These Foods Are Seducing You, But They Shouldn’t Be Your Only…

first_imgFacebook4Tweet0Pin0Submitted By: Ava Waits is a Nutrition Mentor Certain foods are seducing you each day, by triggering the pleasure center in your brain.One of my teachers, Neal D. Barnard, M.D., is the author of Breaking the Food Seduction: The Hidden Reasons Behind Food Cravings–And 7 Steps to End Them Naturally. He writes:“Certain foods appear to stimulate the release of opiate chemicals within the brain. These are chemical cousins of morphine and heroin. They are not as strong as illegal drugs, but appear to be strong enough to keep us coming back, especially when we are stressed, tire, angry, or alone. Not every food does this. The groups that do are sugar (and sugar-fat mixtures, such as butter cookies, as well as foods that produce sugar rapidly), chocolate, cheese, and meat.It appears that they actually stimulate the brain in such a way that it is easy to get hooked and tough to break free, even if you find yourself gaining weight or lapsing into health problems.”So we’re being seduced, and the seduction is very real if you are about to spend Valentine’s Day unsatisfied in relationships, overworked, and frustrated by the state of your health. It’s easy to turn to comforting and addicting food when pieces of your life are unbalanced.Here are ideas to make these seductive foods a better date. I won’t ask you to painfully give up the relationship that you have with these foods. Simply upgrade the ingredients, keep whole vegetables and grains in your diet, and infuse your meals with an enjoyment factor. Put intention behind how you present these foods to yourself.1. Sugar ~ Currently, the sweetener I most recommend is coconut syrup, which is the sap from coconut tree blossoms. It’s high in Vitamin C, and has a brown sugar flavor. Some agave syrup brands are blended with corn syrup, so I stay away from agave at this point. Raw honey is another great sweetener.2. Chocolate ~ Choose a raw chocolate bar, instead of the processed and sugared bar you’ll find in most stores. Raw chocolate is high in serotonin and tryptophan, which defend against stress. It also has high amounts of fiber, iron and Vitamin C. Try a chocolate truffle on a beautiful small plate, served with a cup of tea.3. Cheese ~ Choose organic dairy, since chemicals from conventional dairy production become concentrated in milk. I gave up cow dairy several years ago, because I kept getting sore throats, colds, and coughs. It turns out that goat and sheep dairy work well in my body, so I’ve switched to dairy products from these smaller animals. Cheese is a side dish, not a main course. When I crave cheese, I’ll melt a couple pieces into a corn tortilla on a stove top pan and eat it when it is still melted. You can also create a gorgeous arrangement of cut vegetables, gluten-free crackers and just a few small slices of cheese on the side.4. Meat ~ If you consume meat products, find a local meat farm and support them. When you buy from a local farm, you can be sure of humane animal practices. You also get to step back in time, and instead of meat suffocating in plastic, your cut will be handed to you in classic butcher paper.Holidays are meant to be fun and exciting. I will be eating organic dark chocolate on Valentine’s Day, and I plan to thoroughly enjoy it. Food is not the only path to happiness and health though, and that’s why you can’t rely on these seductive foods to stay happy. The rest of your life must be in balance. If you’ve felt melancholy at some point this winter, a little lost, heavy, groggy or dull, you’ll want to keep an eye out for a new opportunity I will be announcing shortly. It’s all about luscious eating, enjoyment, and bringing the perfect opportunities into your life.© 2011 Ava Waits~~~~~~~~~~~~Ava Waits is a Nutrition Mentor and Global Nutrition Concierge™ at www.ParisianPicnics.com. She helps her clients to embrace a European attitude toward food, where meals become a pleasure to prepare, and health becomes a priority. If you’d like to sample her gentle and enjoyable approach to nutrition, please visit her website for more tips, recipes and videos.last_img read more

