White irisette

Polk County hosts nationally significan­t species diversity

“The vagaries of climate and geology and time and the dispersal mechanisms of plants and animals too — all of those things, just over vast eons of time, have given Polk County this sweet spot,” says botanist David Campbell. His inventory of the county lists 32 significant natural heritage areas, as well as 127 rare or watch-list plant species found at those sites.

News in brief: I-26 connector meeting, Hump Mountain, veterans train service dogs

According to the project website for the planned Interstate 26 Connector project in Asheville, the N.C. Department of Transportation has been meeting with community groups about the roadway since 1989. On Tuesday, Dec. 4, NCDOT will again convene local stakeholders. Also: a major public land acquisition in the Cherokee National Forest, and a new community service option for veterans involved with the criminal justice system.

Happy 242: Independen­ce Day events around WNC

Western North Carolina towns exude charm throughout the year, but on Independence Day they take that appeal to another level. That tradition continues in 2018 with streets and parks across the mountains playing host to parades, live music, festivals and other family-friendly celebrations while the sun is out, followed by fireworks and shows to cap off the night. […]