These 7 gifts are perfect for nature lovers

Give back to nature by helping restore forests, oceans and wildlife. Your contribution will boomerang back in countless ways, curbing climate change, teaching kids about the outdoors, feeding endangered monarch butterflies, making space for whales and even helping tree farmers. All you’ll get is that lousy T-shirt. (But this year, they’re actually pretty cool.)

5 forest preserves where you can cut down your own Christmas tree (and why that’s OK)

If you’re a stickler for an old-fashioned Christmas, you may be venturing into the woods this year, ala Clark Griswold to chop down your own yuletide tree. Surprisingly, selected nature preserves, state and national forests are open to controlled tree-chopping activities, though you may really have to go hunting for these locations.

Clearing the air: NYC proposes banning smoking in parks

New York City already has smoke-free restaurants. It may soon have smoke-free parks, beaches and outdoor plazas.
Under a proposal announced Thursday by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, New York City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn and Councilmember Gale Brewer, the existing local Smoke Free Air Act that bans smoking in workplaces and indoor gathering spots, would be expanded to include the great outdoors.

Redondo Beach SEA Lab enhances nature exhibit with new technology

Los Angeles-area school kids who visit the Redondo Beach SEA Lab this year will get an extra lesson in the dangers of pollution, courtesy of environmental groups that have partnered to create a new exhibit about DDT and PCBs.

The exhibit, set up at a kiosk, will boost nature education with the latest technology, allowing kids to see and experience wildlife in 3D “Augmented Reality”. This new streaming video/3-D technology, supplied by the company Total Immersion, will make the eaglets once imperiled by DDT appear to be live and in front of the viewers, who can “hold” them.