Conservation · Efficiency · Geography · Performance · Resilience · Sustainable Communities · water quality · waterways

Assessing the Impact of a Development Project

points of reference for assessing the impact of a proposed development project

Water a buffer of native vegetation undisturbed within 100 feet of streams, wetlands or other aquatic resources. Rooftops, streets, parking lots and other impervious surfaces drain to bio-retention, infiltration or other highly effective storm water system. Project sewage is sent to a treatment plant and the pipes carrying the sewage do not overflow. The treatment plant has met pollution discharge limits for the last 3 years; If the project will be served by onsite sewage disposal, site soils should be rated for Septic Tank Absorption Fields in accordance with USDA Web Soil Survey.

coastal resiliencyTraffic Safety and Congestion getting through the nearest signalized intersections in one green cycle during rush hour conditions. Standing at each proposed new intersection location, verify visibility of approaching vehicles at the minimum, safe sight-distance formula: posted speed limit + 10 mph x 11 feet/mph. Example: 30 mph + 10 = 40 x 11 = 440 feet sight – distance. Trips generated by the project on neighborhood streets are below 2,000 vehicles per day.

Safe Streets and School Overcrowding for residential areas, can the additional students resulting from the project be accommodated without exceeding the capacity of affected schools. Sidewalks are adequate to allow students to safely walk or bike to school along the streets receiving traffic from the project.

Trees and Forests if the project must comply with tree canopy or forest conservation laws, are there requirements met onsite.

clustered homes maximize forest preservation

Broadway Main StreetBuffering and Screening of commercial and industrial projects from the view of adjacent residential homes. If the project obstructs natural views from existing homes, then the proposed landscaping must be sufficient to preserve views.

Property Values commercial or industrial structures be at least 300 feet from residential homes. If the project is commercial-industrial, can trucks reach the site without travelling on residential streets.

Air Quality if the project is a gas station, it must be at least 500 feet from homes, hospitals, schools, senior centers and day care facilities. The homes must be 500 feet from a highway with traffic volumes of 50,000 or more vehicles per day.

Fire and Emergency Medical Services the project must be within a four to eight-minute response time for fire and emergency medical services. In suburban-urban areas, water pressure must be sufficient to meet fire suppression needs.

Richmond Historic Canal WalkRecreation Areas for residential projects, a minimum of 10 acres of park or other recreation areas for every 1,000 residents is recommended. For suburban-urban residential projects, there should be a neighborhood park within a ¼ mile walking distance of the site.

Water Supply for projects served by wells, verify the likelihood that area wells fail or become contaminated. If the site is served by piped-public water, the project must not exceed the safe or sustainable yield.

Flooding all proposed structures must be outside the 100-year flood plain, with runoff managed to prevent an increase in floodwater elevations downstream of the site.

Historical-Archaeological Resources if a designated historic-archaeological resource is present on or near the site, the local historic society must ascertain that it is adequately protected. For buildings 50 years or older slated for demolition, the local historic society should be consulted about the need for protection.

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Gillette Wyoming

energy capital of the nation

Gillette is centrally located in an area involved with the development of vast quantities of American coal, oil and gas Over the last decade, the population has increased 48 percent. Founded in 1891 with the coming of the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad, it was named for Edward Gillette, who worked as a surveyor for the company.

Gillette WyomingThe Rockpile Museum documents life in early Gillette. After the railroad moved to Sheridan, Gillette survived in order to serve the ranchers, cowboys, and homesteaders who were trying to make a life in the countryside surrounding the town. Cattlemen drove their herds into the livestock yards at Gillette for sale and transportation to the markets back east. Industrious citizens set up businesses to cater to these people and any who passed through. Livery barns, stables, and blacksmiths popped up to house travelers’ horses and haulers’ draft teams. Bars and brothels catered to those who pursued that lifestyle.

black HillsTourism Gillette’s inclusion on the Black and Yellow Trail in 1912, a highway extending from the Black Hills to Yellowstone, brought many different travelers and tourists into town via automobile resulting in construction of tourist camps, cottages, and motels along with cafes and eateries.

