

    It looks as if he willmake his return in season 2 and be performed byTemuera Morrison, in line withThe Hollywood Reporter and CNET sister The actor beforehand performed bounty hunter Jango Fett inAttack of the Clonesand likewise portrayed the clone troopers in that film andRevenge of the Sith.

    Jango was recruited by Rely Dooku to function the genetic template for the clone military utilized by the Galactic Republic, as a part of Darth Sidious tremendous convoluted plot to wipe out the Jedi. A part of Jangos fee was an unaltered clone that he may elevate as his son Boba however the elder Fett was killed throughout the Battle of Geonosis.

    The youthful Fett was performed byDaniel Logan in Assault of the Clones andThe Clone Wars CGI animated collection, however The Mandalorian takes place many years later and a grown-up Boba would look similar to Jango.

    Jango Fett is useless, however there are a couple of clones of him working across the galaxy.

    Nevertheless, Boba is not the one individual with Jangos face. Despite the fact that clone troopers had been designed to age at an accelerated pace, some may nonetheless be alive. The Rebels collection finale revealed that Commander Rex fought within the Battle of Endor (a couple of years previous to the occasions of The Mandalorian), whereas Commander Wolffe survived till no less than the tip of Rebels.

    Mando and Child Yoda are on the transfer within the poster for the presents second season.

    You may assume that Jango and Boba are Mandalorians as a result of they put on the armor, however Mandalorian Prime Minister Almecdismissed them as pretenders throughout the Clone Wars. Nevertheless, Almec wasnt essentially the most reliable character, so all bets are off as to the Fetts heritage.

    Followers have been clamoring for Bobas return to the Star Wars galaxy regardless of his fall into the maw of a hungry sarlacc in Return of the Jedi. We noticed a mysterious individual method murderer Fennec Shands physique on Tatooine within the remaining moments of thefifth episode, with Fetts trademarkspur sound effect, however the present did not observe up on that tease within the first season.

    Well additionally seeTimothy Olyphant, who performed gunslingers inDeadwoodandJustified,becoming a member of the forged, in line withThe Hollywood Reporter. His character will apparently put on Boba Fetts armor,Slashfilm famous in a follow-up report.

    Chuck WendigsAftermath trilogy of novels, that are set between Return of the Jedi and The Mandalorian, included Mandalorian armor that is closely implied to be Bobas getting recovered from the sarlaccs maw and worn by former slave Cobb Vanth. Utilizing the armor as a logo of energy, he turns into sheriff of Freetown (a settlement on Tatooine) and presents sanctuary to anybody keen to battle the worlds crime syndicates. Itd make extra sense for Vanth to have been the one who inspected Shands physique in season 1, however well see.

    Followers of the Legends materials (developed innovels, comics and video games previous to 2014) will recall that Boba escaped the sarlacc in that continuity and went on to develop into the chief of Mandalore in a really totally different (and non-canon) post-Return of the Jedi galaxy.

    Now enjoying:Watch this:Your information to Star Wars lightsaber colours


    You are in luck! I wrote detailed recaps of every episode that you should utilize to catch up:

    Chapter 1:The Mandalorian

    Chapter 2:The Youngster

    Chapter three:The Sin

    Chapter four:Sanctuary

    Chapter 5:The Gunslinger

    Chapter 6:The Prisoner

    Chapter 7:The Reckoning

    Chapter eight:Redemption

    Learn extra:30 greatest motion pictures to observe on Disney Plus

    I do not find out about you, however the sight of completely happy Child Yoda instantly calms me.

    This little man captured everybodys hearts the second he appeared within the season premiere, and we have aentire separate informationfor him. He is formally often called The Youngster. We do not know his actual identify, race or house planet, however he can use the Drive fairly successfully, and the Imperial Remnant needs him.

    Oh, and essentially the most detailed model of the puppet apparently valueround $5 million.

    Merchandise searching is an advanced passion, however you understand you need it. For the reason that presents debut final November, a mountain of toys and different collectibles have been launched. Highlights embody Hasbros six-inch Black Collection and Classic Assortment.

    There will be a gentle stream for season 2 as properly, like Legos enormousChild Yoda set, PolaroidsMandalorian-themed prompt digital camera and Hasbroscrowd-funded Razor Crest. Lucasfilm will reveal new collectibles every Monday from Oct. 26 to Dec. 21 a merchandising push often called Mando Mondays capitalizing on the second season.