ThurstonTalk’s Favorite Features From This Week – 7/8/12

first_imgFacebook4Tweet0Pin0As Sunday rolls around, it’s time to reflect on the great articles published by ThurstonTalk writers.  Since starting this weekly summary, it’s been a pleasure to revisit articles and share them again.ThurstonTalk writers consistently deliver quality, positive stories about people, businesses, and organizations doing good things in Thurston County.  While sharing a story, our writers also strive to educate readers in each piece.  You can count on each article to share something wonderful about our community – whether it’s a profile of an athlete, a summary of an upcoming event, or an educational piece about a local businesses.Here are the Editor’s Picks for this week.  Enjoy!Thurston County’s Relay for Life: Where Hope Becomes Reality at Timberline High SchoolWhen Jake Luplow was assigned to write about Relay for Life, he had a lot of questions since he had never participated in the event.  (Relay for Life is a 24-hour relay walking event to raise money for cancer research.)  Instead of taking the easy route and simply interviewing organizers in advance and popping down for an hour or two that evening, Jake opted to spend the entire 24 hours camping with the teams at Timberline’s track.  Immersed with participants, Jake created a beautiful article about the impact that the event has on our community as well as the global efforts to find answers to cancer.Zumba – Dancing Your Way To Fitness In OlympiaOn the opposite end of the ‘education’ spectrum, Dr. Diana Yu shares her love for Zumba, a high energy dance exercise class.  Dr. Yu’s article educates readers about the health benefits of participating in Zumba.  Her passion for health is infectious – plus she is a delightful person to speak with.  If you are looking for an alternative to your exercise routine, read her article to see if a Zumba class may be a good fit for you.Thrifty Thurston – Spending the Day In Boston HarborThrifty Thurston is our weekly summer post about inexpensive family fun throughout Thurston County.  This week, Thrifty Thurston shares a cool program called Marine Creature Monday.  The free program educates participants about the marine life living in and around Boston Harbor Marina.  During the demonstration, a diver locates cool marine life, brings it to the surface, and a biologist talks about the species.  Suitable for all ages and free – awesome!I am very excited about the articles planned for this coming week.  Watch for more content about the upcoming Olympia Traverse, interesting athlete profiles, and mouth watering food stories.  In the meantime, enjoy the sunny Sunday!last_img read more

Got Household Hazardous Waste? Try the HazoHouse

first_imgFacebook25Tweet0Pin0 Submitted by Thurston County Public Health and Social ServicesMost of us have some household hazardous waste in our homes. These are items like cleaning supplies, adhesives, auto products, pool or spa chemicals, and bug and weed killers. Any product in your home that has the words, “Danger,” “Poison,” “Warning,” or “Caution” on it is hazardous and should NOT be thrown out in the regular trash.When hazardous wastes go into the trash, they can harm waste collection workers, get into our environment, and mix with other products to cause dangerous reactions. Instead, take them to HazoHouse at the Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center, 2420 Hogum Bay Rd. To get to HazoHouse, take the entrance to the right of the main entrance.HazoHouse is open daily from 8:00 am to 4:45 pm.  When you get to HazoHouse, you drive up, stop your car, and the HazoHouse attendants will come out to assist you. They will take your items from you for free and dispose of the safely. Then you’re done.HazoHouse is right next to the Recycle Center. So when you go to HazoHouse, you can also recycle glass, cardboard, Polystyrene (also known as Styrofoam™), used motor oil, used cooking oil, and more. There are also donation collections sites for Goodwill, Habitat for Humanity, and E-Cycle Washington. Make a trip to HazoHouse and the Recycle Center part of your spring cleaning tradition!For a complete list of items accepted at HazoHouse go to www.ThurstonSolidWaste.org/Hazo. If you are not sure where to dispose of a specific item, use the Where Do I Take My? website to find out.last_img read more

Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest Cancel Fire Restrictions

first_imgSubmitted by The Olympic National Park Due to notable widespread rain with resulting decrease in fire danger, Olympic National Park and Forest have lifted all fire restrictions as of September 09, 2015.  The restrictions included a ban on campfires outside of developed areas as well as some campgrounds.  Fire restrictions are typically lifted when a significant amount of precipitation is recorded in local weather stations and the fire danger has decreased dramatically.   Rainfall amounts on the west side of the Olympic Peninsula have reached 11 to 12 inches since the end of August, with amounts up to one to two inches on the northeast side.Fire restrictions were implemented on June 25.  This was unusual for the Olympic Peninsula, but was necessary due to a dry winter and impacts of long-term drought across the Park and Forest.  Additional fire restrictions and area closures were implemented by other land management agencies throughout the Olympic Peninsula.  National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service firefighters responded to over 20 fires within the park and forest this summer, ranging from burns of less than ten acres to the 2,800 acre Paradise Fire.Olympic National Park information: www.nps.gov/olym/Olympic National Forest information:www.fs.usda.gov/detail/olympic/alerts-notices/ State and county area burn bans: www.waburnbans.netAbout the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 407 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.The mission of the USDA Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The Agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to State and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world.  For general information on the Olympic National Forest, visit www.fs.usda.gov/ Facebook57Tweet0Pin0last_img read more

