August 1, Tour of the Renovations & New Exhibits at the River Legacy Living Science Center by Becky Nussbaum.
Note: The tour will be at the River Legacy Living Science Center, Wednesday, August 1, 2018 at 7-8pm. The center is at 703 NW Green Oaks Boulevard, Arlington, TX 76006. Ample parking is available behind the building. Use the entrance to the Center where Cooper Street dead ends into Green Oaks Blvd.
Tour Description: River Legacy Living Science Center houses interactive exhibits, native animals, and environmental education programs, including after school and home school nature science programs for kids. The Center has recently undergone a major $2.5 million renovation of its educational displays and technology. Becky will show ACC members the NEW Discovery Room and how the new exhibits and technology enhances and supports kid’s education. For more details, see https://riverlegacy.org/
Tour Guide: Becky Nussbaum is a long-time employee of the Center who is currently the Fund Development Coordinator of the River Legacy Foundation/River Legacy Living Science Center.
Below, see the interactive screens of the new River Legacy Discovery Room.
No meeting in July. Join the ACC Gang with their 4th of July Arlington parade entry.
June 6, 7-8pm: Billions of Birds visit Texas: Migration in our state each year by Walter Berk, Master Birder
Program Description: Walter's "Billions of Birds visit Texas" talk will take us through this awesome annual ritual.
Presenter: Walt Berk has been observing and counting birds since his retirement from the Army 30 years ago, with a focus on birding Texas for the last 20. A resident of Burleson, Walt is a graduate of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology Home Study Course in Bird Biology and is a member of both the Dallas and Fort Worth Audubon societies. Walt took the first 10-month Master Birder class taught semi-annually by the Dallas Audubon Society and has taught senior enrichment classes in birding at Tarrant County College campuses in spring and fall for several years. He is also a popular speaker on bird ecology to civic and environmental groups and often leads bird identification field trips throughout the Metroplex. Admission is free and everyone is welcome.
May 2, 7-8pm: World of Bees by Ryan Giesecke
Program Description: Ryan's "World of Bees" talk will walk us through his fascination with how bees function, explore our dependence on bee pollination, and detail the diversity of native bee species, as well as discussing ways to get started in urban beekeeping and how non-beekeepers can help our bee population.
Presenter: Ryan maintains several beeyards in the Dallas area and runs Honey Bee Relocation Services, a small company specializing in live bee removal, taking bees out of problem spots and getting them back into productive situations. Ryan is president of Trinity Valley Beekeepers Association in Dallas, active in the Texas Master Beekeeper Program, and does a good deal of educational work pertaining to bees and beekeeping.
April 4, 7-8pm: iNaturalist wants you! by Annabelle Corboy
Program Description: On April 27 – 30, 65 cities in 17 countries around the world will participate in the third annual City Nature Challenge. Seven urban areas in Texas will be participating including last year’s champion, Dallas/Fort Worth. Many local nature-centered organizations will be hosting events that will make it fun and easy to contribute to the D/FW team. The only requirement will be that you record your observations in iNaturalist. This evening’s program will provide an overview of iNaturalist, including what it is, who uses it, how to post observations, and how it can help you learn about the natural world. We will emphasize practical, step-by-step instructions for the Smartphone App as well as the iNaturalist.org website.
Presenter: Annabelle Corboy retired from Alcon Laboratories in 2013 after 39 years working in IT, R&D Applications. Since retirement, she has pursued her interests in nature and technology. Serving on the board for the Friends of Southwest Nature Preserve, she recruits speakers for the group’s monthly programs and helps maintain the group’s website and Facebook page. She has been an iNaturalist user since 2015. Though not an expert naturalist, Annabelle has become very familiar with how to use iNaturalist to appear to be one. She has developed a class for TCC NE Campus titled “Using Smartphone Apps to Explore Nature”, with an emphasis on iNaturalist.