    Longtime Lucasfilm idea artist Doug Chiang designed the quilt for The Artwork of The Mandalorian.

    As is Star Wars custom, readers will have the ability to dive in additional. A bunch of books were revealed on the official Star Wars website in June. The main ones are:

    The corporate famous the books will begin popping out this fall. Preorder pages revealed that the artwork e book shall be launched Dec. 15 (and price $40), whereas the novel has been delayed until fall 2021 (for $29). Marvel and IDW will even convey out comics impressed by the present.

    In the meanwhile, were protecting issues below wraps together with the title, synopsis, and canopy, Christopher wrote in a blog post about his novel. However that does imply I get a type of cool and mysterious Cowl Not Last placeholders.

    Disney Gallery: The Mandalorian is an eight-episode making-of collection that features interviews with The Mandalorians forged and crew, new footage from the presents manufacturing and round-table conversations hosted by Favreau. Episodes started dropping on Disney Plus, beginning Might four. This is what they cowl:

    The titles are fairly self-explanatory, other than the second. It seems at George Lucas persevering with impression on Star Wars and incorporates a fairlyamazing monologuefrom director Dave Filoni, who labored immediately with Lucas on The Clone Wars. Hell make you consider The Phantom Menace in a complete new method.

    Mandalorians are people from the Outer Rim world of Mandalore, its moon Concordia and the planet Kalevala, whose story was largely informed in The Clone Wars and Rebels.

    Their world went via main political upheaval throughout the Clone Wars and early days of the Galactic Empires rule, however most of the clans united below the rule of Bo-Katan Kryze after she took management of theDarksaber. The black-bladed weapon was created greater than 1,000 years earlier by Tarre Vizsla (the primary Mandalorian to affix the Jedi Order) and have become a logo of management. It additionally confirmed up in The Mandaloriansseason 1 finale.

    Sabine Wren (seen wielding the Darksaber in Rebels) may seem within the present.

    Pedro Pascal (greatest identified for enjoyingOberyn MartellinSport of Thrones) is the bounty hunter behind the helmet: He is a lone Mandalorian gunfighter working within the outer reaches of the galaxy.

    Pedro Pascal is the person behind the Mandalorians helmet.

    He is joined by a star-studded forged, although a few these characters did not survive season 1:

    Now enjoying:Watch this:We rode Disneys new Star Wars journey


    Administrators for the primary season:

    See all images

    Favreau, Filoni,Colin Wilsonand Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedyare the chief producers, withKaren Gilchristas co-executive producer.

    The Mandalorian is among the many first tasks for ILM TV, adivision of Lucasfilms Industrial Mild & Magic visible results firm. The presents soundtrack is composed by Ludwig Gransson, who scored Black Panther, Venom and Creed II. Granssons Black Panther rating received him a Grammyand an Oscar in 2019.

    Read the rest here:
    The Mandalorian season 2: Everything we know ahead of Baby Yoda's return to Disney Plus on Oct. 30 - Best gaming pro

    15 projects recommended for community preservation funds in Springfield – - August 14, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    SPRINGFIELD A citizen committee is recommending that 15 projects receive a total of approximately $1.5 million to improve historic properties, parks and open space, and community housing.

    Robert McCarroll, chairman of the Springfield Community Preservation Committee, said the projects were chosen from among 25 applications for 2020. The grants are funded annually by a local property surtax approved by voters in 2016.

    You can see they are peppered across the city, which is one of our goals, McCarroll said. I think its a good broad section.

    The funds can be used for purposes including the acquisition, creation and preservation of open space, recreational land, historic resources and community housing.

    The recommendations will be forwarded to Mayor Domenic Sarno and the City Council in September, McCarroll said. Any project funded will need council approval, but the projects first need to be recommended by the citizen committee.

    The following 15 projects are recommended for funds:

    The committee is scheduled to meet again Sept. 1 to finalize the grant amount for the Trinity House project.

    The city has approximately $2.1 million in community preservation funds this year, including this years allotment and unused funds from the past year, McCarroll said.

    Ten other applications were considered but were not recommended this year. Some were ineligible or deemed low-priority, and others were encouraged to apply in a future year, McCarroll said.

    Last year, the committee recommended projects for funding totaling $1.7 million, approved by the council last September.

    Local organizations, nonprofit groups and city departments annually apply for the funds.

