The ARDA Newsletter         April 2022 
Environmentally Sustainable Solutions – A Sunny Outlook
By: Nicole Bots,
Biologist, Tetra Tech, Inc.
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Soaking up the Sun
Countries and companies all around the world have set goals of halving or outright eliminating their emissions by the 2030s, and the U.S. is no exception. The complete transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy is approaching rapidly, aided in part by subsidies and decreasing costs associated with developing and installing renewable energy sources, namely solar energy centers. For this reason, solar farms are being installed at an accelerated rate all over the world.
Two major current consumers of fossil fuels are currently making strides and experimenting with ways to incorporate solar energy into their industries and are also finding many of these techniques to be valuable: agriculture and railroad transportation.
A Rock “Salad” Foundation
The field of agrivoltaics has emerged as a solution to this problem by combining a farmer’s ability to cultivate crops with generating clean energy. The shade from the installed solar panels not only helps the soil retain water, lowering the need for irrigation and the demand for water, but it also protects the crops from extreme weather events that might otherwise wipeout a farmer’s crop yield for that year. However, the relationship between vegetation and panel isn’t simply one-sided. Planting vegetation beneath the panels cools the area, thereby cooling the photovoltaic cells, resulting in higher energy yields. In addition to cultivated crops, perennials can also be planted beneath solar panels to provide crucial habitat to pollinators that are otherwise seeing their numbers dwindle due to development and pesticide use. Additionally, the surplus energy produced by the panels could be used to run farm equipment, stored in battery packs, or sold to the grid for consumer use, creating a new revenue stream for farmers.

2022 Annual Meeting
Save the Date! 
The 2022 Annual Meeting this year will take place in Salt Lake City, Utah on July 17, 2022 through July 19, 2022! 
Registration Is Now Live!
Registration for the 2022 Annual Meeting is now open! 
We will have more details coming soon including hotel room reservations & the event agenda! 
If you have any questions please contact Ashley Lauren at

2022 ARDA Scholarship Is Live!
The Deadline Is Quickly Approaching To Nominate Candidates!
ARDA is currently accepting nominations for its 2022 Scholarship Program. As part of the program, ARDA members have the opportunity to nominate one candidate to receive the President's scholarship of $2,500.
Scholarship Eligibility:
To be eligible for consideration, an applicant must:
  • Be sponsored by a current Active or Honorary ARDA member. ARDA members are permitted to sponsor one applicant per sponsorship year.
  • Be enrolled either:
    • As a full-time college student at an accredited two-year or four-year college or university, pursuing an associate, bachelor's or graduate level degree.
    • As a high school student expecting to graduate and having confirmed your enrollment at an accredited two-year or four-year college or university.
For more information on the ARDA scholarship please visit
Application Deadline
A complete application and all accompanying materials must be submitted by April 15, 2022 for consideration. 


Renew Your ARDA Membership or Join Now

Membership renewal information was distributed on September 2, 2021. If you have not yet renewed your ARDA membership for 2021-22, please visit our website at and log-in at the top right corner of the page. 

Your renewed membership allows ARDA to continue fostering the industrial, real estate, natural resources, market development activities and environmental concerns of the North American railroads through the advancement of ideas and education of its members.

If you are not an ARDA member and would like to join, please visit our registration page.



American Railway Development Association | PO Box 1092, Tallahassee, FL 32302


The  American Railway Development Association (ARDA) is a not-for-profit educational trade association founded in 1906 to promote Economic Development, Real Estate Development, Technology, and Environmental Activities of the North American Railroads.   The objectives of the Association are to foster the industrial, real estate, natural resources, market development activities and environmental concerns of the North American railroads; and through the advancement of ideas and education of its members, further promote the effectiveness of railway development and related work. For more information, visit the ARDA website at