Take a good long look: The Cullowhee Native Plants Conference, running from July 15 through July 19, encourages enthusiasts to really 'dig in' to their love of native plants. Photo by Ashley Evans, courtesy of WCU.

Video: Plant enthusiasts assemble for the Native Plants Conference

Brace yourselves — the plant enthusiasts are coming. From Tuesday, July 15 through Saturday, July 19, Western North Carolina will once again play host to the Cullowhee Native Plants Conference, an annual event with workshops and field trips exploring many aspects of native plants. Get a feel for the conference with a video tour of the plants of Black Balsam Ridge.

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Blue Ridge Parkway releases first ever comprehensive management plan

The Blue Ridge Parkway’s new plan aims to provide guidance for perpetuating natural systems, preserving cultural resources, and providing opportunities for high-quality visitor experiences along the parkway for the next 20+ years. After more than 75 years since the parkway was established, this is its first comprehensive management plan.

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This weekend on a shoestring

As you’re surely aware, tens of thousands of enthusiastic festival goers will descend upon downtown for the annual Bele Chere festival this weekend. In response, we bring you a host of other options, including outdoor activities, readings, theater and even wrestling, all for little or no cost. However, should you be into that sort of thing, be sure to check out our special Bele Chere edition (online and in print) for a complete guide to the madness. 

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Protecting Parkway views

Introduced in honor of the scenic highway’s 75th anniversary this year, the Blue Ridge Parkway Protection Act would authorize $75 million to purchase properties and easements along the route. Conservation Trust for North Carolina’s Executive Director Reid Wilson testified March 18 in support of the bill, speaking before the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources on the importance of saving viewsheds on the Blue Ridge Parkway.