March 7, 7-8pm: Green features of the new Arlington Central Library and how its Sun Club's will promote Arlington’s sustainability by Yoko Matsumoto, Director of Libraries
Presentation: Imagine a library with a butterfly garden, an edible garden, a seed library, voltaic lighting, and more. This is what our new library is offering Arlington citizens with the help of $400,000, from Green Mountain Energy (GME) Sun Club. It’s the Sun Club’s largest grant ever! Yoko will explain the green features of the library and its sustainable programs made possible by the GME Sun Club. The mission of the Sun Club is to enhance the quality of life through long-term, sustainable solutions that focus on people and the planet. Yoko’s presentation will have you ready to enjoy your new library when it opens June 16, 2018.
Presenter: Yoko Matsumoto is the Director of Libraries for the City of Arlington. The Arlington Public Library (APL), located in Arlington, Texas, provides seven unique neighborhood anchors that open the world of possibility to all who enter. Yoko began her career with APL in May of 2008 and was honored to be named director in March 2015.
Prior to joining APL, Yoko worked extensively in the field of education. She taught in grades ranging from kindergarten to high school – skipping the entire middle school stage. She has supported youth development through coaching soccer and volleyball at the high school and club levels. Yoko gained non-profit experience presenting educational programs to parents with children in inner city schools in Dallas. Between 1998-2000, Yoko served as a Peace Corps volunteer on the Island of Santo Antão, Cape Verde located in West Africa.
Yoko was born and raised in Oak Cliff. She graduated from Berkner High School in Richardson, Texas and arrived at The University of Texas at Arlington as a scholarship athlete in volleyball in 1992. She received a B.A. in History in 1996, a Master of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies in 2006, and is currently working on a Master of Public Administration. She lives, works and plays in Arlington with her 11-year-old twins Asaya and Matisse and her husband Eric Matsumoto.
February 7, 7-8pm: What is the Texas Wildlife Association and how can you get involved by Sarah Grella
Program Description: The Texas Wildlife Association is a nonprofit striving to connect Texans of all ages with the outdoors through meaningful and informative interactions. Attendees will gain an understanding of the many program avenues through which we achieve this goal. Local volunteer opportunities with the TWA L.A.N.D.S. Intensive and Trinity River Program will be discussed.
Presenter: Sarah Grella earned her bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of North Texas (UNT) in December of 2010. Her studies were focused in biogeography, which were highlighted with the co-presented research on white-tailed deer at the Southwest Division of the Association of American Geographers conference in Austin. Sarah continued her education, earning a master’s degree in biology, also from UNT, in December of 2014. Her graduate career was centered on northern bobwhite quail conservation and youth education. As the first of member of UNT Quail, she helped map north Texas bobwhite populations and contributed to UNT Quail’s youth and community outreach programs.
During this time, Sarah developed her professional goal to serve her community as an intermediary between research and public education. After graduation, as a Texas certified educator, Sarah taught high school biology in the Greater Fort Worth area. Although her desires for education were met through this avenue, her true passion for encouraging youth to learn outside was better aligned in her volunteer work with the Learning Across New Dimensions in Science (L.A.N.D.S.) and Trinity River programs within the Texas Wildlife Association. It was through these volunteer efforts that in June of 2015 Sarah was presented her current opportunity within TWA.
Sarah is an education program specialist for Conservation Legacy’s L.A.N.D.S. Intensive team in North Texas, and currently reside in Fort Worth. She has the privilege of organizing and implementing around 30 field investigation days every school year. On the Trinity River and within the North Texas prairies, thousands of students explore their local ecosystems through these investigative events annually. The Texas Wildlife Association has allowed Sarah the opportunity to apply her passion for the outdoors professionally every day for the past two and a half years and even better, share and nurture that passion in the next generation of Texans.
Every day Sarah is guided by the belief that a person cannot truly love something they have never experienced firsthand. She is blessed with the mission of providing young Texans the opportunity to learn about and experience their prairies and rivers so that one day they can love and protect them fiercely.
