Environment

Keeping Waterways Healthy
2:06 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Stabilizing Threatened Species

December 2013 marked the 40th Birthday of the US Endangered Species Act …and in the decades since, many people have been working to get threatened species off the endangered list.

Scientists at Virginia Tech are making progress with a key species that helps keep area waterways alive and healthy.

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Environment
4:43 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Wild Boars are Creating a Nuisance in Virginia

Virginia wildlife officials are dealing with a growing menace and don't quite know how to address it.  A feral hog population boom is prompting concern about its impact on the local ecology, agriculture, and human safety. Some residents may be to blame, while others may also be the solution.

Aaron Proctor with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries says whether you refer to them as feral hogs, wild pigs, or wild boar:

And he says these animals have become a major nuisance and are popping up in areas where they shouldn't be.

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Environment
1:13 pm
Thu December 26, 2013

Hope Has Wings

You’re at home or in your office and all of a sudden you hear a thud at your window. . . Another window collision; a major cause of death for birds.  Bird kill by skyscrapers in large cities has been well documented, but not in smaller towns.  That doesn’t mean it’s not a problem. 

“The birds that hit the windows, they’re hidden behind bushes, or under the leaves, and they’re just out of sight, out of mind.”

Becky Schneider and a flock of volunteers have been documenting bird death by window at a Blacksburg office park since last fall. 

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Designed to Save Money
4:00 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Passivhaus & Energy Efficiency

The Specht House in Thaxton, VA
Credit www.jetsongreen.com

According to Virginia Dominion Power the average monthly residential electric bill in the state is $119.82 a month. 

With the deep temperatures of winter and depending on our heat source we can find bills for a single month two to three times that amount.

But there's a method of home construction that for one homeowner has cut their electric bill by more than half the state average.

“Our typical energy bill is actually as low as $40 to as high as $62 to $65 so far. Our annual energy usage is so much lower than a standard home’s”  

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Blight Spreads to Virginia
4:20 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Stemming Boxwood Blight

Spread of boxwood blight to landscape plants following installation of an infected boxwood patio plant
Adria Bordas

Scientists are asking the public’s help in stemming the spread of a blight on the Boxwood bush.  The plant is often used in holiday wreaths and garlands this time of year.

The Boxwood plant is prized for its emerald leaves and slow growing habit. But a blight, first seen in the US in 2011 has spread to Virginia, where it threatens home gardens as well as historic sites. The disease eventually kills the plant. It’s caused by a fungus spread by contact with a diseased boxwood.

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