Celebrate Arbor Day

April 27, 2017

Arbor Day celebrates the value of trees in our daily lives.  It is a special time set aside for tree planting.

For this Arbor Day, April 28, here are a few tips on how to honor those stately trees in your local parks and suburban landscapes by coming together and enjoy those quiet giant oaks, and even a still growing scruffy pine.

  • Hold an Arbor Day ceremony to honor the good stewards in your community.
  • Organize a Largest or Oldest Tree search across your community.
  • Plant a tree. Host a reception to honor Park or Tree Board members in the community.
  • Create a story, produce a play, or present a skit about trees.
  • Choose a public park or downtown area to clean up.
  • Sponsor a craft show featuring artists engaged in crafts with natural materials.
  • Schedule classes on tree pruning, tree selection, identification and planting.
  • Hold a Children’s Read-In at the library.

Best of all…. read a book at home about trees – with your children.

The U.S. Government Bookstore offers publications covering some of the above subjects plus a wide range of “tree hugging” topics depending on your interests. Here a just few examples.

Why Would Anyone Cut a Tree Down?

This delightful book shows children the life cycle of trees, showing that trees are a renewable resource as their seeds can be planted to make new trees grow. It also discusses the need to remove sick, flammable, and other dangerous trees as well as the various uses for wood from cut trees.

National Individual Tree Species Atlas

This reference covers each tree species in the United States and precisely where each species is likely to grow or not grow. Written primarily for horticulturists, the contents are also a wonderful resource for anyone studying America’s tree population: from Boy and Girl Scouts, to landscapers, to forestry professors and guides.

How To Prune Trees

This handy pamphlet provides helpful information on how, when, and why to prune. By following the few simple principles outlined in this publication, you will learn how to produce strong, healthy, attractive plants.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Ed Kessler is a Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.


Agriculture Day: It’s about more than how America’s Farmers serve our Nation’s Need for Food

March 21, 2017

National Ag Day is a day to celebrate the abundance provided by agriculture across the United States.  American agriculture plays a critical economic and food security role in our country. To give the general public a chance to see how their food, clothing, and other products get from the farm, America’s Farm co-ops, universities, 4-H clubs, agricultural associations, FFA clubs, and organizations at the city, county and state levels celebrate with a variety of events.

National Ag Day encourages every American to:

  • Understand how food and fiber products are produced.
  • Appreciate the role agriculture plays in providing safe, abundant and affordable products.
  • Value the essential role of agriculture in maintaining a strong economy.
  • Acknowledge and consider career opportunities in the agriculture, food and fiber industry.

Remember, these essential services are provided by the 1 in 11 Americans across the agriculture community that provide American consumers with more than 80% of the food we consume.

The Government Publishing Office online bookstore features a wide array of publications that inform the agriculture industry and the American public about important issues that impact every aspect of plant and animal cultivation and processing.

Land management and the complex process of growing and delivering agricultural products demands an understanding of subjects beyond the obvious. Consider how the introduction of foreign animals and plants to our eco-system can have a major detrimental effect on the wellbeing of the plants and animals we depend upon for our daily sustenance. A great example is the publication authored by the Agriculture Department’s Forest Service entitled:

 A Management Guide for Invasive Plants in Southern Forests

Invasions of nonnative plants into forests and landscapes of the Southern United States continue to spread and include new species, increasingly eroding forest productivity, hindering forest use and management activities, and degrading diversity and wildlife habitat. This book provides the latest information on how to organize and enact prevention programs, build strategies, implement integrated procedures for management, and proceed towards site rehabilitation and restoration.

If you work or are engaged in any phase of the “cycle of life” you might consider this title.

The theme for National Ag Day 2017 is “Agriculture: Food for Life.” Take part in celebrating and learning more about this essential industry by visiting https://bookstore.gpo.gov/ to find out more about the land you live in and depend upon.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS RESOURCE?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Ed Kessler is a Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.


It’s National Invasive Species Awareness Week

February 27, 2017

snakeheadRemember the snakehead? In 2002, the discovery of this Asian species of fish in Maryland and Virginia brought invasive species to America’s attention.