Annual Pot Luck Meeting, January 13, 2018 10am-noon
ACC’s annual potluck meeting is Saturday, January 13, 2018 from 10am-noon, at the Montessori School, 3428 W Arkansas Ln, Arlington, TX 76016. Click here for directions.
November 8, 2017, 7-9pm: Arlington on the Move: A Transportation Forum
- Kevin Feldt - NCTCOG - Brief history of where we are with regional transportation and how we got here, challenges of routes and modes, jurisdiction, funding, etc.
- Jungus Jordan - Ft Worth's transportation status and plans for the future.
- Drew Campbell - the Dallas/Dallas Co. situation.
- Kathryn Wilemon - Arlington's status, task force recommendations, future?
Program Description: Public officials and transportation experts will discuss where we are, how we got here, and what the future may hold. The Fort Worth Transit Authority has developed a transportation plan for a Trinity Railway Express station in North Arlington at FM 157 and Highway 183, but how people would move from it into the city has not been decided. A citizens Transportation Advisory Committee has been studying options for a year and will present recommendations for hubs, corridors and circulators (http://www.arlington-tx.gov/tac/wp-content/uploads/sites/65/2016/10/August-03-2017-TAC-Recommendations.pdf). Although Arlington residents have rejected diesel-powered buses and light rail in the past, today's buses run on clean-burning compressed natural gas, a greener alternative. But Arlington’s mayor is taking it even further. He imagines an automated, electric shuttle connecting Texas Live! and its hotel, AT&T stadium, the new Rangers ballpark, downtown, shopping areas in the north and south, and UT Arlington. “We can't build roads fast enough to keep up with future demand,” says Mayor Williams.
October 4, 2017: Regional and Local Water Conservation Initiatives for Long-Term Water Supply by Dustan Compton
Program Description: Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) is a raw water supplier for all or parts of an 11 county area within North Texas. TRWD operates a series of water supply lakes to support approximately 2.1 million water users. Population is expected to double within the next 50 years and water supply planning includes conservation to meet the growing need. Conservation is the long-term approach of using water more efficiently today so that it may be available for additional use tomorrow. Various indoor/outdoor, advertising, education, partnership, customer, technology and innovative-supply programs are in place or in the planning stages. This presentation will provide an update on water supply conditions and conservation initiatives.
September 6, 2017: Food Too Good to Waste by Stephen Sturdivant
Presenter: Stephen Sturdivant is an environmental engineer at the Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 6 office under the Sustainable Materials Management Program. This program seeks to use materials in the most productive way with an emphasis on using less and assure we have sufficient resources to meet today’s needs and those of the future. Stephen graduated with a mechanical engineering degree from the University of North Texas and has over 10 years of experience in environmental protection.
Program Description: The term “food waste” is commonly used to describe food unfit for human consumption that is sent for disposal. Wasted food is a growing problem in our modern society and an untapped opportunity. EPA estimates that more food reaches landfills and incinerators than any other single material in our everyday trash, constituting 21.6 percent of discarded municipal solid waste. This program will delve into the reasons why we should reduce food waste and ways we can make that happen.
August 2, 2017: Grassroots Environmental Campaigns For A Liveable Arlington by Ranjana Bhandari
Presenter: Ranjana Bhandari is a long time Arlington resident with a Master's in Economics from Brown University. She was an Economics Professor and then a stay at home mother when drilling arrived in Arlington. She founded Liveable Arlington in January 2015 because she had serious concerns about pollution from gas drilling and its detrimental effects upon our citizens. Ranjana is a member of the Core Advisory Board of the national organization, Halt The Harm, "a people-powered network connecting Leaders and Supporters in the movement to halt the harms of fracking, to solve problems, collaborate, share ideas and inspire each other to halt gas development's impact on our families, communities and environment."
Program Description: Ranjana will discuss some of her group's efforts in the last two years, including the recent Save Lake Arlington campaign against the Bluestone injection well, and look at local issues of concern that her group wants to work on in the future.
