Exploring the Swannanoa Gap

The route through the Swannanoa Gap — where present-day Old U.S. 70 and Mill Creek Road intersect — was first carved out by Archaic Indians as they came up out of the Appalachian foothills and followed Swannanoa Creek on the way to hunting and gathering opportunities in the mountains. Later, Buncombe County’s first white settlers climbed through the gap as they moved into the area. Historian Dan Pierce shares the gap’s history and culture, as well as suggestions for exploration.

Josh Kelly by logging road

Green in brief: Small firms claim exclusion from local public solar process, Forest Service OKs Buck Project

Mike Diethelm, president and founder of Asheville-based SolFarm Solar Co., says a $10 million construction bond requirement for would-be bidders on the solar projects “knocks out so many local medium and small solar businesses, which we have a lot of in this town, and only opens it up to the big guys.”

Bearwallow Mountain Trail

Green in brief: Buncombe merges conservati­on department­s, WNC trail closures

On March 17, the county announced that it would combine its Soil and Water Conservation District with N.C. Cooperative Extension to form the Agriculture and Land Resources Department. Meanwhile, the managers of numerous area parks and trails have opted to restrict access in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Weeping Planet Earth costume

Green in brief: Asheville declares climate emergency, Duke opens Arden gas plant

“The loss of life and damage caused by current global warming demonstrates that the Earth is already too hot for safety,” states the document approved by a 6-0 vote of Asheville City Council on Jan. 28. “Restoring a safe and stable climate requires an emergency climate mobilization on a scale not seen since World War II.”

Give!Local 2019 wraps up banner year for grassroots fundraisin­g

A heartfelt thanks is in order, to the 414 individuals who donated to 2019’s Give!Local partner nonprofits, generating a total impact of $178,804. Every dollar goes directly to local nonprofits making a difference in the WNC community. Mountain Xpress’ fifth annual campaign to raise funds and awareness for local organizations benefiting the community has nearly […]

Curbie accepted recyclables list

Green in brief: Recycle Right NC campaign kicks off, climate change predicted for WNC fall

Using the slogan “When in doubt, throw it out,” the statewide Recycle Right NC initiative aims to reduce contamination and improve the economic value of recyclables. Additionally, according to the National Weather Service’s Greenville-Spartanburg office, Western North Carolina is likely in for warmer-than-usual conditions over the foreseeable future.

Wise Women gather at Kanuga

“The focus of the conference is woman to woman, kind of kitchen to kitchen,” explains Byron Ballard, who will present a workshop on traditional Appalachian healing methods at this year’s Southeast Wise Women Herbal Conference at the Kanuga conference and retreat center near Hendersonville. “It’s about women being together in a women’s space and being free to talk, to do, to teach and to learn from each other.