Elizabeth Brazas with the Reichman Scholarship Committee

Community Foundation of WNC promotes flexible giving

While most nonprofits must stay focused on their specific cause, suggests board member Caroline Avery, the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina’s adaptable structure helps it pivot quickly to meet new challenges, such as the COVID-19 pandemic or the flooding caused by Tropical Storm Fred in 2021. “The community foundation is a charitable Gumby,” she says.

Chestnut Mountain entrance

Green in brief: Chestnut Mountain Nature Park opens to public

About 35 acres of the nearly 450-acre tract — purchased by the nonprofit Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy in 2020 and recently transferred to the town of Canton — are now open, including the Berm Park mountain bike skills course and a mixed-use hiking/biking trail.

Kylie Barnes, water quality administrator for MountainTrue

Green in brief: MountainTr­ue seeks ban on single-use plastics

A study conducted by MountainTrue found an average of 19 microplastic particles — pieces smaller than 5 millimeters, formed by the breakdown of larger plastics — per liter of water in local river systems. Exposure to microplastics has been tied to allergic reactions and other health impacts in humans, as well as negative effects on fish.

French Broad River in River Arts District

Study puts $3.8B annual price tag on French Broad

A recently completed study, commissioned by the French Broad River Partnership in 2019 and led by economist Steve Ha of Western Carolina University, sets the total economic value of the French Broad and its tributaries at $3.8 billion per year. By comparison, the Blue Ridge Parkway that also runs through Asheville creates about $1.3 billion in economic output per year.

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