Natural Resources

Teaching Stewardship with a Children's Classic

Apr 22, 2015

Environmental’s the balance between nature and human interaction, and it can be a weighty topic.

The Roanoke City School system is among those divisions starting the discussion early, getting 2nd graders to think about natural resources. They’re doing it with the help of a book, written back in 1942.

The Little House, written and illustrated by Virginia Lee Burton, tells the story of a house built on the top of a hill, far out in the country. Eventually, Walt Disney turned Burton’s story into an animated short film.

This week marks the five year anniversary of a catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico – an accident that killed millions of birds, fish and marine mammals, while damaging tourism and industries that rely on the sea.

Here in Virginia, environmentalists are marking the day by urging public opposition to oil exploration off our coast.  Sierra Weaver is a senior attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center. 

Coloring books are usually for kids, and they’re rarely considered art, but a Charlottesville man has published a coloring book for all ages, with black and white drawings that took at least forty hours to create. 

Bob Anderson is an architect who likes to build green.  He’s always considered himself a conservationist, and when his son decided to host a bachelor party in the Costa Rican rainforest, Anderson was delighted. 

The Corcovado National Park was remote, lush and teeming with beautiful birds and animals.

Annually for about 13 years, Virginia—like many other states—has been losing about 30% of its honey bee population to a host of problems.  

Some might think that there’s no need to worry.  But aside from the delicious honey they produce, bees are a major contributor to the production of Virginia agriculture, the state's top commodity.

Kill the bees, kill the economy—not to mention furthering the slow breakdown of the ecosystem. So what's leading to the decline? Virginia Tech entomologist Dr. Troy Anderson says a lot of factors are responsible.

If you think you’ve been seeing more solar panels on houses around Virginia, you’re right. Residential rooftop solar here grew at the same rate as the national average in 2014.

Solar electric power accounted for almost a third of the nation’s new energy generating capacity last year.  More than wind and coal for the second year in a row, according to the Solar Energy Industry Association. SEIA says residential continues to be the fastest growing market segment for solar in the U.S.