Last Child in the Watershed? Interview with Richard Louv

What can cities do to connect kids with nature? Billy and frequent guest host Robin Irizarry of the Tookany/Tacony/Frankford Watershed Partnership (TTF) interview Richard Louv to find out.

Richard will be speaking on February 28th, 6pm at the Friends Center (1501 Cherry Street in Philadelphia, PA) as part of the TTF’s Nature Talks series, but this episode is a great look at how kids need nature, and how cities are working to connect kids with nature (including the TTF’s bad-ass watershed education tricycle).

louv

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Re-Post: Cat Wars (Pete Marra special)

Pete Marra joins us for a special episode to talk about his (and Chris Santella’s) book Cat Wars: The Devastating Consequences of a Cuddly Killer. We originally posted this for his talk last year at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia. Billy has an article coming out in Grid Magazine about outdoor cats, and it seemed like a good moment to post this one again. Stay tuned for our deeper dive into the outdoor cat literature.

Cover of Cat Wars book

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Off the Wall: the Power of Urban Wildlife Murals

When is a raccoon not just a raccoon? What can a dandelion teach us about changing the world? We talk with Evan Lovett of V.U.R.T. about their Philly Local Critter series of murals, including a pretzel-eating raccoon. We also hear from San Francisco-based, globe-trotting muralist Mona Caron, whose Weeds series teaches us about the power that even the humblest among us has to break through barriers.

mural of raccoon holding a Wawa pretzel

VURT Raccoon mural (pretzel from Wawa)

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Why not the City? Urban Hawk Walk

Dr. Christian Hunold, a political scientist at Drexel University, is a dedicated wildlife photographer and wrote a paper, Why not the City?, about the hawks of Center City Philadelphia, the humans who watch and love them, and what all that says about how we regard wild animals in urban settings. Tony and Billy go hawk watching with Christian Hunold around Logan Circle in the heart of Philadelphia. As soon as you’re done listening, head on over to the Field Guides podcast for their own urban hawk episode looking at Cooper’s hawks!

Mom, the red-tailed hawk.

Mom, a hawk of Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

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War

It’s the worst thing humans do, but nature fills in the scars on city landscapes. We discuss how naturalists from London to Berlin studied the ruins, and we hear from the Urban Birder, David Lindo, about the black redstart, a bird that took advantage of England’s bombed spaces after WWII. Seth Degginger joins us to talk about the wildlife he saw while in training and on deployment with the Army Reserves. We conclude Nassrine Azimi and an introduction to Green Legacy Hiroshima, a program that shares seeds from trees that survived the nuclear bomb blast.

Black Redstart

Black Redstart (by Devid Lindo).

 

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Special Episode: Robin in Rome

This summer our frequent guest host Robin Irizarry (Philadelphia Watershed Coordinator for the Tookany/Tacony Frankford Watershed Partnership) took a trip to Rome. Lots of people see the history, enjoy the culture and food of the eternal city. Robin brought his binoculars and looked for wildlife.

Robin with Philly-style graffiti in Rome, "Philly 215."

Robin with Philly-style graffiti in Rome.

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Nature and Nature Lovers in Palestine

It’s easy to be a birder in Philadelphia, but what about Bethlehem (not the one near Allentown) or the Gaza Strip? Learn about nature and nature loving under occupation, and hear about two organizations training citizen scientists, educating children about nature, and advancing environmental preservation where it isn’t quite as easy. We speak with Mazin Qumsiyeh of the Palestine Museum of Natural History and Imad Atrash of the Palestine Wildlife Society about their programming and the wildlife of Palestine (like lesser kestrels on the walls of Jerusalem). Tony and Billy reflect on how social injustice manifests in how we experience nature, from Palestine to West Philadelphia.

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Things that go Flap in the Night: Nighthawks and Bats at the Cemetery

Nighthawks and bats come out at dusk to fatten up on cemetery bugs before migration and hibernation. In this special mini episode, we take a page from the Field Guides and record a full episode outside at one of our favorite urban parks, the Mount Moriah Cemetery. Tony and Billy bring along our partners and one very excited five-year-old, jacked up on hot chocolate and urban wildlife.

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Shiners, Mussels, and Marbled Sallies: Helping Critters that Rely on City Waters

Fish and mussel tanks at the Philadelphia, Fairmount Park Waterworks.

Fish and mussel tanks at the Philadelphia, Fairmount Park Waterworks mussel hatchery.

Tony and Billy join Robin Irizarry (Philadelphia Watershed Coordinator for the Tookany/Tacony Frankford Watershed Partnership) at his Irizarry Hillstead and hear Bryan Windmiller talk about Grassroots Wildlife Conservation‘s work with marbled salamanders and bridle shiners in the Boston area and about mussels in the Philadelphia area. Billy takes a mussel hatchery tour with Kurt Cheng of the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary.

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Rattlesnakes and Urbanization (Special Listener-Generated Episode)

What’s it like to be a rattlesnake in an urbanizing landscape, keeping to your patch, dodging car tires if you leave? In this special episode we air an interview that listener and wildlife biologist Pete Havlik did with Ecologist/Conservation Biologist Matt Goode of the University of Arizona. We hear about rattlers in the Tucson, Arizona area (including the Tumamoc Hill reserve) and also about Dr. Goode’s work with king cobras (the King Cobra Conservancy) in India as they discuss how we can best get along with wild animals in an urbanizing world.

Also check out our other rattler episodes: Timbers on a Boston Island, and One Man’s Pest is Another’s Gorgeous Rattlesnake.

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