Skip to main content

Trees and Soils

International Year of the Soil 2015 Urban Soils Series by The USDANRCS ; 2:04minutes; Published on Dec 5, 2014  After two years of intensive work, the United Nations has declared 2015 the International Year of Soils.  Our agency was founded to prevent another Dust Bowl, and soil health has always been our focus. We invite you to join us this year, and every year, in celebrating the soil. 

International Year of Soils January: To the Heart of the Matter by The USDANRCS ; 2:04minutes; Published on Jan 5, 2015 As skin protects our bodies, soil protects earth. Though we might take it for granted, in its absence we would quickly perish.

International Year of Soils February: Soils in the City by The USDANRCS ; 1:39 minutes; Published on Jan 28, 2015 Soils are the firm foundation for civilizations, both past and present. Though we sometimes lose sight of soil in our cities we must remember that a structure is only as strong as its foundation.

International Year of Soils April: Water's Journey to the River by The USDANRCS ; 2:25 minutes; Published on Mar 31, 2015 Water’s Journey to the River I was watching the rain the other day and I wondered: I see the rain falling on the soil and I see water in the lakes and rivers. But what kind of journey does it take along the way? Is it supposed to run off or infiltrate? Mother Nature isn’t in a hurry. She works slowly and quietly. Little spaces, big spaces, and root channels, make soils act more like sponges than bricks. Soils soak up the rainfall, just as nature indeed. It then travels slowly to where it’s most needed: by the plants. Then slowly, gently, water travels down to be stored, and plants then tap into this water storeroom and what water remains moves beneath the landscape quietly and almost imperceptibly released into the streams lakes and rivers. Clean slow and crystal clear. Just the way it’s supposed to be. 2015 is the International Year of Soils! And NRCS is celebrating.  NRCS joins groups across the world to celebrate International Year of Soils in 2015. The 68th session of the United Nations General Assembly designated 2015 for the yearlong soils celebration as a way to increase understanding of the importance of soil for food security and essential ecosystem functions. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations is heading up efforts along with the Global Soil Partnership. 

International Year of Soils May: Living on Solid Ground by The USDANRCS ; 2:33 minutes; Published on Apr 30, 2015 I love that place called home. Warm, safe, comfortable. A place to return to. I think about the wood, the brick, the mortar, but I catch myself taking that solid foundation for granted. How many times have you heard, "Dirt is dirt!"? And some say there is no difference between one kind of soil and another. I beg to differ. They may want to think about that before they build their house. Me? I'm choosing to live on solid ground. What about you? 

International Year of Soils July: The Living Kingdoms Beneath Our Feet by The USDANRCS ; 2:09 minutes; Published on Jun 26, 2015  Did you know that soils support more life beneath their surface than exists above? Soil is a living, dynamic resource at the surface of the earth. It is a complex habitat of mineral and organic particles; living organisms including plant roots, microbes, and larger animals; and pores filled with air or water. In a thimble full of soil—about a gram in weight—you can expect to find 100 million to 1 billion bacteria! This video explores the living kingdoms beneath our feet and helps illustrate the fact that soils support more life beneath their surface than what exists above the surface What is a living soil? It’s where the plant and the soil are one. This is symbiosis at its best. 

International Year of Soils August: Just What the Doctor Ordered by The USDANRCS ; 3:09 minutes; Published on Jul 29, 2015  Face it: We live in a society of germaphobes who have been brought up to believe that all bugs are bad bugs. But the fact is, most bugs, or shall we say microbes--which includes bacteria and fungi-- are actually good. And what’s more, microbes produce compounds which they use to defend themselves against their fellow microbes. These are naturally produced antibiotics.  In fact the first antibiotics were extracted from soil microbes. These became the wonder drugs of the mid- 20th century, all but eliminating diseases like Tuberculosis. Recently, a team of scientists made a new discovery about microbes and antibiotics and the result has great promise in overcoming antibiotic resistance.  Watch the 3 minute video to learn how our living soil stores the possibility of life-saving antibiotics. Soil—it’s just what the doctor ordered.

Know Your Dirt by ILNRCS : 7:25minutes;  Published on Jul 30, 2012 Know Your Dirt stars Roger Windhorn, NRCS Soil Scientist. Roger talks about why you should know your soil on the farm and your backyard. You will also hear the Apple Story from Renee Weitekamp.

NACD Urban and Community Conservation Webinars  by The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company; About an hour long. These Webinars features the projects and programs led by conservation districts and their collaborators, and often imparts strategies for securing funding and structuring urban conservation initiatives.