The Gillette Syndrome is named for the social disruptions that occur in towns experiencing rapid growth; during the 1960s, Gillette doubled its population from 3,580 to 7,194 resulting in increased crime, high costs of living and weakened social and community bonds.

Powder River MapGeography Gillette is situated between the Bighorn Mountains and the Black Hills in the Powder River Basin. Devils Tower rises 1,267 feet – 386 m – above the Belle Fourche River; the summit is 5,112 feet – 1,559 m – above sea level.

 

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Ardmore Oklahoma

business culture and tourism

Ardmore is the hub of a ten-county region known as Lake and Trail Country in South Central Oklahoma located 90 miles – 140 km – from both Oklahoma City and Dallas Forth Worth. It was named after the Philadelphia historic main line town and a town in County Waterford, Ireland.

Ardmore downtownArdmore is the word for Hills or High Grounds in Irish

Founded in the summer of 1887 during construction of the Santa Fe Railroad, Ardmore grew over the years into a trading outpost with its cotton growing fields and the world’s largest inland cotton port.

Oil Discovery nearby in 1913 led to entrepreneurs and wildcatters flooding the area, becoming the largest oil-producing county in Oklahoma and energy center for the region.

Ardmore central parkGeography Ardmore is located south of the Arbuckle Mountains, an ancient, eroded range spanning some 62 mi – 100 km – across southern Oklahoma. The geology includes uplifted and folded ridges visible within the shoreline of some of the surrounding lakes. The city of Ardmore is part of the Washita and Red River watersheds, just north of Lake Murray which flows into the western reaches of Lake Texoma.

Transport the historic Santa Fe depot in downtown Ardmore links the town with Chicago, Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Dallas-Fort Worth and DFW Airport via the Heartland Flyer and Trinity Railway Express.

Southern Tech built a state-of-the-art Engineering Technology Building to house programs which directly address the employment needs of manufacturing companies. The Bio Technology Program is a hands-on opportunity to learn and experience biotechnology techniques and applications in human health, agriculture, environmental science, forensics and pharmaceutical production.

Santa Fe StationConnect for Travel to Ardmore

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Geography Community and Climate Change

Thesis Increased urbanization and mass migrations over the last century are key to understanding human factors in climate change; these are best understood by a careful reading of history and geography in your community. Regions of the Earth that are successfully addressing environmental problems should assist other communities, regardless of their location, set an example and provide knowledge and expertise.

Geography as defined by Halford Mackinder, bridges the gap between arts and science; it connects history and culture with the environment. Mankind and not nature initiates activities but nature in large measure controls –Fernand Braudel. Those working in harmony with environmental influences will triumph over those who strive against them – WH Parker. Human nature is motivated by fear, self-interest and honor – Thucydides.

wilkes-barre ViewSustainable Communities are created by addressing resource protection climate change air and water quality human health and well-being

My Community the Washington DC, Potomac River and Middle Atlantic Region of the United States is characterized by a highly educated and knowledgeable citizenry that is very sensitive to environmental issues and is engaged locally and regionally.

Key Issues Affecting Climate Change

Chesapeake watershedurbanization, traffic gridlock, population increases, community migrations

agricultural runoffs from rivers and tributaries into

farming in the outlying Chesapeake region and urban area water quality issues have led to bacteria in the waters, resulting in swimming bans in the bay, rivers and the ocean

budget limitations have led to reduced inspection of watersheds, hence less maintenance and increases in storm water failures allowing tens of thousands of pounds of nutrients to enter the waterways

education there is still a disconnect between the scientific community and the public at large; climate issues are still not part of mainstream thinking and daily life even in socially and economically sophisticated communities.  

