The Joy Trip Project | Reporting on the Business, Art & Culture of the Sustainable Active Lifestyle
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Camping, Environmental Journalism, Film Review, Kids in Nature, Outdoor Recreation / 18.03.2011

“The landscape of childhood has changed.” From the opening frames of Play Again, directed by Tonje Hessen Schei, the documentary makes it clear that the world we knew as children is fundamentally different than it is today. With a proliferation of technology that captivates both the time and attention of young people, a generation of humanity is emerging out of touch with the natural world. And as teenagers spend more and more time playing video games and surfing the web indoors the producers of this feature-length movie warn that as they grow to become adults they may be deprived of the very experiences that make us human.
Assignment Earth / 17.03.2011

It is one of the most ecologically rich places on Earth. It harbors the highest diversity of mammals in the United States and the second highest in the world. In southern Arizona, the San Pedro River flows north from Mexico across the U.S. border. And with it flows a stunning variety of life. “The San Pedro riparian corridor is such a huge influence on migratory patterns for all kinds of animals but especially birds,” said Randy Serraglio of the Center for Biological Diversity. “For the entire continental United States it’s a very precious place.” But like many desert rivers the San Pedro has lost a good deal of its flow because the ground water pumping in the area has drawn down the water table. Expanding industry and development in nearby Sierra Vista and the Fort Huachuca army installation are the biggest users of water in the region. As more water is pumped from underground, less water makes it to the river itself. As a result the river is shrinking. Along with a diminishing water supply laws designed to protect the river’s many threatened and endangered species, and by extension the San Pedro itself were recently relaxed for the sake of local industry. The Renzi Rider as the legislation was called exempts Fort Huachuca and the surrounding community of Sierra Vista from the requirements of the endangered species act. Activist hope to reverse the exemption but for now, without laws that would ensure adequate water flow, community members are doing what they can to preserve this disappearing natural resource.
Capital Region Business Journal, Charitable Giving, Magazines, Skiing / 15.03.2011

Winter in Wisconsin is a wonderful time for outdoor recreation. Despite the cold weather and waist deep snow thousands turn out each year to engage in sports that range from downhill and cross-country skiing, to snowboarding and cyclo-cross bike riding. With so many snow sports to pick from winter is for everyone. And thanks to local attorney Donald Becker, even people with disabilities can experience cold weather fun. Having financed the creation and mass production of an adaptive snow vehicle called a sit-ski, Becker is making it possible for those unable to walk to glide over frozen terrain.
Assignment Earth, Environmental Journalism, Environmental Protection / 11.03.2011

  Collisions with automobiles make it pretty clear where Mule Deer don’t make it across the road. But what researchers want to find out is where they do. The answer is important as officials in Wyoming get ready to expand major highways -some up to five lanes- that run through this wildlife rich gateway to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks.   “If we can figure out where animals are crossing, we can at least hope to reduce some of those wildlife vehicle collisions, which will help from a population perspective to keep the animals alive,” said Embere Hall of Teton Science Schools. “Secondly it will help improve human safety. No one wants to hit an animal with their car.” A three-year study is underway to better understand the highway-crossing behavior of mule deer. At a cost of my more than $300,000 this labor intensive project aims to discover exactly how animals maneuver through this increasingly busy valley.
Diversity, Environmental Justice, National Parks / 10.03.2011

  Protecting the environment for future generations is great idea. In fact it’s a notion so simple that you might wonder why it took a White House committee 10 months, 52 public listening sessions and a 116-page document to express what any lover of nature knows by heart. Unveiled in February by President Obama, America’s Great Outdoors report offers a comprehensive list of recommendations to preserve wilderness and recreation areas throughout the United States for decades if not centuries to come. It’s a thorough series of proposals that provide logical solutions that aim to engage more citizens in outdoor activities. But this plan, ironically devised by the most racially diverse administration in our nation’s history, seems to neglect an excellent opportunity to make the great outdoors more relevant to the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population: people of color.
Africa, Charitable Giving, Climate Change, Environmental Journalism, Environmental Justice, Environmental Protection, Ethiopia, Manic Media Monday, philanthropy / 07.03.2011

  There’s hardly a storage of news to be had in our worldwide 24/7 media cycle. What’s remarkable is the sheer volume of information out there that tends to clog the pipe and make it difficult to find those articles that truly help to shape our thoughts. For those of us engaged in an active sustainable lifestyle there are several stories worth following this week that can both inspire and encourage our personal efforts to make the world a better place.