    Related Content:

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    15 projects recommended for community preservation funds in Springfield -

    Conundrums of Dry Tombs and Possible Solutions – waste360 - August 14, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began mandating that landfill operators install low-permeability bottom liners and final covers, the idea was to mitigate leachate and precipitation and ultimately protect groundwater. These design features have proved to accomplish those goals, but some drawbacks have been discovered over time.

    Liners and final covers extend the time during which gas is generated while slowing the speed of the generation, and they extend the waste decomposition time.

    When waste is encapsulated or entombed in these engineered structures, gas production could go on slowly for decades up to 70 or 80 years, as reported in a technical article written by SCS Engineers Bob Isenberg and Darrin Dillah.

    But Isenberg and Dillah found that if that same dry tomb they modeled in their paper were made into a bioreactor where moisture is introduced into the waste the gas would be produced for about 20 years, and then it would stabilize.

    Why are people paying attention to gas production rates and the moisture content of landfill waste?

    Gas is generated when you have moisture, and quick gas generation stabilizes waste, says Dillah. The quicker you stabilize the waste, the quicker you can get out of post-closure care requirements. Conversely, by entombing waste, you extend the natural stabilization process, and you extend the time period for post-closure.

    The first landfills are about to reach the 30-year mark since Subtitle D began mandating bottom liners and final covers the prescribed post-closure care period.

    I think a lot of landfill operators will find they cannot show they reached the stabilized point where gas generation and leachate quantities are minimal and where they can say there will be no impact on human health and the environment, so the 30-year period could be extended, Dillah says.

    Time is money. Post-closure care can cost $100,000 or more a year, depending on the size of the site. Shortening that period could save thousands to millions of dollars in some scenarios, Isenberg estimates.

    Despite the potential for dry tomb-related delays in ending post-closure periods, no one is looking at changing the bottom liner and final cover to speed gas generation and waste decomposition. But a small number of operators are exploring new approaches, from techniques to deal with leachate to the timing of the placement of the final cover. EPAs research, development and demonstration rule is allowing landfill operators to try some of these approaches.

    One technique of interest is the recirculation of leachate in a controlled manner, either by spraying or injecting it into the waste. Another approach, though not as common, involves allowing stormwater runoff into the waste.

    Operators typically try to divert rainwater from landfills and create ditches, channels and ponds to manage runoff. But if its done carefully, one might be able to allow some stormwater runoff into the waste. This can be tricky, however, because if a 100-year storm hits, it could create problems, Isenberg says.

    Another method is to delay the installation of the final cap until several years after the landfill is filled in order to add moisture from rainfall. Some operators are looking at this approach as it relates to settlement.

    As Isenberg explains it, decomposition produces gas as a byproduct, and as gas is generated, mass is lost, which triggers settlement. Pennsylvania allows operators to wait until five years after landfills are filled to install caps in order to allow settlement to take place.

    These techniques come with drawbacks. For example, recirculating leachate costs money and requires manpower. And it has to been done carefully.

    If you inject too much leachate, you can slow down the gas generation due to saturation of the waste, Isenberg says. Or you can create localized settlement problems, slope instability, or odors.

    In the case of delayed cap installation, operators must anticipate and predict settlement so that when the cap is installed, they have positive drainage and stormwater is controlled.

    Another method to avoid the dry tomb impact is to accept wastewater sludge and other wet types of waste. Adding these materials to municipal solid waste increases moisture content and accelerates decomposition.

    But wet waste has to be introduced carefully and with engineering controls, because this type of material may be weaker and could create stability problems or odor issues. Technique is important: Its advisable to distribute wet waste around the landfill, though more in the middle or the interior than on side slopes.

    Engineers advise that operators establish a percentage of wet waste that will be accepted based on engineering evaluations, looking at stability, gas generation, and leachate in order to avoid saturation.

    Jeff Murray, landfill practice leader for HDR, says technology like landfill liner systems and leachate and gas collection systems have proved effective in protecting human health and the environment.

    When the solid waste regulations were developed nearly 30 years ago, perhaps their performance was uncertain and was supported by the dry tomb approach, Murray says. But with available disposal capacity at a premium, we should be having a discussion to provide more flexibility for closure time frames that allow solid waste to degrade more fully and to settle so that airspace can be recaptured, incorporating proper planning and controls.

