TAKING OUT THE TRASH: In 2011, the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy acquired an 88-acre tract adjoining the  2,767-acre Sandy Mush Game Lands. During one workday in 2016, volunteers removed 180 tires and 12 contractor-sized bags of garbage. Photo courtesy of SAHC

Protection just the first step for conservati­on nonprofits

As local land trusts bring thousands of acres under protection, the challenges of maintaining the health of those lands grow. And raising money for ongoing efforts to control invasive plant species, deter pests and protect water quality can be a much tougher sell than the initial push to save a beloved tract from the threat of development.

ENCIRCLED: At Arms Around ASD, students participate in Moving Meditation, a class that fosters relaxation and focus, builds internal energy and sharpens executive functioning skills. Photo by Michele Louzon

Local support grows for those with autism, sensory processing disorder

Support in Western North Carolina is growing for those with autism spectrum disorder and sensory processing disorder as nonprofits, mental health organizations and neighborhood businesses strive to provide sensory-friendly environments. “Children can have sensory processing disorder or sensory integration issues all by themselves and not have autistic behaviors, but it does flip. If a child has […]