USDA Northeast Climate Hub virtual demonstration project "As If You Were There"
The USDA Northeast Climate Hub created a virtual tour of climate adaptation and mitigation practices on farm and forest lands across the northeast region of the U.S. This virtual demonstration project features interactive 360 degree photography and videos, allowing users to “embark on virtual field tours to visit and consider the experiences of others who are adapting to a changing climate - all from their own computer or mobile devices.” The purpose is to combine technology with educational storytelling to engage more people in decision-making on adaptation. Visitors can see how others are currently managing increased rainfall intensity, extended growing seasons, invasive pests and other weather and climate related risks in the region.
The following are some examples from the first demonstration sites launched which are available in case study like videos, including:
Worcester’s Urban Forest examines the impacts of an Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) infestation on Worcester, Massachusetts, and that community’s decision to eradicate the beetle and replant trees. There are many climate related benefits from a healthy urban forest, including resilience to heavy rain, and reducing the heat island effect.
Providence Water has been actively managing the land around the Scituate Reservoir to maintain a resilient forest since the creation of the water supply system. The Forest Management with Providence Water video looks at trial demonstration sites that are exploring how trees from warmer climates will perform in the area.
High Tunnels at DSU (Delaware State University) compares multiple high tunnel designs and provides best practices based on research for producers to improve operations.
Monongahela National Forest Restoration to bring back native forest composition and restore soils to the area which will enhance the forest long-term resilience to climate change by increasing infiltration, recharging groundwater and slowing runoff. These efforts will also help to improve the watershed, provide wildlife habitat, and restore native ecosystems.
Dickinson College Farm's Silvopasture in Carlisle, Pennsylvania provides food for the college campus and local community and a hands-on learning opportunity for students, and uses several methods to mitigate and adapt to climate change. Silvopasture systems combine the management of trees, livestock, and forage on the same piece of land which increases the resiliency of the farm to extreme weather and climate change.
Building Resiliency at the Rockaways is restoring areas of this New York City suburb that were devastated by Hurricane Sandy in 2012 by using urban forestry and urban agricultural practices to create a landscape resilient to future extreme storms.
Agroforestry at Angus Glen Farms in Watkins Glen, New York is practicing silvopasture which blends the sustainable production of livestock, forage, and trees on the same land to protect soil and streams, and in turn, increase long-term income.
Publication Date: 2017
- USDA Northeast Climate Hub
- Agriculture and food
- Best practice
- Case study