Local Solutions to Climate Change

Richmond Historic Canal WalkGovernments at all levels are engineering political solutions:

o   an agreement between EPA and Agricultural Organizations to implement pollution reduction programs aimed at restoring the Bay to health by 2025, and

o   local food production and consumption, a plastic bag tax, green roofs, bike and car sharing programs, light rail and other forms of public transport

Real success in mitigating climate change will be achieved when environmentally sound practices are adopted by local populations; in democratic societies, this can be achieved when small businesses and entrepreneurs join government, nonprofit and volunteer groups in this effort.

Issues are taken more seriously when your lively-hood depends on it. Hence, information, education and training lead to sustainable wealth creation.

Global Solutions to Climate Change

self reliant communities images by EffektAt the dawn of the 20th Century only 14 percent of the world’s population lived in cities; by 2025, 75 percent will be in urban settings. There are already 468 cities with over a million in population; 40 of these cities have more than 10 million residents.

These circumstances lead to continued economic, social, security, environment and climate problems. Increasingly there is a devolution from supranational and national to regional and local institutions to tackle these issues.

The more fortunate communities have an obligation to share their know-how, expertise and experience in climate change; it is in their interest to do so.

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The Geography of Food

Rice diversityAdaptable Rice is the basic food for nearly half of the world’s population, it can be kept for a very long time and in the case of famine, can be a lifesaving food source. In some cultures, it is as valuable as money or gold and is an essential commodity for those living in tropical and sub-tropical climates.

Cocoa Pre-Colombians have cultivated cacao for millennia playing a fundamental role in the Maya and Aztecs’ nutrition and culture. Whatever its use, food, drink or in exchange for other goods, it was the symbol of energy, fertility and life. Today it is the main ingredient of chocolate and it is grown in over two dozen developing economies.

Coffee from the land to the coffee cup via the greenhouse, transportation, and the coffee bar. One of the most important drinks in the world, it is a huge source of revenue and development to the many countries that have introduced this cultivation into their agricultural development plans providing work for hundreds of millions of people.

Essential to Our Diet

peaches and nectarinesFruits and Vegetables contain a large variety of plants with different shapes, scents and colors. Fruits and legumes have been consumed for centuries and are the symbols of myths, legends and traditions in many cultures. Cultivation began in the Mediterranean region, mainly due to it having the best climate to grow and cultivate fruits; the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans were knowledgeable of these foods but it was only from the medieval period that improvements in fruit cultivation took hold. Later, immigrants brought fruit and legumes to the American continent, resulting in their widespread cultivation. Soya and beans were found in Central and Southern Asia and in Central America respectively.

Legumes are a main food source in many emerging countries ensuring food security. As a key part of the food chain and due to their vitamin and mineral content, they are used as a substitute for cereals in the agricultural rotation system, helping prevent land depletion. Their high calorie content plays a vital role in reducing poverty and generally improve health and nutrition across the world.

legumes varietiesSpice Routes have guided explorers in their search for these precious commodities; a journey through cultures and a unique sensorial experience. Their cultivation, preparation and use is also tied to medicine and for socio-cultural rituals, including magic. Spices and aromatic herbs have always inspired long journeys; emperors, kings, aristocrats and merchants considered them into the most luxurious product of the ancient commercial routes. In our time, spice production and trade have increased thanks to a trend in healthier eating habits.

The Seeds of Civilization Cereals have played a key role in bringing civilization and food to huge numbers of people and are the staple diet of the majority of the world’s population thanks to their nutritional properties, low cost and ability to satisfy hunger. With over 10,000 varieties of cereals and tubers, only a few have been cultivated. Farmers could address important global challenges such as sustainable growth and the fertility of marginal lands not suitable for cultivating maize, rice and wheat and help satisfy the ever-growing demand for food over the coming decades. Roots and tubers are now the second most important source of carbohydrates after cereals, containing many minerals and vitamins, and are a basic food for over a million people in emerging countries.