Olympia Resident and Former Addict Shares how Spirituality Improves Self-Esteem in…

first_imgFacebook130Tweet0Pin0Submitted by the Bohlsen Group for Kay ChristyAs someone who has been clean for more than 30 years, Kay Christy is familiar with how addiction can erode an individual’s self-esteem. During her recovery process, she witnessed firsthand how important it is for people to develop self-confidence to overcome various obstacles in life.Helping individuals, especially those recovering from substance abuse, increase their self- esteem is exactly what Christy, a life coach, addresses in her book, “Gifts from Guidance.” In her book, she shares various affirmations and prayers tailored to help others improve their lives.Olympia author and recovered addict Kay Christy explores increasing self-esteem through spirituality in her new book.“Spirituality can sync the heart and mind to help people every day,” Christy said. “Prayers are universal in their message of love that bridges religion and spirituality with the human need for peace.”Christy is currently working to partner with various women’s substance abuse treatment centers in Oregon and Washington to teach those in recovery how improving their spirituality can aid in the process of becoming clean.“From my personal experience, I know that positive thought and prayer can be used to live a more fulfilling life,” Christy said. “I want to help individuals see the benefit of implementing spirituality into their daily life.”For more information, visit www.giftsfromguidance.com.Gifts from Guidance by Kay ChristyISBN: 978-1-4525-8998-5Available in softcover, hardcover, e-book Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and BalboaAbout the authorKay Christy is a life coach who has been in recovery for more than 30 years. She received a bachelor’s degree in business from The Evergreen State College and a master’s degree in behavioral science from City University of Seattle. She resides in Olympia.last_img read more

Freedom to Sleep

first_imgFacebook9Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Dr. Ankeney for Kaiser PermanenteAs another fall lurches toward a generation of school kids, now’s a great moment to talk about sleep. I know it seems a little strange to talk about nodding off to never-never land as we stew in the excitement of a new school year. But the reality is that much of America is “undersleeping,” especially school kids.Do you know how many hours of sleep per night is recommended for an average child/adolescent? It’s quite a lot, actually. Adults need at least seven hours per night on average for optimal sleep health. The National Sleep Foundation suggests up to nine hours for adults. Kids need substantially more, something in the 10-12 hour range.Problem: nearly 30 percent of adults in the U.S. report sleeping 6 or fewer hours daily with rates even worse among adolescents. And why does this matter? Over time, people suffer from all kinds of problems like reduced vigilance, distractibility, poor motivation, restlessness, and even incoordination. But insufficient sleep also can lead to cardiovascular disease, obesity, all-cause mortality (people who sleep less die earlier), reduced libido especially in older adults, and depression.Not getting enough sleep is a true medical diagnosis too: “Insufficient sleep syndrome.” The diagnosis requires both that the person is sleeping less than the recommended number of hours AND that they exhibit some of the symptoms listed above. It’s pretty clear that sleepiness played a role in the 1979 Three Mile Island nuclear disaster, the Exxon Valdez oil spill, and the 1986 nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl. You gotta wonder if the Atlanta Falcons were sleep-deprived when they played the Patriots in the 2017 Super Bowl.Doctors can help with insomnia using medications, right? The best answer here is along the lines of…rarely. The history of sleeping pills is long, interesting, and harrowing. The process of helping facilitate sleep through medication goes back to ancient times. Probably the first sleep aid was trusty alcohol, which indeed causes drowsiness. But that nice shot of J.D. gets metabolized quickly, which usually leads to frequently-interrupted sleep patterns through the latter half of the night and an uncomfortably hazy morning.In 1832, a drug called chloral hydrate (also called Noctec) entered the sleep scene. We then moved on to barbiturates and methaqualone and glutethimide. Some of these are still available on the market, most are not. ALL of the drugs we’ve used over the past 200 years do in fact cause drowsiness, so their introduction into the world was routinely met with enthusiasm. But with the advent of each new drug, the devil emerged in the details. Virtually every sleep aid eventually causes tolerance (the dose taken doesn’t work like it initially did) and create dependence (the drug doesn’t work much, but to not take them leads to sleeplessness for days).Worse, many of the “sleepers” pills were found to be extremely toxic in overdose; even a few extra could prove fatal. Some, barbiturates in particular, were found to stimulate enzymes in the liver to break down other drugs more quickly which then floods the body with drugs that were meant to trickle in slowly.The American entertainment culture has a long history with sleep meds. Jacqueline Susanne’s 1966 novel “The Valley of the Dolls,” one of the most successful books in publishing history, is a story about an aspiring actress who took ‘dolls’ (barbiturates) and was hooked on them. The Rolling Stones song “Mother’s Little Helper” is about a middle-America housewife addicted to little yellow pills, also likely barbiturates. If you haven’t heard the song, it’s not good. The upshot is that the pills ostensibly meant to help with sleep have become the fundamental unit of drug addiction in modern America. And let’s not forget the death of Michael Jackson, using a combination of propofol (used to cause anesthesia) and benzodiazepines. On that mixture, he simply stopped breathing.So, we’re left with a difficult conundrum: Sleep is important, and almost all medications that cause it are a horrible trap. What can be done?Turns out, quite a number of non-medical things can help with sleep; in fact, few people truly suffer from a physiological inability to sleep, so medications aren’t really necessary for them. The first step is simply making time for sleep a priority. It’s remarkable how many people don’t even give themselves a chance of a good night’s sleep because they don’t observe a bed time.Beyond this, most can conquer their sleep problems with assiduous sleep hygiene, sleep diaries, “wearables” (devices you can wear to track sleep quality), ASMR (repetitive sounds that create a pleasant lulling effect), smart phone sleep apps, and even cognitive behavioral therapy.So it’s still a reasonable thing to visit with your medical provider to ask for help with sleep if you aren’t getting enough. But ask for help devising a plan that doesn’t use medications. There are so many options today that everyone can create a plan that fits them best. And in the end, you can find a path to blissful, refreshing sleep, free of the medications that have plagued humanity for so long.“Kids are different today,”I hear ev’ry mother sayMother needs something today to calm her downAnd though she’s not really illThere’s a little yellow pillShe goes running for the shelter of a mother’s little helperAnd it helps her on her way, gets her through her busy day.-Rolling Stoneslast_img read more

