A handful of environmental / cultural links have accumulated so instead of three short posts let's put them together into one longer one.
Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced the designation of four new National Historic Landmarks in four states. One of these is in Pennsylvania:
The Schaeffer House in Schaefferstown, Heidelberg Township, Pennsylvania is nationally significant as a rare intact example of a colonial-era building type within the Pennsylvania German architectural tradition. It is quite possibly the only surviving Weinbauernhaus, a type that incorporates domestic functions and spaces used for the production of alcoholic spirits within a single building.
If you find yourself wanting to commune with nature, but aren't sure where the commune is, there is a handy dandy website to help you with that. Take a look at Explore PA Trails (www.explorepatrails.com). It currently indexes 367 trails, for a total of 7,586 miles.
Trails are not only good exercise they are good business, spurring the growth of recreation oriented businesses. Forest lands and trees keep carbon out of the atmosphere. From "Forests' clean-air role is bigger than anyone knew," by Sandy Bauers, Inquirer, July 22, 2011:
The group found that the forests sock away far more of the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, than anyone thought.
They absorb about a third of all carbon dioxide emitted by fossil-fuel burning, or about 8.8 billion tons a year. The amount dwarfs that taken up by other land uses, such as grasslands or pastures or suburban shrubs.