June 7, 2017: Texas Bumble Bees: Natural History, Research, and Conservation by Jessica Beckham
Presenter: Dr. Jessica Beckham is a Texas bumble bee expert, and all-around "bug nerd." She has researched a variety of topics pertaining to native Texas bumble bees, including their use of urban green spaces, statewide species distributions, and species persistence across northeast Texas. She is currently evaluating the taxonomic status of the Sonoran bumble bee as a post-doctoral research associate at the University of North Texas.
Program Description: Bumble bees are important pollinators in both natural and agricultural systems. Unfortunately, they are declining worldwide; five of the twelve documented species found in Texas have experienced range reductions. This program will introduce you to the natural history of bumble bees, identification of common species in Texas, ongoing research at the University of North Texas, and ways that you can help to conserve these vital resources.
May 3, 2017: Challenges with Water Quality Monitoring and Implications for Endangered Species in Central and North Texas by Erik L. Orsak
Presenter: Erik L. Orsak, Branch of Restoration and Pre-listing. Division of Environmental Quality - Arlington Ecological Services, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Erik has worked for the Fish and Wildlife Service for twenty years. He currently serves as a Branch Chief in the Arlington Office of the FWS. He holds a B.S. in Biology with a Chemistry Minor, and a M.S. in Biology with Emphasis on Environmental Science from the University of North Texas. His areas of expertise include toxicology, water quality evaluations, and endangered species exposure to environmental contaminants.
April 5, 2017: Update on Arlington’s Parks and Open Spaces by APRD Director Lemuel Randolph
Presenter: Lemuel Randolph, Director, Arlington Parks and Recreation
Program Description: Come get an update from our Parks Director and learn about his goals for the future. Now in his third year with APRD, Lemuel Randolph came to Arlington in 2014 from the City of McKinney where he served as the Director of Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces. With a total of 23 years of experience directing municipal parks and recreation departments, Randolph has also worked for the cities of Missouri City, Sugar Land and San Bernardino.
Presenter: Vince Hrabal, Municipal Services Manager, Republic Services Inc. has been with Republic Services, Inc. for 38 years.
Program Description: Ever wonder what happens after the truck picks up your trash and recycle goodies twice a week? Here's your chance to discover the complex business of solid waste management and to have a local expert answer all your questions.
Feb 1, 2017: Texas’ environment in the Trump era: Outlook on federal and state policy by Luke Metzger
Presenter: Luke Metzger is the founding Director of Environment Texas, a statewide, citizen-funded advocate for clean air, clean water and open spaces. The San Antonio Current has called Mr. Metzger "long one of the most energetic and dedicated defenders of environmental issues in the state." He has played a key role in dozens of successful environmental campaigns, including winning permanent protection for the Christmas Mountains of Big Bend, getting Shell and ChevronPhillips to cut air pollution at two Texas refineries and chemical plants, and getting the Legislature to dramatically boost funding for water conservation and state parks.
Program Description: Luke will speak on threats to the environment posed by the Trump administration and opportunities to help protect the environment locally.
Nov 2, 2016: Village Creek-Lake Arlington Watershed Protection Project: Keeping Arlington's Water Clean and Safe by Aaron Hoff
Presenter: Aaron Hoff is the Watershed Coordinator and Environmental Scientist for the Village Creek-Lake Arlington Watershed Protection Project of the Trinity River Authority.
