PITCHING IN: Chattanooga-area creative professionals volunteered their time to benefit local organizations through a 12-hour design marathon in 2017. This year, the Make a Mark organization expanded to Asheville and will host its first “make-athon” on Saturday, June 23. Photo courtesy of Make a Mark Foundation

Make-athon leverages top-notch talent to benefit local nonprofits

On Saturday, June 23, 30 local creative professionals will gather at Hatch AVL, volunteering their time, energy and expertise. And at the end of that very full day, each of the nine chosen groups will walk away with a completed creative product or plan that’s specifically designed to support their work in ways they wouldn’t have been able to achieve on their own.

PRICELESS PROPERTY: DuPont State Recreational Forest encompasses waterfalls, trails for hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding, and open space for public enjoyment. The forest has received funding through the state's Natural Heritage, Parks and Recreation and Clean Water Management trust funds. N.C. legislators are considering allotments to those funds as well as other spending related to the environment as they meet in Raleigh to finalize the state budget for the upcoming fiscal year. Photo by Rob Travis courtesy of the Friends of DuPont Forest

WNC environmen­tal programs and agencies could see more cuts in new state budget

Local legislators and environmental advocates share their thoughts on which state budgetary and policy decisions could have a big impact on WNC’s environment in the coming fiscal year and beyond. They cited issues including the state’s response to novel contaminants like GenX chemicals, the budget for the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality and funding for the Clean Water Management, Parks and Recreation and Farmland Preservation trust funds.

PLACE TO CALL HOME: Jimmy Yamin of Workforce Homestead described plans for a 70-unit affordable apartment complex in Candler off Smokey Park Highway on April 10. Asheville City Council approved Yamin's zoning request unanimously and also approved a $600,000 loan from the city's Affordable Housing Trust Fund in support of the project. Photo by Virginia Daffron

City sustainabi­lity efforts fall short of annual goal in 2017

After years of progress toward waste and carbon emission reduction goals, the city hit a wall in 2017, according to a report presented to Asheville City Council on April 10. Asked for bright ideas about how sustainability efforts can get back on track to achieve long-term goals, city staffers said that, without significant additional investment, progress is likely to be limited to incremental gains.

LITTLE STINKERS: The brown marmorated stink bug is one of an increasing number of non-native insects that have invaded Western North Carolina. Lacking natural predators, the slow-moving, malodorous bugs present problems for homeowners and farmers. In Living Web Farms’ March 31 workshop, organic farmers will learn how to deploy purchased beneficial insects and biological agents to address infestations that aren’t readily controlled by other strategies.

Beneficial insects fight recalcitra­nt garden pests

The fight to protect food crops against destructive insect pests has become more challenging in recent years, Mills River farming expert Patryk Battle reports. Battle and Boone-based insect scientist Richard McDonald will present a March 31 workshop on when and how organic growers should take drastic measures to deal with damaging insect and disease infestations.

THE WOODS ARE LOVELY, DARK AND DEEP: Landscape architect Sieglinde Anderson has created an extensive woodland garden at her Fairview property. She and photographer Ruthie Rosauer will invite attendees at a March 20 talk in Hendersonville to consider the possibilities and beauty of trees and the shaded areas they create. Photo courtesy of Sieglinde Anderson

Talk to celebrate options for gardening beneath the tree canopy

On March 20, landscape architect Sieglinde Anderson and photographer Ruthie Rosauer will share advice for gardening beneath and appreciating this region’s diverse and abundant tree canopy. Sponsored by the Hendersonville Tree Board, the talk will take place at 6 p.m. at the Henderson County Library Auditorium in downtown Hendersonville.

GATHERING STEAM: With giant puppets looking on, North Asheville residents learned more about a proposed project to widen a section of Merrimon Avenue. Photo by Virginia Daffron

UPDATED Residents to DOT: Let us participat­e in Merrimon planning

Is it possible that some engineers from the NCDOT’s Division 13 office noticed their ears were burning on the evening of Jan. 23? While neighbors met in North Asheville to plan a push opposing what they see as rushed and inappropriate plans for widening a portion of Merrimon Avenue, City Council members decried the NCDOT’s lack of engagement and directed staff to develop a statement outlining the city’s concerns.

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Sneak peek at Nov. 22 issue, plus stories you might have missed

Let’s talk turkey: This week’s issue of Mountain Xpress is perfect for your post-meal perusal. Check out stories on Thanksgiving, fun things to do, an innovative program aimed at helping inmates re-enter society, an update on air quality and a whole lot more. Until then, check out some of our top stories from last week.

Warren Wilson College’s 1,130-acre campus includes a 625-acre forest. The College Forest is sustainably managed through the environmental studies department and the Forestry Crew. The environmental studies majors working and studying in this forest have the chance to earn a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in five years through the new Advantage Program partnership with Duke University.

Warren Wilson and Duke recommit to dual enrollment program

Press release from Warren Wilson College: Environmental studies, forestry majors can graduate with bachelor’s, master’s in five years Asheville, NC – Nov. 6, 2017 – Warren Wilson College and Duke University have re-signed a decades-old commitment to expand graduate school access to undergraduate students. Part of the Warren Wilson College Advantage Program (WWCAP), the dual […]