Rohit Sharma dismissed for a duck in Board President’s XI vs South Africa

first_imgAdvertisement ifNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vs15vWingsuit rodeo📽Sindre E4xi8e( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) fxkqWould you ever consider trying this?😱ndyb2Can your students do this? 🌚ikRoller skating! Powered by Firework Rohit Sharma, the newly selected opener for India in Tests, failed to score a single run in a practise game against South Africa in Vizianagaram. The right hander lasted two deliveries while opening for Board President’s XI along with Mayank Agarwal. The guests had earlier declared their first innings on 279/6.Advertisement Sharma fell victim to Protea pacer Vernon Philander in the 2nd over of BPXI’s innings, as the batsman was caught behind by Heinrich Klaasen. And this unfortunate dismissal was his last outing before the first test against South Africa starts on October 2. The South Africans however, declared their first innings at 279/6 on the final day of the match after Philander was declared out on 48 with Temba Bavuma remaining unbeaten on 87 off 127 balls.Advertisement As for BPXI, Dharmendrasinh Jadeja was the star performer for his side with 3 wickets to his name including skipper Faf du Plessis (9). Bengal’s young fast bowler Ishan Porel and Umesh Yadav picked one wicket apiece for the hosts.BPXI ended the test with a draw, notching 265/8 after 64 overs. Priyank Panchal (60), Siddhesh Lad (52) and Srikar Bharat (71) were on form as Keshav Maharaj picked 3 wickets for the Proteas.Advertisement Earlier this month, the selection committee led by MSK Prasad had excluded KL Rahul for the upcoming Test series against South Africa with Rohit Sharma getting the nod from the team management and the selectors to open in red ball cricket as well. Advertisementlast_img read more

