“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.
Asheville-based nonprofit Campaign for Southern Equality, along with Western North Carolina Community Health Services, released a study last month detailing the health care experiences of transgender and nonbinary people. Transgender Health in the South centers on the experiences of a diverse focus group of people from transgender communities across six Southern states, including North Carolina. […]
Josh Stein announced that his office had developed a new agreement after months of “extensive negotiations” involving Mission, HCA and the Dogwood Health Trust. He explained that the changes would strengthen HCA’s community commitments, make the DHT board more representative of its service area and ensure greater accountability for both organizations.
Local nonprofit Just Economics increased its living wage rates for 2019. For those employees not offered employer-sponsored health insurance benefits, the new hourly rate is $13.65; for those offered health insurance, the new hourly rate is $12.15.
Major grants to Western North Carolina health care institutions and nonprofits offer promise of health benefits for vulnerable populations, while the Mountain Area Health Education Center reaches out to local government leaders to propose a collaborative effort to boost community health.
As this year comes to a close, it’s the perfect time to reflect on some truly extraordinary theater ranging from splashy musicals, moving dramas and locally written plays.
“We have been shouting about climate change for a long time, but now, we feel like it’s going to take more messaging in a different way,” says Avram Friedman of the Canary Coalition, a Sylva-based environmental activism group. “We’re showing people that we’re so committed to this, it’s so important, that I’m willing to fast for 10 days to get this message across.”
According to the nonprofit Homeward Bound WNC, close to half of those experiencing homelessness in Buncombe County are veterans, a figure that also includes people benefiting from long-term transitional housing programs.
Data recently collected by the Asheville Independent Restaurants organization shows that WNC eateries contribute enormous amounts of money and time to the local community. But given the hospitality sector’s notoriously slim margins, how do these businesses manage to be so generous?
“There’s real fear among nonprofit organizations that not supporting the current iteration of the board could mean retaliation in the form of being cut from the $1.5 billion that DHT will control once the sale is final,” wrote Asheville-Buncombe NAACP President Carmen Ramos-Kennedy. “In order to truly build trust, citizens and organizations must feel free to speak their hearts and minds without fear.”
Open enrollment for 2019 Affordable Care Act health insurance plans is underway through Saturday, Dec. 15.
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.
A $940,000 award, to be administered primarily by Asheville-based nonprofit Mountain BizWorks, will fund the newly created Growing Outdoors Partnership, which aims to boost sustainable job growth in the local outdoor gear and recreation industries.
While organizations continue to use traditional forms of community engagement such as printed mailing lists and media relations, social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have widened their scope of donors and support.
As families deal with competing demands, organizations that use volunteers have learned that flexibility is key. By smoothing the process of participation, groups such as the YMCA of Western North Carolina, the Junior League of Asheville and Girl Scouts Carolina Peaks to Piedmont are attracting kids to the habit of giving back.
With amounts ranging from $3,000 to $6,000, the grants may seem small but can have a huge impact on growing farming operations.
The Can’d Aid Foundation benefits from working with Oskar Blues, while Burial actively gives back through sponsorships of LEAF International and the Asheville Symphony.
When invasive plants reach into productive “rich coves” like Sandy Mush, they can choke out much of the region’s native biodiversity. Endangered and sought-after plants such as yellow mandarin, black cohosh and wild ginseng, as well as thousands of other species of native plants and animals, can be at risk.
A new youth culinary training program pairs teens with top local chefs for training that culminates with a cooking competition.
On Oct. 20, local giving circle CoThinkk held its third annual community award night at The Collider in downtown Asheville. “Standing In We: Rooted in Collaboration” celebrated the region’s work toward ensuring more equitable outcomes for communities of color, particularly the efforts of African American and Latinx leaders to cultivate change.
Partner organizations are moving forward to implement a multi-year plan aimed at preventing violence against women and maltreatment of children. The effort is funded by an unprecedented $450,000 grant from the Women for Women Giving Circle of the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina.