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FMSA Sponsors BioBlitz

FMSA Sponsors BioBlitz

SANDY SPRINGS, Ga. -- Twenty-six students at First Montessori School of Atlanta recently participated in a BioBlitz. Assisted by Eric King, owner of King Landscaping, and Jillian Elleby, an FMSA science teacher, the students worked in two-person teams using a camera and log book to find and identify as many species of plants, animals, microbes, fungi and other organisms as possible in a natural area on the school campus.

FMSA's seven-acre campus is located in a residential area in Sandy Springs and includes open as well as wooded property.

"The BioBlitz was a fun and exciting way for our students to learn about biological diversity and how best to protect an ecosystem," said Upper Elementary School Teacher Livia Osorio.

Also known as a biological inventory or a biological census, the primary goal of a BioBlitz is to get an overall count of the plants, animals, fungi and other organisms that live in a place.

15 counties must clean their air

15 counties must clean their air

ATLANTA -- Air Quality Awareness Week recently came to a close, and 15 metro Atlanta counties didn't quite make the clean air cut.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently changed its standards of attainment for ozone standards from .08 parts per billion to .075 parts.

The change means that 15 formerly compliant counties were re-designated at nonattainment for ground-level ozone: Bartow, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry, Newton, Paulding and Rockdale.

To clean up the air, residents can try carpooling to work or taking MARTA if possible; fewer cars on the roads means more breathable air for everyone in metro Atlanta.

Learn more about how to reduce emissions and cut down on ozone at www.cleanaircampaign.org.

FMSA Sponsors E-Recycling

First Montessori School of Atlanta has partnered with Keep Sandy Springs Beautiful and the City of Sandy Springs to sponsor an Electronics Recycling Event, scheduled April 21-27 at the school. These are popular events where residents can dispose of computers, radios, monitors and other electronic equipment.

"This is a great opportunity for people to get rid of obsolete electronic equipment," said FMSA's Head of School Jerri King. "Electronic waste counts for more than 50 percent of toxic materials in our landfills. By disposing of this material properly, we can significantly reduce those numbers."

People can drop off items at the First Montessori School of Atlanta Pavilion, located at 5750 Long Island Drive, during the following times:

Saturday, April 21, 9 a.m. - noon

Monday - Friday, April 23-27, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

FEMA encourages Chattahoochee-area residents to learn flood risks

FEMA encourages Chattahoochee-area residents to learn flood risks

ATLANTA -- As 2011 draws to a close, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) encourages all Americans to understand the risks that surround them -- and for residents of the Upper Chattahoochee River Region, those risks include the possibility of flooding.

FEMA worked with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to create maps of the 107-mile stretch of the Chattahoochee River between the Buford Dam and Coweta County, which includes Cobb, Coweta, DeKalb, Douglas, Forsyth, Fulton and Gwinnett counties.

These updated maps detail flood hazard and risk data with the ultimate goal of protecting homeowners from flooding.

Maps for those who live in the Chattahoochee flood region are available at www.georgiadfirm.com. Learn more about steps to prevent flood damage at www.ready.gov/floods.

Practicing What They Preach: Turner Construction Atlanta Achieves LEED Gold Certification for Their

Practicing What They Preach: Turner Construction Atlanta Achieves LEED Gold Certification for Their

Company’s commitment to green construction
practices starts with their own offices

Turner Construction Atlanta, a leader in environmentally friendly building practices, recently received a Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification from the United States Green Building Council for renovation of their own Atlanta offices. Turner is Atlanta’s largest LEED builder and incorporates sustainable elements into every project.

For Winston Williams, the company’s Green Champion, the space is a demonstration of Turner’s real commitment to sustainability. “Green building practices are an important movement in construction today,” he says. “We embrace those values not only for our clients, but for ourselves as well.”

Green features of the space include:

Deal appoints new Ga. EPD director

Deal appoints new Ga. EPD director

ATLANTA -- Jud Turner has been appointed director of the Environmental Protection Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

The DNR board made the appointment official this week after Gov. Nathan Deal nominated Turner for the post.

Turner replaces F. Allen Barnes, who is leaving to work in the private sector.

Turner is a founding partner in the law firm Turner, Bachman & Garrett LLC and public affairs firm Georgia360 LLC. He was former Gov. Sonny Perdue's lead attorney and represented the governor during negotiations with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service during the state's severe drought.

Turner has also served as general counsel to the Georgia Department of Education.

13 Metro Atlanta communities receive transportation grants

13 Metro Atlanta communities receive transportation grants

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Regional Commission recently awarded $34 million in grants to help 13 Metro Atlanta communities build innovative transportation projects.

Each project includes pedestrian and bicycle improvements to encourage residents to find "greener" ways of getting from place to place, and to make these neighborhoods more livable and supportive of transit.

The money was given through the ARC's Livable Center Initiative, which is funded with federal transportation dollars.

"LCI has helped communities across Metro Atlanta re-tool and redesign over the years, creating more plans that attract residents and businesses alike," said Doug Hooker, executive director of ARC. "This program is a model for others around the country and has helped to create or finalize many of our region's most innovative and livable communities."