Aaron grew up in Windthorst, TX, just south of Wichita Falls. Worked for my family through high school, on a 200-cow dairy farm ran by my father and uncle. Grew up hunting, fishing, camping, and learning everything I could about the natural world in my neck of the woods. Growing up near the Red River, I didn’t know creeks ran clear until I took a trip to the Brazos in Jr. High – I just assumed all water that wasn’t in the ocean was brown. Mom and Dad accepted nothing from the best from me in school, and with their support and help, I was able to get into and graduate from Texas A&M University in 2007. I liked College Station so much that I stuck around and got my masters in Water Management and Hydrologic Sciences while working full-time for Texas Water Resources Institute on some of the earliest watershed protection plans (WPPs) in Texas. I then took the plunge and moved to Dallas where I began working for the EPA-Region 6 as I finished up my masters. With EPA, I worked primarily along the Louisiana Coast, on coastal restoration projects. From there, I worked in the private sector for a short time before moving to the Trinity River Authority of Texas to take advantage of the opportunity to oversee another WPP, this time for the Village Creek-Lake Arlington watershed. I live in Flower Mound, where I split the commute with my fiancé, who works in Plano. We have 2 rescue dogs of our own, and we currently foster 1 or 2 visiting dogs from a rescue group and the SPCA of Texas. When I’m not at work, you can usually find me in the garage, restoring old hand tools or building stuff out of old pallet wood.
Program Description: Bring your questions and concerns about the water quality of Village Creek and Lake Arlington and what is being done to improve it. Aaron's presentation will cover:
- What’s a watershed? – Aaron will describe the Village Creek-Lake Arlington Watershed boundaries, land use, tributaries, water treatment plants, and uses of water within a watershed (drinking, recreation, commercial, industrial, etc.).
- Pollutants – Aaron will review some expected sources of pollution and explain them in the context of stormwater runoff from a watershed standpoint.
- Data collection – Aaron will present the current data collection effort and the data from the past decade that got Village Creek on the 303(d) List of impaired water bodies in the first place, as well as the nutrient screening parameters that landed Lake Arlington on the “Concerns” list.
- Best Management Practices (BMPs) – Aaron will describe different methods of nonpoint source pollution management (avoid, control, treat) and how the WPP will use the data collected to begin recommending BMPs from a watershed stakeholder perspective.
- Project timeline – Aaron will present the steps of the ‘planning’ phase of the WPP, and how the steps will support the implementation phase of the project where the BMPs are actually put in place using match funding from federal dollars.
Oct 5, 2016: 5 Ways to Price (Pay for) Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Ricky Bradley
Presenter: Ricky Bradley serves as Information Technology Director and Lead Developer of Citizens’ Climate Education and Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s websites. This includes the design, build, and implementation of new web pages as well as maintenance of the existing web portfolio. Additionally, Ricky’s focus is on supporting volunteers who are creating the political will for a livable world.
Prior to joining CCE, Ricky served as Director of Quality Assurance and Communications for the world’s third largest bank. He graduated from Auburn University with a degree in Communications before receiving a Masters of Business Administration with a concentration in Strategy and Entrepreneurship from S.M.U. Sandwiched between degree programs, Ricky studied Information Technology at UNLV
Program Description: Reducing carbon emissions from power plants, cars, etc., has become a high priority for humans and is being hotly debated in the November elections. Carbon-emitting fuels are the main source of energy in the human economy; when we produce energy—heat or electricity—we tend to use fuels that are burned and which then emit carbon-based molecules into the atmosphere. We pay the retail price for access to this energy, but we don’t pay for the underlying chemistry, the distortionary impact of pollution costs, or the destabilization of our climate system—at least not at retail. If we break down the financing of the cost of doing business in carbon-emitting fuels, we get a list of 5 basic options we have for paying the cost of using carbon-emitting fuels. Ricky's presentation will present these 5 basic pricing options and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each option so we can make better decisions for DFW and the world.
Sep 7, 2016: Bird Migration and what we can expect to discover here in North Texas by Charlie Amos
Presenter: Charley is a Cross Timbers Master Naturalist, who has been birding over 30 years and has attracted over 90 species of birds to his yard, which he describes as "constantly alive with action," from not only birds, but mammals, reptiles and insects, as well. Charley travels extensively; always tracking that infrequently seen bird in nature, while visiting other wildlife along the way. He just returned from an exhilarating adventure in Costa Rica, where he observed and photographed some of the most spectacular birds on the planet.
