Wake up and smell the accolades: In its August issue, Outside magazine counts Asheville among the nation’s best cities for outdoor pursuits, joining such vaunted locales as Iowa City, Iowa, and Burlington, Vt. In its review, Outside describes a city “cradled in a lush green bowl and surrounded on all sides by the Appalachian Mountains … an island of liberal alternative culture.” (And heck, that’s just Pritchard Park!) According to the magazine’s editors, our fair city “serves up more than 2,000 miles of hiking and mountain-biking trails and some of the nation’s finest whitewater creeking.” Just remember to wipe your feet before going inside.
Paper or plastic?: This month, Ingles Markets has teamed up with the nonprofit Friends of the Smokies to raise vitally needed funds for the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Through July 28, shoppers can donate $1 to the Friends and have their names emblazoned on a “bear sign” displayed within the store, showing their support for the nation’s most-visited park. Visit www.friendsofthesmokies.org to learn more.
A bittersweet reunion: On July 27, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy will begin hosting a series of workshops on identifying and controlling the exotic, invasive plants that just happen to be eating up our mountains. If something green and viney is waving to you through an upstairs window or has little Johnny caught in its tendrils, you might consider making it out for this clinic. E-mail Julie Judkins at email@example.com to get the skinny.