Cradle of Civilization the Mediterranean Sea connects Europe, Africa and Asia. Food traditions have played a vital role in helping to preserve the uniqueness of this area and local resources such as wheat, olives and grapes. Here, a meal is both the act of eating food and an essential aspect of social and cultural life. The Mediterranean diet implies taking the time to enjoy a meal around the table with several convivial rituals that have survived for generations still practiced today. Mediterranean people spend more time preparing and tasting their meals than anyone else. With a healthy diet that ensures the preservation of agricultural biodiversity,

The Mediterranean diet is fully sustainable

Protecting the Ecosystem the Pacific islands, the Western Indian Ocean and the islands of the Caribbean region are small, diverse and remote, resulting in native and self-reliant cultures and economies; unique island nations they share the same challenges. The rise in coastal flooding, the salt levels within the soil and changes in rainfall levels lead to contamination and greatly reduce production in cultivation. This lack of food security also applies to fishing activities.

chicory radicchioFood without Water the arid zones are quite different from one another. They differ in soil types, flora and fauna, water balance and levels of human activity. Another misconception is that these places are uninhabited when in fact a fifth of the world’s population live in arid zones and suffer from a distinct lack of water. What makes then similar is dryness, measured by weather temperature and rainfall. This index consists of three main categories: super dry, dry and semi-dry. For centuries, man has tried to promote and utilize different techniques in order to find one system for managing hydric sources, such as rainwater collection or water retention. Research has enabled farmers to measure their levels of rainfall locally and either use innovations suited to their conditions, or adapt their own traditional methods to ensure better water utilization levels. Still, the lack of water and the impact of climate change remain a matter of urgency.

Discover the Connection between Geography and Food

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Smart Trip Planning

Logistics Locations Costs Time and Personalized Travel Solutions

Most Travelers to Europe and North America tend to visit three to four metropolitan areas in a compressed period of time, typically 7 to 10 days, especially when traveling as a family or group, with the former likely to include small children and the elderly and the latter comprising multiple interests ranging from cultural to culinary, wellness and the environment. Similarly, business travelers are in need of an efficient plan to meet their trip objectives.

Delaware River WaterfrontLogistics the success of a business trip or vacation rests largely on the proper management of logistical issues; how to get to a place and how to get around once you are there are the keys to staying within budget while visiting all the places planned along your route.

Locations and knowledge of the territory implies know how in the communities you are visiting as well as up to date information on issues ranging from the weather to road traffic flows on a particular day and time of day to potential strikes and other stoppages by public transit providers.

Costs many travelers are limited by cost considerations in the planning of their trip. The allocation of funds for accommodations, meals, sightseeing and transfer costs is another key element to successful trip planning and, once the traveling client’s preferences in these areas are defined, it is the task of the travel planner to negotiate, allocate and manage these line item costs.

Church Hill Richmondthe less time in transit the more time on your vacation the less stressful your trip

Time in many ways time management is the most important element in trip planning. Factors ranging from time zone differences, best times of the day and mode of transport for travel from point A to point B, accommodations check in/out, excursions, events and meeting times must be accounted for in organizing schedules.

Personalized logistics, location(s), cost and time issues defined in the context of agreed upon client choices, trip preferences can be factored in, ranging from accommodation type and location, the mix of private and public transit services, food preferences and more.

a faster cheaper and yes safer way to travel

Red Wing MNSolutions the travel expert who is tasked with planning, implementing and managing your trip is intimately familiar with the places you are visiting and, by definition, is also able to make adjustments and changes to your travel program even when you are on location.  A successful trip is defined as:

Traveling in one direction and not having to retrace your steps for example to board you return flight.

Anchoring your stays in strategic locations along the trip route, conveniently located to local points of interest, minimizing the number of accommodation changes, hence fewer times packing and unpacking as well as lower accommodations and transport costs.

Taking in sites, meals and other planned events in a hub and spoke fashion – again saving time and money – but also an opportunity to slow down and enjoy the places and the people you are visiting.

Strasburg Rail Station

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