What is an Invasive Species? Invasive species are non-native plants, animals, or pathogens in an ecosystem which may cause environmental or economic harm. In 1999, President William J. Clinton issued Executive Order 13112—Invasive Species which established the Invasive Species Council and outlined the responsibilities of Federal agencies for dealing with invasive species.

The National Invasive Species Council spearheads Federal efforts to control invasive species and restore ecosystems. The USDA National Agricultural Library has created the National Invasive Species Information Center (NISIC) to help people find more information on this threat. The Forest Service’s Invasive Species Program includes videos and publications about the management of invasive species and research related to them. The video Defending Favorite Places shows how we can stop the spread of these invaders.

invasive-species

Click on image to enlarge.

Federal depository libraries throughout the United States provide the public with free access to reports and hearings that show how the Federal Government is fighting this threat.

GPO’s U.S. Government Bookstore offers the following publications about invasive species.

The following websites also offer information on this important topic.

The Invasive Plant Atlas of the United States is a collaborative project between the National Park Service and the University of Georgia Center for Invasive Species and Ecosystem Health. The Atlas provides information about non-native plant species that invade natural areas, excluding agricultural and other developed lands.

The Federal Interagency Committee for the Management of Noxious and Exotic Weeds (FICMNEW) is identified in the invasive species Executive Order 13112 as a key Federal-level organization on which the National Invasive Species Council is to rely for the implementation of the Executive Order and the coordination of Federal agency activities to prevent and control invasive plants.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Click on the Links: For the free resources, click on the links above.

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Cynthia Earman is a Cataloging & Metadata Librarian in the Library Services & Content Management division of the U.S. Government Publishing Office.


Eat Fit – Get Fit

February 3, 2017

With the start of a new year, there’s no better time than now to reset your body and spirit by not just thinking about fitness but acting on your best instincts. Turn on the TV and you’ll see many fancy dieting regimens, expensive cycling systems and “fool proof” ways to trim down (guaranteed of course!) If it was only so easy!

Or, take a moment, go online to the Government Publishing Office’s web site at https://bookstore.gpo.gov/ and check out an amazing variety of dietary guidelines and exercise guides produced by the Department of Health and Human Services and by the Department of Agriculture for your kids, family– all the way to the over 55 set. The best part is most of the materials are free in various eBook formats.

017-300-00025-3_page_001A great example is the Exercise and Physical Activity eBook. A FREE guide to how you can age well through simple exercises and good eating habits.

You can download in minutes here and be ready to take control the very same day or night.

Scan the many publications your federal government has designed for you to get started and stay engaged in better health practices.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised there’s a publication to fit the needs of everyone in your family -You included! Don’t wait.

How can I obtain health resources from the Federal government?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Ed Kessler is a Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.


A New Guide for the American Diet

September 15, 2016

001-000-04771-0Americans, your dietary guidepost for the next four years is here! The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Dietary Guidelines for Americans is now available through GPO. It’s designed to help folks “improve their overall eating patterns — the complete combination of foods and drinks in their diet.” Plainly put, it’s a plan for eating better.

In this latest edition of HHS and USDA’s twice-a-decade nutrition publication, you’ll see terms like “nutrient-dense” and “food pattern” over and over again. That isn’t just trendy jargon to impress policymakers and health professionals. The words have real meaning, and they represent a shift in thinking about the way Americans should eat.  That is, “people do not eat food groups and nutrients in isolation but rather in combination”—people eat food in patterns.

eat-carrot-peaDietary Guidelines doesn’t just prescribe what to eat, it reminds us why to eat. Science tells us that healthy eating patterns “can help prevent chronic diseases like obesity, heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.” Improved nutrition staves off disease. And when Americans make healthy choices in their daily lives, the long-term benefits support a healthier next generation.

001-000-04771-0_dietary-guidelines-for-americans-2015-2020-003

Click on image to enlarge.

