Category Archives: Health

Sycamore Highlands Park Adds Butterfly Garden

Sycamore Highlands community members partnered with the City of Riverside Parks, Recreation, and Community Services Department and the UCR Department of Entomology to plant a butterfly garden at Sycamore Highlands Park.  The butterfly garden was planted this morning and consists of plants that will provide food for native butterflies and caterpillars.
Pictures of the event are posted on our Facebook site.  Simply go to our Facebook site listed below or select this link:
If anyone in the Sycamore Highlands area has an idea to improve the community or the park (like planting a butterfly garden) , please let us know and we will help you to organize and get local volunteers.

School Children Could Lead Way On Sustainability

Many children are not only passionate about environmental issues, but more than capable of driving forward sustainability initiatives, argues new research into the role of schools in developing more sustainable communities. Children already play a key role in becoming more sustainable by encouraging changes in behavour of those around them whether in terms of recycling, saving energy, growing vegetables and healthy eating etc.  Read more.

Riverside Recognized As One Of 21 Smartest Cities In World

The City of Riverside has earned a distinction that only five other communities in the United States received.

Mayor of Riverside and Chair of Smart Riverside’s Board of Directors Ron Loveridge celebrated this extraordinary accomplishment saying, “The Smart21 designation is a significant honor recognizing that Riverside is a world leader in innovation and municipal technologies.”

The Smart21 Communities Award specifically cited Mayor Loveridge’s focus and leadership on technology initiatives which has produced a plan for tech-based transformation. Other achievements contributing to the award include partnerships with the City and universities to develop tech parks, incubators, business accelerations and mentoring programs; fiber and wireless networks reaching 80 percent of the City, and innovative programs that connect citizens with technology.

In case you missed it, The Press-Enterprise reports on the story:

City named one of 21 smartest in world

Riverside has been named one of 21 cities worldwide to receive the Smart21 Communities award.

New York-based think tank The Intelligent Community Forum recognized the city for its commitment to broadband, innovation, knowledge-economy, municipal WiFi, Digital Inclusion Program, SmartRiverside technology initiatives, e-waste processing, and collaboration with universities and CEOs.

Riverside shares the distinction with Dundee, Scotland; Tel Aviv, Israel; Ottawa, Canada; and Tallinn, Estonia.

The think tank seeks to share the best practices of communities in adapting to a broadband economy. For more information, go to

EPA Anticipates Acrolein Levels Likely Elevated At Most Schools

LOS ANGELES – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 9 announced today that the first set of results from recent air monitoring studies at three Southern California schools are now available and have been posted on the agency’s Web site. These schools were selected as part of the EPA’s national Schools Air Toxics Initiative. The initiative, which is monitoring 63 schools in 22 states, is designed to help EPA and the states learn whether long-term exposure to toxics in the outdoor air poses health concerns for children and staff at the schools.
The three Southern California schools are: Felton Elementary School (Lennox); Santa Anita Christian Academy (El Monte); and Soto Street Elementary School (LA). EPA has been monitoring the air at these schools since early August for several air toxics, most of which are associated with mobile sources (cars, trucks, and airplanes). EPA has also been monitoring the air at Stevens Creek Elementary School (Cupertino) for hexavalent chromium, and has been releasing results for that location since early August. Data are posted at Additional information on the schools is available at
Outdoor air at each of the schools will be monitored for 60 days, and air quality monitors will take a minimum of 10 daily samples during the sampling period. EPA will use the information gathered in this initial stage of the initiative to help determine next steps, which could include additional monitoring where appropriate.
The first results available for the three Southern California schools show that levels of air toxics are below levels of short-term concern. EPA scientists warn against drawing conclusions at this point as the study is designed to determine whether long-term, not short-term, exposure poses health risks to school children and staff. Once monitoring is complete, the full set of results from all of the schools will be analyzed to evaluate the potential for health concerns related to long-term exposure to these pollutants. EPA will post this analysis to the Web once it is complete.
While monitoring is not complete at most schools, including these three Southern California schools, EPA is providing early information about acrolein, a widespread pollutant that can irritate the eyes, nose and throat.  Acrolein primarily enters the air when things burn.  There are many sources of acrolein, including fires; exhaust from cars, trucks, boats, planes, wood heating; and industrial boilers. Acrolein is also found in cigarette smoke and smoke from cooking animal fats. Preliminary results from the 40 schools that are monitoring for acrolein are similar to levels from air toxics monitors in other areas of the country.  EPA anticipates that long-term levels of acrolein are likely to be elevated at most of the schools.
EPA has been regulating the emissions of acrolein from industrial facilities and vehicles since 1990. The agency already has seen reductions in acrolein emissions and expects to see more reductions in the future as rules such as the mobile source air toxics and heavy duty highway vehicle rules are phased in.

EPA plans to continue monitoring for acrolein at various locations across the country. This information will help us as we look for other ways to reduce acrolein emissions.

More information on acrolein and the School Monitoring Initiative is available on EPA’s website at