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Wednesday, 26 July 2017 00:00

Outdoors roundup

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Get supplied for back-to-school

It will be Christmas in July from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, July 29, at the Jackson County Farmers Market at Bridge Park in Sylva.

The event will give school-aged youth a chance to collect school supplies for the upcoming year from local businesses and organizations attending the market, with the goal of establishing an annual before-school event. Backwoods Bakery will have a pizza truck at the event, with half the proceeds going to a local nonprofit and the other half to the farmers market.



Picnic with WATR

A summer picnic featuring fun in the sun and a chance to learn about what’s afoot with the Watershed Association of the Tuckeseigee River will be held 6-8:30 p.m. Saturday, July 29, at Darnell Farms in Bryson City.

WATR’s projects, to be discussed at the picnic, include creek cleanups, educational programs at Monteith Park in Dillsboro, muddy water watches and tracking fecal coliform levels in local streams. The meal will be potluck style.


Photograph nature like a pro

Become a better nature photographer during a workshop 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 29, in Balsam.

The program will teach basic tips and techniques to help students become adept at meshing subject, composition, angles and lighting to create powerful images. Technical aspects of photography and composing to convey emotion will also be covered.

Larry Thompson, who served as the National Audubon Society’s Southeast Regional Vice President for 20 years, will teach the course. He has taught nature courses and led birdwatching, wildflower and photography trips for more than 30 years and resides in Balsam.

$35; open to ages 10 and up. Register at 828.452.5414 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


State Forest Service offers tree seedlings

The N.C. Forest Service Nursery Program is currently accepting seedling orders for the 16 million quality seedlings representing 47 tree species that it produces annually.

Hardwoods can be purchased in quantities as small as 10 seedlings, with a minimum order of 50 for conifers. For larger orders, seedlings are sold by the hundreds and thousands. Seedlings are distributed in the fall, shipped to one of 13 locations statewide or mailed through the U.S. Postal Service for an additional charge.

The catalog is available online through the “Tree Seedlings & Nursery Program” link at, or at any local NCFS office.


Take in the view

A new ranger program will be offered at the Pisgah Inn along the Blue Ridge Parkway this summer, 4:30-6:30 p.m. on the first and third Thursday of every month.

“Take in the View with a Ranger” will be held on the inn’s new deck, giving participants the chance to ask questions, get Parkway information, and learn about the Parkway’s natural and cultural history with help from maps, animal pelts and other props.

Visitors can drop in at any time during the two-hour window.

828.298.5330, ext. 304.


Enter the Paddle Grapple

Paddlers of all stripes will have a race to conquer during the Paddle Grapple at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, on Lake Fontana.

The day will include 3- and 6-mile race options, with classes for stand-up paddleboards, surfski, marathon, kayak and canoe entrants. Awards will go to the top finishers in each class.

$45, with registration online or day-of beginning at 8 a.m. The race will start at 10 a.m. with awards at 1 p.m. Dagger Kayaks has donated a Dagger Katana 10.4 to be raffled during the event. