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Wednesday, 29 June 2016 00:00

Outdoors roundup

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Get the 411 on native plants

Native plants and an upcoming conference showcasing them will be the topics of a talk by horticulturist Adam Bigelow at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 7, at the Jackson County Public Library. 

Bigelow, who directs the Cullowhee and Sylva community gardens and leads private nature walks, is well versed in the native offerings of Western North Carolina forests. The Cullowhee Native Plants Conference, held every year at Western Carolina University, will be held July 20-23 this year and has a July 8 registration deadline. 

Bigelow’s talk is free, with the event co-sponsored by Friends of the Jackson County Public Library. 



Train to combat pollution

Volunteers are wanted to help tackle the region’s largest source of water pollution, and training to that end will be offered 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, June 30, at REI in Asheville. 

Sediment runoff is the enemy in this situation, and participants will learn how to identify, document and report its sources. The session will also include a visit to an active construction site. 

The Muddy Water Watch training, offered by MountainTrue, has been done previously by Riverkeeper organizations across North Carolina to train more than 150 volunteers. 

Register at


Snorkel the Pigeon

Learn about aquatic diversity with a snorkel in place from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, July 9, on the West Fork Pigeon River near Jukebox Junction Soda Shoppe.

The event is part of Haywood Waterways Association’s series of hikes and paddle tours focused on education surrounding the watershed. 

Free for members; $5 for nonmembers, with equipment provided. Memberships start at $25. Space is limited. RSVP by Wednesday, July 6, to Christine O’Brien, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 828.476.4667. 


Explore the gardens of Lake J

Find the hidden gardens of Lake Junaluska with a tour slated for 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 2. 

In addition to the well-known Rose Walk along the lakeside path, four other gardens tucked away in hidden spots on the lake grounds will be featured, explained by guides from the Tuscola Garden Club. 

Purchase tickets at the Bethea Welcome Center, $12 for adults and $5 for children 6-12, with those under 6 free. Prices will rise on the day of. 

Organized by the Tuscola Garden Club, with proceeds to benefit projects for the club and Lake Junaluska gardens. 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 828.246.0437.  


Swim Chatuge

Swimmers of all skill levels will get a chance to try their strokes with the Ridges 5K Open Water Swim Sunday, July 10, on Lake Chatuge. 

The race starts from Ridges Resort in Hiawassee Georgia, crossing the state line somewhere in the middle to end at Clay County Recreation Park in Hayesville. 

The lake is huge, but most of the course is within 50 yards of land, and safety boats will guide and guard participants. Swimmers are also welcome to have family and friends paddle alongside in a kayak. Participants will have up to three hours to finish the course. 

$55. Presented by Race Odyssey Events. 

Scott Hanna, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 828.389.6982.


Tennis league looking for players

An adult tennis league is starting up in Jackson County, with registration open through July 1. 

Both singles and doubles games will be organized, with the self-officiated league beginning the week of July 11. 

$10 per person. 




• In celebration of Independence Day, no fishing license will be required to fish in North Carolina on Monday, July 4, though all other fishing regulations will still apply. 

• About 200 pounds of trash are gone from Richland Creek in Waynesville after students from the Waynesville Parks and Recreation Environmental Education Camp picked it up this month. The event was a partnership between Parks and Rec and Haywood Waterways Association. 

• After lying dormant for 25 years, a 12-meter radio telescope once used by the U.S. Department of Defense in the Cold War has been restored by the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute in Brevard, and students are now using it to explore the universe.

• A new, state-of-the-art timing system is now in place at the Waynesville Recreation Center pool, its capabilities expected to allow the rec center to host more swim meets year-round. It will also display information such as class schedules when not in use for meets. The Smoky Mountain Aquatic Club raised more than $30,000 for the purchase.

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