Car-struck animal carcasses may soon become compost in the Commonwealth. According to the Associated Press, Virginia is testing a new program to turn roadkill into plant food. The effort includes a special system that accelerates the decomposition process while also reducing odors. It can also apparently break down animals in as little as six weeks. Currently the Virginia Department of Transportation buries roadkill or disposes it at landfills at an estimated cost of $4 million a year.
D.C Named the Fittest City in the U.S.
The nation’s capital is the fittest city in the United States, according to a recent set of rankings released by the American College of Sports Medicine. The D.C. metro area came out on top in the organization’s annual American Fitness Index, which was developed as a data-driven study to measure the health and fitness of the country’s 50 most populous metropolitan areas. In addition to having a large number of residents who frequently exercise, the District also scored high for numbers of parks, recreation centers, and farmers’ markets per capita, as well as relatively low death rates for cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Record Year for National Parks
Last year saw record attendance in America’s national parks. A report that came out earlier this year tallying 2014 numbers reported a record 294 million park visitors. According to a piece in National Parks Traveler that’s a jump of more than 20 million visitors from the previous year. In the South the Blue Ridge Parkway saw a big uptick, hosting 13.9 million people in 2014, approximately a million more than the previous year. Great Smoky Mountains National Park was up 744,276 for a total 10 million park guests.