And now, snack on a few science-based recommendations:

  • There’s more than one way to pattern and adapt your eating. Dietary Guidelines provides examples of healthy eating patterns,
  • Nutrient-dense foods are only nutrient dense if they’re made with little or no added solid fats, sugars, refined starches, and sodium. So, cut down on those things,
  • Find new ways to sneak more veggies into dishes you already prepare,
  • Women, limit yourself to one drink per day. Men, your limit is two,
  • Lifelong healthy eating begins with small changes.

If you want a handy takeaway message, it’s this: make small dietary shifts and follow a healthy, lifetime eating pattern that combines a variety of nutrient-dense foods. Or simpler yet, eat for the long run, eat to live.

Update: The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, is now available in a variety of convenient digital formats compatible with mobile phones, tablets, and e-readers.

See all the available formats for the Dietary Guidelines.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS PUBLICATION?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


Great Lessons in Small Packages—Tree Books for Kids

August 30, 2016

Great things do come in small packages! In the case of this blog post, the small packages are children’s books that bring to life the themes of growth and nature. GPO makes available two colorfully-illustrated, nature-based publications from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) that are ideal for parents and educators, too!

The Little Acorn

001-001-00687-4We usually think of acorns as the staple snack of squirrels. And that they are. In the case of this delightful storybook from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, an acorn can also represent the magic of growing up.

The Little Acorn is written from the perspective of a foraging squirrel who buries an acorn near a stream. As it occasionally checks back on the oak nut, the squirrel bears witness to the tree’s growth amid seasonal and ecological changes. Spring rains, summer heat, and autumn winds condition the baby oak. Its thirsty roots stretch out and it learns that all living things need water to grow.

What starts as a tiny seed encased in a tough shell eventually transforms into a “big, beautiful oak tree…dropping little acorns of its own.”

Why Would Anyone Cut a Tree Down?

001-000-04759-1Sometimes it is necessary to cut trees. Trees have lifecycles—they sprout, mature, grow old, die—and their seeds can be planted to grow new trees. For a renewable resource like trees to healthily propagate, diseased or hazardous trees must be cut down and removed. What sounds like severe measures is actually a good thing for the environment.

This U.S. Forest Service publication teaches kids that “people need to cut some trees down, but that is not the end of the story.” It explores various uses for wood from cut trees—such as materials for construction, nutrients for fresh soil, and stumps for new shoots. The book also includes a note to adults about the basics of tree care.

Cutting down a tree is a form of caring for that tree. It makes room for more life in the exchange of another. Eighteenth century botanist Carl Linnaeus said it best when he wrote “if a tree dies, plant another in its place.”

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE PUBLICATIONS?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


Teaching our Children about Making Healthy Food Choices

August 15, 2016

Maintaining good health and nutrition has become a major issue for many families in the United States. Today, many Americans are lacking in physical activity and proper nutrition, either because of their sedentary lifestyles, or because they are “too busy.” As a result of this, the frequency of making healthy food choices has diminished.

Discover MyPlate: Emergent Readers - A MyPlate MealTherefore, it is important that children learn early on about the importance of nutrition, fitness and the well-being of their bodies. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service has created Discover MyPlate: A MyPlate Meal, an eBook that serves as a meal and fitness guide for children. It includes fun interactive games about nutrition, to help introduce the development of healthy food choices and physical activity lifestyles to young readers.  The child-friendly material and age appropriate games and activities will help children learn healthy habits effortlessly.

The USDA has also created a Teacher’s Kit curriculum to assist educators in the teaching of nutrition and fitness to their students. There are a number of books featured in the kit, including in the Discover MyPlate series, to teach children the importance of every food group and its relevance to one’s health. The USDA Food and Nutrition Service has done an exceptional job in their efforts of creating a child-friendly approach to nutrition and fitness.

Owning this eBook is easy, you can download it for free on the U.S. Government Bookstore website. Summer is here and the Discover MyPlate: A MyPlate Meal series are perfect reads for you and your children to become educated on the importance of nutrition and fitness.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS FREE RESOURCE?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Alyssa Doughty is an intern in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.


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