Questions Raised About Permanency of ‘Temporary Lights’ on Branch Avenue

first_imgBy John BurtonLITTLE SILVER – A Monmouth County plan to replace one of the bridges on Seven Bridges Road calls for the temporary installation of traffic lights at two Branch Avenue intersections. And that’s a problem for many who live in the immediate area.Monmouth County Engin­eer Joseph Ettore appeared at the Borough Council meeting Monday, May 7, to explain the $2.7 million project, expected to begin in July, and the need for the traffic lights during its six-month duration.While none of the residents disputed the need for the work on Seven Bridges Road, what worries them, many said, was what the new signals would mean for traffic in their neighborhood. They also questioned whether the signals would become permanent.One light will be located at Branch Avenue and White Road and the now blinking light at Branch Avenue and Rumson Road will be operated as a standard traffic signal.Molly Gearty said she and her family purchased their Branch Avenue home in 2008, “because we saw Little Silver as a good place to raise our family.“Now I’m going to be stuck with idling traffic,” Gearty said, noting that auto exhaust has been shown to be a contributor to such maladies as asthma and other conditions.“People move here for their children,” she said, “and I’m not happy with what’s going to happen to mine.”William Heine, Monmouth County public information officer, said last week, that County Bridge S-27 on Seven Bridges Road is an aging timber structure spanning Little Silver Creek, in the vicinity of Little Silver Point Road.Plans call for the old timber structure to be dismantled and a new concrete span to be erected there.The aging, existing bridge is “structurally deficient,” Heine said.“That doesn’t mean it’s going to fall,” he said. “It means it doesn’t meet current design standards.”The new bridge will be wider with 12-foot lanes, 3-foot shoulders and a 6-foot pedestrian walkway on the bridge’s westerly side.A pedestrian span will be available during construction, Heine said.County officials have awarded the $2.7 million project to Lucas Brothers, Inc. Marlboro, which has begun pre-construction work, includ­ing relocating utility poles and equipment.During construction some temporary lane closures are expected for the project, slated to begin following the July 4 holiday.Both signals will initially be blinking lights to allow drivers to become accustomed to them and then they will be switched to the standard red-yellow-green combination.The new lights, Ettore said during the council session, are intended for public safety and better traffic flow on busy Branch Avenue during the construction.The state Department of Transportation Trust Fund will be funding the project, according to Heine and Ettore.“I can live with a temporary light,” said Branch Avenue resident Jon Sisco, who then asked Ettore, “Where do we stand with its permanency?”Tod Sizer, who also lives on Branch, said, “There are two dozen families here today,” who share his concern. “The concern I have is the plans that you have been trying to ram down our throat for 25 years,” that of a multi-lane, lighted intersection.“This is a signal detour route,” Ettore responded, adding that there are no plans at this time to keep the lights past the project completion.The governing body would have a say as to whether the lights should remain when the construction ends. After that, the decision would be with the county Board of Freeholders, as Seven Bridges Road comes under county jurisdiction, Ettore said.Mayor Robert Neff Jr. told the audience the council has not had any discussion about keeping the signals. “We’re not going to try to slip anything passed anybody here. That I can assure you.”“My professional opinion,” Ettore said, is “a traffic signal is needed at Branch and Rumson. That has been my opinion for 20 years,” he said.Police Captain Gary LaBruno said the neighborhood is a high-traffic area and a problematic one for safety concerns. Branch Avenue serves as an alternative to state Highway 35, which runs parallel.“Those two lights were needed 10 years ago,” LaBruno said. “Those two intersections are not safe.”As many as 40,000 vehicles travel Branch Avenue during a given week, he said.LaBruno and Chief Daniel Shaffery stressed the department has not made a determination about whether the lights need to be kept. “We’re data driven,” Shaffery said, “and the data’s not in. No decision has been made.”The project first came up about six years ago with Ettore and other county and local officials conducting public input sessions, according to the engineer. The project was delayed because of state Department of Environ­men­tal Protection considerations that stalled approvals, LaBruno said.“This one seems like it’s been percolating for a while and snuck up on us,” with the recent announcement of a go-ahead, Councilman Daniel J. O’Hern Jr. said.“We understand this is an issue that’s not going to disappear,” Neff said. “And we’ll be looking at it over the next six months.”last_img read more

Monmouth Medical Center to hold Free Diabetes Event

first_imgLONG BRANCH – The Center for Diabetes Education at Monmouth Medical Center will host Diabetes: The Individual, The Family & The Community, an annual event to help people with diabetes and those who care about them cope with disease.The free event will be held from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, at Branches, located at 123 Monmouth Road in West Long Branch.Held in recognition of American Diabetes Month, the event will include blood pressure, glucose and stroke screenings, as well as body composition analysis. Presentations throughout the evening will cover a variety of topics, including diabetes and obesity, the importance of exercise in diabetes and weight management, healthy eating and meal planning and diabetes education and the importance of self-management.Radio personalities from Breeze Radio 107.1 FM and Thunder 106 FM will also be on hand with giveaways, door prizes and more. Beverages and light fare will be available.Registration begins at 5 p.m.Additional information and registration are available by calling 888-724-7123 or visiting the Monmouth Medical Center website at www.barnabashealth.org.last_img read more