    This approach, Murray says, could extend the life of some landfills by up to 30%. In addition, it could reduce the time to reach functional stability after closure, potentially shortening the post-closure care period, and it could reduce the long-term liability and risks to human health and the environment.

    Isenberg says dry tombs are fine for protecting groundwater, but there are approaches to accelerate decomposition to reduce post-closure in a safe manner.

    You have to understand gas, leachate and settlement, Isenberg says. This requires working with engineers to design the system, contractors to build the system, suppliers of equipment and materials, and regulators to ensure compliance. We just have to think outside the box or think outside the tomb.

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    Conundrums of Dry Tombs and Possible Solutions - waste360

    Grundon Sand & Gravel enjoy the benefits of a new PowerX Equipment Wash Plant and Water Treatment System. – Hub 4 - August 14, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Located at Cholsey near Wallingford, Oxfordshire, New Barn Farm Quarry is the latest quarry operation to be opened by Grundon Sand & Gravel (GSG)

    A 6 million investment:With Grundon purchasing the site in July 2015 and gaining planning permission in November 2018 an estimated 2.5 million tonnes of sand and gravel is expected to be extracted over the next 18 years. Once quarry operations are complete a 20-year conservation and restoration programme will be put in place.

    GSG have invested 6 million in the 66-acre site, which included a state-of-the-art Sand Plant and Water Treatment System which will provide gravel and a variety of sands for the building, construction, leisure and landscaping sectors, including two local concrete plants as well as selling directly to the general public.

    Golden Harvest Gravel:The opening of the new quarry also sees GSG launch an exclusive new Golden Harvest Gravel into its gravel range. Blending shades of gold, bronze, and cream, it is an exceptionally durable hard flint, and is ideal for areas with high footfall, such as driveways and car parks, as well as landscaping areas. It is available in 10mm and 20mm grades.

    Andy Bright- GSG General Manager, commented, We are delighted to add New Barn Farm Quarry to our quarry portfolio. We believe it will prove a valuable resource for the local housebuilding and construction industries throughout the wider Oxfordshire, Berkshire, and Buckinghamshire region, underlining our reputation as a leading supplier of sands and aggregates.

    We are also pleased to have brought new jobs to the area and look forward to welcoming local people through our gates for their own gardening and landscaping requirements.

    PowerX Equipment The next generation in Aggregate & Mineral Processing:The plant has been designed, supplied and commissioned by PowerX Equipment who are the next generation in aggregate and mineral processing. Whether a client is looking to incorporate a single item of equipment or create an entire, integrated plant solution, PowerX Equipment design, supply and install; Aggregate Washing, Crushing & Screening, Water & Silt Management Systems, Bulk Materials Handling, Recycling and Materials Processing equipment to meet expectations and achieve profitable outcomes.

    The Processing Plant:As well as supplying the wash plant and MS water treatment system PowerX also installed a 400m long feed conveyor including a feed hopper situated adjacent to the current dig. Here material is loaded into the hopper and is conveyed to a hopper fed radial conveyor next to the processing plant. From this, the material is either fed direct to the main plant or stockpiled adjacent to it.

    With the plant operating at 200tph material is fed via a hopper to the inclined primary conveyor and then onto a Terex Washing Systems 4.9 x 1.5m triple-deck rinsing screen. Here the rinsed fractions of 10mm/20mm/+20mm are split and sent to radial stockpilers.

    Twin sands production:The main product, sand then falls through the bottom deck of the rinsing screen and is then pumped up to the single hydro-cyclone of the AMP compact sharp sand plant. Silt from the thickener is also delivered and measured back into the feed of both the sharp and soft sand processes consistently maintaining the concrete specification.

    Consisting of a high-energy 2.4m x 1.2m dewatering screen and one 200/150centrifugal pumpfor sharp sand, the plant specification is completed with one 625mm diameter conical bottom hydro-cyclone hydro vortex.

    The soft sand production is dealt with by an AMP compact soft sand plant which consists of a high-energy 2.4m x 1.2m dewatering screen and one 150/100 centrifugal pump and is completed by four 250mm polyurethane cyclones to reclaim the material above 20m.

    Arranged in a cluster with equal feed, each cyclone has a knife valve with chutes and rubber lined distributor box. Both sand plants are of modular design to allow complete flexibility.

    Both sands are then delivered to their respective stockpile by radial conveyors.

    Added benefits with the PowerX Equipment Design:John Collins Technical Director for PowerX, comments, The main difference with this plant compared to most S&G plants, is that the plant design ensures that all the silt is deposited back into the sand product which means they dont require silt ponds.

