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.
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.
More than a year after the waters have receded, less than half of state funds assigned to help those in need have been allocated for specific work. That’s according to a presentation by the N.C. Office of State Budget and Management slated to come before the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners Tuesday, Sept. 20.
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.
About 100 people attended the Sept. 8 event — the first of its kind hosted by the Asheville Area Riverfront Redevelopment Commission — at New Belgium Brewing Co. The gathering was prompted by recent reports on the French Broad River’s economic importance and bacterial contamination.
According to the city’s website, the plan, being drafted by Winston-Salem-based consultant AECOM for $95,000, “will incorporate all new additions of policies and resolutions while creating a roadmap on how to accomplish adopted goals” for sustainability and climate through 2030.
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.
Both Buncombe County and the city of Asheville have resolved that, by the end of 2030, government operations will be powered entirely by renewable energy. With less than eight years until that deadline, what progress has been made toward the energy goals?
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.
The U.S. Forest Service’s proposed land management plan for the Pisgah and Nantahala forests has drawn thousands of objections, leading to an extension of time to review concerns. The Forest Service chief now calls the plan revision process, which took more than a decade, unsustainable.
On June 7, Carolina Public Press held a free and open virtual event with a panel of experts to discuss threats to the future of public forests in the state, including climate change. A recording of the event is linked to this story.
“By expanding the blitz to four counties and making a game of it, we hope to be able to engage more people and find more species,” said MountainTrue Public Lands Biologist Josh Kelly. “We might even find some that have never been recorded in our region.”
As presented by Lucy Crown, the city’s greenways program planner, Close the GAP combines a proposed map of greenway and pedestrian networks with updates to city policies and design standards. Asheville City Council is scheduled to vote on the proposal in July.
When complete, the document will be a nonbinding, advisory blueprint of where residents and county officials want the county to be in 2043 and will outline the goals, objectives and policies needed to achieve that vision.
Innovative approaches such as land restoration and private-public partnerships, as well as revisiting tried approaches such as herd grazing and indigenous land management, offer partial answers to the challenges of a changing climate in WNC forests.
Maintaining trails in Western North Carolina’s mountain forests poses tough choices between recreation and sustainability.
Climate change and extreme weather events disrupt habitat areas and food sources in NC mountain forests, while human infrastructure blocks natural migration paths and creates dangers near roadways for large animal species.
Researchers seek to understand risks climate change poses for the Blue Ridge woodlands of Western North Carolina while many residents experience the disruption of extreme weather.
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.
One referendum would authorize $30 million in borrowing for conservation projects while a second referendum would authorize $40 million in bonds for affordable housing efforts.
Growing up in Hendersonville, Ashley Featherstone assumed she would move away for work. “I was always told that you could never find a job here,” she recalls. “There are [fewer] jobs here than there are in places like Atlanta and Charlotte. But I just decided that I was going to find a job.” And she […]