Charley is past president of the Fort Worth Audubon Society, and as a guide for hikes featuring bird spotting and identification, he's in demand statewide. He also volunteers at River Legacy Living Science Center in Arlington and Oliver Nature Park in Mansfield, where he leads nature walks for both children and adults. He has been a valued guide at Walk on the Wild Side at Veteran's Park, where school children are invited to come and commune with nature.
Growing up on a farm north of Ft. Worth, Charley's family grew their own food. Today, he plants natives organically in his own yard and works part-time as a naturalist at Wild Birds Unlimited in North Arlington. He has a degree in history and an MBA.
Program Description: Charley will be giving a presentation on Bird Migration and what birds we can expect to discover here in North Texas this fall.
Aug 3, 2016: Living with Arlington’s Wildlife, by Ray Rentschler, Field Operations Administrator at Animal Services
Presenter: Ray Rentschler has been in the animal control field for over 16 years and has worked in the positions of Animal Control Officer, Bite Investigator, Dangerous Dog Investigator, Cruelty Investigator and Field Supervisor. Ray has completed his Basic, Advanced and Administrative Animal Control training and instructs Animal Law Enforcement classes across the state. Ray is a certified humane investigator through the University of Missouri-Columbia, certified in Chemical Capture through Safe Capture and has specialized training in Basic Criminal Investigation and Intermediate Crime Scene Investigation. Ray has had special training with wildlife including Wildlife Rehabilitation Basics, Urban Wildlife Training from Parks and Wildlife, as well as attended an alligator handling class.
Program Description: This presentation will cover the types of urban wildlife within Arlington and some strategies on how to live with our wild neighbors. Animals that will be discussed are Coyotes, Bobcats, Skunks, Alligators, Feral Hogs, Snakes and other common animals. We will also cover the new City of Arlington urban wildlife web site and how the city responds to different wildlife issues and situations.
Jul 2016: No meeting. Join the ACC Float in the Arlington 4th of July Parade
Jun 1, 2016: An Introduction to Dragonflies and Damselflies by Omar Bocanegra
Presenter: Omar Bocanegra is a fish and wildlife biologist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Arlington, Texas Field Office. He coordinates activities associated with the Endangered Species Act, such as listing actions, permits,consultations, and recovery of federally threatened or endangered species. The Arlington Field Office serves 112 counties in Texas and is the lead office for the lesser prairie-chicken, endangered black-capped vireo, and endangered sharpnose and smalleye shiners. Omar has worked for the Service for over 16 years on endangered species issues, as well as fish and aquatic insect studies. He received both his Bachelor of Science in Environmental Biology and Master of Science in Biology from the University of Texas at Arlington. His Master’s research focused on sexual selection in the desert firetail damselfly.
May 4, 2016: Teaming with Wildlife by Rachel Richter
Presenter: Rachel Richter is an Urban Wildlife Biologist for Texas Parks and Wildlife in the DFW area. Rachel is an Arlington native and is always happy to have an opportunity to get outside and explore. Rachel has a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife and Fisheries science from Texas A&M and a master’s degree in Wildlife Ecology from Texas State University.
Program Description: Teaming with Wildlife is a national coalition of businesses and organizations committed to restoring and conserving our native wildlife. The goal of Teaming with Wildlife is to find sustainable funding to support wildlife conservation and management efforts. Recently, significant developments have created the potential to secure $1.3 billion annually to fund state-based conservation efforts. Come and find out how you can help participate in one of the biggest “wins” in conservation history!
Apr 6, 2016: Project Bluebird: Local efforts to increase bluebird numbers
Many cavity nesters in urban areas are declining, including some local species. Donna will review the problem bluebirds and other cavity nesters face and introduce us to several local groups aiding the nesting effort. Donna is responsible for establishing the Tierra Verde Bluebird Nestbox Trail at Arlington's premier golf course.
This presentation will cover many aspects of attracting bluebirds and setting up/maintaining nestboxes. It will include types of bluebirds, habitat, nestboxes, nesting, reproduction, predator threats, Cornell University’s Nestwatch program, and good sources of bluebird info.