    They have a fresh water pond and a thickener and the silt from the thickener is measured back into the course sand to keep that within the concrete specification and then into the fine sand and this is effectively the main difference with this and other S&G plants.

    Having originally been told by other suppliers that it could not be done, the plant operated correctly within a set of parameters will operate all day long. On the flipside of this, it is not something you can do anywhere, because if the material you are washing is really dirty there is a limit to how much you can put in the sand.

    The as raised material at New Barn Farm only has an average silt content of 6-8% so it allowed Grundons that benefit to lose that silt straight back into the sand without them going out of specification.

    Water Treatment Plant:The wash plant at New Barn Farm incorporates a MS water treatment system featuring a 12m diameter 3m high 340m volume capacity thickener which provides a minimum of 380m/hr flow rate with a low flocculent consumption. An 8m diameter 3m high clarified water tank provides a 150m capacity with a technical room housing the flocculent system. A flocculent mixing plant and flocculent sampling plant make up the system.

    Ed Fagan - Head of Projects, Engineering and Design Grundon Sand and Gravel, commented, We are extremely pleased with the design and performance of the plant which has enabled us to eliminate the requirement for silt ponds and ensure production is as efficient as possible. The PowerX team were very professional in their approach to the project showing great attention to detail and a strong emphasis on H&S throughout the project programme.

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    Grundon Sand & Gravel enjoy the benefits of a new PowerX Equipment Wash Plant and Water Treatment System. - Hub 4

    Go With the Flow: Water Feature Maintenance – Mother Earth News - May 2, 2020 by Mr HomeBuilder

    Sponsored by Exmark

    April 2020

    View this Exmark Original video from their Done-In-A-Weekend Projects series to discover the pros and cons of a various types of backyard water features, and how to choose which is right for you.

    My wife and I decided to add an outdoor water feature to our front yard to complement a recent landscape project. We settled on a fountain style water feature and were able to install it ourselves, but we also realized that we hadnt considered that there would be some ongoing maintenance involved to keep the fountain in good condition and operating correctly.

    The term water feature is a little ambiguous, but it can be broken down into two groups: water fountains and water ponds. Both involve the use of recirculating water by means of a pump, but the complexity of each may vary greatly based on style, size and design. I thought I would share some of the information I learned while researching the ongoing maintenance involved in keeping a water feature operating efficiently.

    Water fountains are self-contained and come in a variety of sizes and styles. Fountains can be large and weigh several tons or they can be very small and function as a center piece on a table, but most DIY styles of water fountains fall somewhere in the middle. From cascading waterfalls with multiple bowls to simple vase style fountains with water running down the sides, the choices are endless. The basic components involved in all fountains are a bowl or container to hold the water and a pump to cycle the water through the feature by way of plastic or rubber tubing. Other than the aesthetic look and style of a water fountain, the biggest difference between them is the volume of water circulated.

    Water ponds tend to be more elaborate and require a lot more design and installation work than a water fountain. There are small ponds that compliment flower gardens and also large ponds that are designed to hold fish and cover large areas of a yard. An averaged size pond probably runs in the fifteen foot by twelve-foot range and may have a stream in the design.

    The size and scale of the water pond and your personal DIY capabilities usually will dictate if you have the ability to install one yourself. You may want to consult a professional landscaper before you decide to start a big water pond project.

    The soothing sound of a trickling water fountain can create a great outdoor ambiance on your patio or in your back yard. The flowing water will attract song birds and even butterflies to your landscape, but there is some basic maintenance that will go a long way in keeping the fountain both running properly and aesthetically attractive. Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind.

    As mentioned earlier, water ponds are usually more complicated to maintain than water fountains. Depending on the size and style of the water pond, they may be very elaborate and contain plants, rocks, waterfalls, flowing streams and even fish. With spring approaching, here are some maintenance suggestions for water ponds.

    Pond chemical additives: There are many companies that manufacture chemicals that can be added to ponds that will boost beneficial bacteria which will help keep your pond clean. These bacteria actually eat the sludge and debris caused by fish food, fish waste, leaves and other organic material that falls into the pond. Adding these chemicals wont hurt wildlife and can be done manually or through an automatic pumping device set to periodic releases.

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    Go With the Flow: Water Feature Maintenance - Mother Earth News

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