Conservation on the Calendar for 2016

first_imgBy Laura D.C. KolnoskiThe Monmouth Conservation Foundation is expanding its outreach in 2016 to more inclusively reach all ages and more towns with its message of preserving and enjoying our shared natural habitats and the creatures therein. New acquisitions are also in the works to increase and secure the county’s dwindling green space.Founded in 1977, the 501(c) 3 Monmouth Conservation Foundation (MCF) has saved over 22,500 acres of open space, farmland, woodlands, and wetlands at 63 sites countywide. While long successful in getting concerned citizens with deep pockets to attend high profile events and support the MCF’s activities, the organization is placing increased emphasis on instilling understanding of and respect for the environment on younger citizens.In 2013, the MCF initiated its Kids for Conservation Program for preschool and kindergarten students. The academic enrichment program teaches youngsters about the environment with an age appropriate curriculum focused on land and wildlife protection and conservation. Lesson plans are provided to schools to help students create related art projects. The MCF awards prizes to schools based on creativity and how the class demonstrated what they learned.“Kids for Conservation is expanding to include high school and community groups through planting pollinator gardens, so it’s not just the youngsters anymore,” said MCF executive director since 2012, William D. Kastning. “We are expanding environmental outreach in 2016 with the introduction of an awareness campaign, ‘Project Pollinator’ about the importance of protecting pollinator species such as butterflies, birds, bats, and bees.”The project’s goal is to inspire the creation of habitats in schools, community, and private gardens while increasing awareness of environmental threats pollinator species face. The foundation is partnering with Monmouth University and other educational institutions to develop curriculum for participating schools. Some schools will be visited by a Monmouth University student teacher who will lead the class in interactive exercises about pollinators. More details on the program, expected to launch this spring, will be available at the MCF website: monmouthconservation.org.Monmouth Conservation Director William Kastning“We are expanding our focus to be more outreach-oriented and our children’s programs are a big part of that,” Kastning said. “Project Pollinator will have a new urban focus and will include Red Bank, Long Branch, Freehold and Asbury Park kids.”Asbury Park youth have already been engaged through the MCF’s successful fundraising campaign to help bring that city’s 1.3-acre Springwood Avenue Park to fruition. Stepping out of its image as an organization largely interested in rural and more upscale communities, the MCF made headlines when its board of trustees decided to join Asbury’s Interfaith Neighbors, local and county government, and other funding sources in raising and contributing funds to build the park on Asbury’s west side.To support it, the MCF held “hugely successful” events at two popular Asbury Park restaurants that raised $67,000, Kastning said. Afterward, the board added $100,000 to the effort. The project, once empty lots, is scheduled to open this spring.“The board decided to follow the county’s lead with its open space preservation grants, paying after the fact once all is OK to ensure the money is being wisely and well spent,” Kastning said, adding donors welcomed the new urban focus.The foundation does not own any land, but holds conservation and agriculture easements to protect sensitive environments in perpetuity. The binding easements allow landowners to retain ownership while giving up certain rights such as development. In addition to acting as a facilitator in land acquisitions, the MCF stewards the easements and ensures restrictions are upheld.As part of the foundation’s strategic plan, Kastning said 40 properties are currently at various stages in the acquisition process. Working in tandem with the county this year, the MCF will engage with landowners to increase existing parks and target properties for preservation. In Keyport, the 62-acre Aeromarine site, formerly home to military aircraft manufacturing, is being converted to parkland. In Atlantic Highlands, the MCF has been working to remediate and turn a former oil facility with seven bay front acres into a recreation area, preventing 20 homes from being built there. Near the new bridge connecting Red Bank and the River Plaza section of Middletown, the waterfront Swimming River Park will soon be transformed into park featuring passive recreational options including a boat launch and sledding hill.Kastning said MCF’s first annual community meeting will be scheduled in February, open to those seeking to learn about land preservation issues and projects, provide input, and get involved in numerous volunteer opportunities, including Project Pollinator. The nationally recognized and accredited Monmouth Conservation Foundation was founded by the Michael Huber and Judith Stanley Coleman.last_img read more