Rich Preyer, on-site program coordinator at The N.C. Arboretum, discusses outdoor education, community collaborations and the return of the Wee Naturalist program.
Kids stuff: The importance of silent reflection and observation
Chehala Andriananjason, WNC program manager at Muddy Sneakers, discusses the benefits of small group learning, taking in the natural world and the best places to hike.
Kids stuff: The perks of native wildlife education
Jordan Rutherford, the guest services coordinator at the WNC Nature Center, share his thoughts on the benefits of outdoor education and the center’s most popular exhibits for kids.
From CPP: Final plan to manage Pisgah, Nantahala National Forest unveiled
The long-awaited plan to manage more than 1 million acres of national forest was released Friday by the U.S. Forest Service. The plan sets out a strategy to restore the ecological integrity of ecosystems and watersheds within Pisgah and Nantahala national forests.
Green in brief: Duke Energy completes Hot Springs microgrid
The microgrid includes 2 megawatts of solar panel capacity and 4.4 MW of battery storage. Those resources are enough to power the entire town for an extended period if its connection to the main grid is disrupted.
Health checkup: Taking advantage of city offerings
Wayne Simmons, operations manager for Asheville Parks & Recreation, speaks about health and wellness programs that the city offers, the benefits of physical activity and his favorite ways to stray in shape.
Green in brief: Conserving Carolina to expand Bracken Mountain Preserve
On Dec. 30, the nonprofit completed the purchase of 34 acres in Brevard to expand the preserve. The new land will bolster the existing 395-acre park, owned by the city of Brevard, which connects to the Pisgah National Forest.
From CPP: The uncertain future of old-growth forests in North Carolina, part three, the green salamanders
The recent decision to harvest 26 acres that encompass an old-growth patch of forest on a 3,500-foot mountaintop – the Southside Project – underscores what some say is the widening incongruity between the U.S. Forest Service’s mission, climate change crisis and the public’s will.
From CPP: The uncertain future of old-growth forests in North Carolina, part two
Scientists say old-growth forests are essential tools in the fight against climate change. Harvesting them releases greenhouse gasses, worsening climate impacts.
Green in brief: Asheville protects land at Mills River water plant
Backed by a $400,000 grant from the N.C. Land and Water Fund, the nonprofit Mills River Partnership is restoring roughly 14 acres of riverside near the plant. Maria Wise, the nonprofit’s executive director, says her organization will stabilize the riverbanks and replace invasive plants with native varieties.
From CPP: The uncertain future of old-growth forests in North Carolina, part one
The recent decision to harvest 26 acres that encompass an old-growth patch of forest on a 3,500-foot mountaintop — the Southside Project — underscores what some say is the widening incongruity between the U.S. Forest Service’s mission, climate change crisis and the public’s will.
G5 Trail Collective opens first phase of planned network
The first part of the Old Fort Trails Project, aptly named the Old Fort Gateway Trails, features six miles of accessible trails off of Curtis Creek Road in the McDowell County town. Another 36 miles of hiking, biking and horse paths are planned for construction through 2027.
Mike Poggioli’s photography book captures the Blue Ridge at sunrise
The Asheville transplant discusses his journey to landscape photography.
Green in brief: WNC Nature Center opens new exhibit
In partnership with the WNC Farmers Market, the Asheville zoo launches its Educational Farmers Market Garden starting Wednesday, Nov. 16. The new exhibit focuses on sustainable relationships between agriculture and nature.
Green in brief: Wildlands Network flags WNC roads for wildlife crossings
Of the 20 North Carolina sites in the new report, six are in Western North Carolina — including the nonprofit’s No. 1 site, Interstate 40’s path through the Pigeon River Gorge.
Green in brief: Woodfin Greenway & Blueway gets $5.9M TDA boost
The funding represents the final amount needed for the $30 million project, which has been under development since 2011. The money will go toward constructing 5 miles of greenway along the French Broad River and Beaverdam Creek, as well as park facilities and a wave feature for whitewater enthusiasts.
Green in brief: Nonprofits plan conversion of Saluda Grade into trail
The path, running along an inactive railway, would stretch about 31 miles northwest from Inman, S.C., through Tryon and Saluda before terminating in Zirconia, about 7 miles southeast of Hendersonville. Hendersonville-based Conserving Carolina; Greenville, S.C.-based Upstate Forever; and Spartanburg, S.C.-based PAL are leading the effort.
Buncombe leaders talk rising poverty, county economy
According to data presented by Tim Love, Buncombe’s director of economic development and governmental relations, the county’s poverty rate went up from about 11.5% in 2018 — its lowest point in a decade — to about 13.9% in 2020, the latest year for which information was available. Poverty in both North Carolina and the overall U.S. fell over the same period.
Green in brief: Morrow Landing to offer new French Broad access near Brevard
The land, purchased by Conserving Carolina, falls roughly halfway between the current Island Ford and Hap Simpson Park access points, which are separated by nearly 10 miles of river. Morrow Landing’s placement will therefore facilitate shorter trips by less experienced river users and improve access for emergency responders.
Local couple collaborate on comprehensive Appalachian Trail book
Amber and Joshua Niven discuss working together on their new book, “Discovering the Appalachian Trail: A Guide to the Trail’s Greatest Hikes.”
Is the French Broad River safe for swimming?
Nothing sparks an online debate among Asheville-based social media groups faster than a question concerning the cleanliness of the French Broad River.