Chestnut Mountain entrance

Green in brief: Chestnut Mountain Nature Park opens to public

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.

Kylie Barnes, water quality administrator for MountainTrue

Green in brief: MountainTr­ue seeks ban on single-use plastics

A study conducted by MountainTrue found an average of 19 microplastic particles — pieces smaller than 5 millimeters, formed by the breakdown of larger plastics — per liter of water in local river systems. Exposure to microplastics has been tied to allergic reactions and other health impacts in humans, as well as negative effects on fish.

French Broad River in River Arts District

Study puts $3.8B annual price tag on French Broad

A recently completed study, commissioned by the French Broad River Partnership in 2019 and led by economist Steve Ha of Western Carolina University, sets the total economic value of the French Broad and its tributaries at $3.8 billion per year. By comparison, the Blue Ridge Parkway that also runs through Asheville creates about $1.3 billion in economic output per year.

Buncombe County seal

Asheville airport to borrow $275M for improvemen­ts

According to minutes from a March 17 meeting of the airport authority, work to be financed with the revenue bonds includes expansion and modernization of the terminal, construction of a central energy plant and a new air traffic control tower. While none of the debt will be the responsibility of Buncombe County taxpayers, the county Board of Commissioners must still approve the bond issue.

Mission Hospital in Asheville

From Asheville Watchdog: How many doctors have left Mission? HCA won’t say

HCA declined repeated requests for the number of doctors who have left the Mission system since it took over in February 2019 and refuses to say how many doctors are on staff today, other than that the number is “relatively the same.” But Asheville Watchdog identified 223 doctors who appear to be no longer practicing there.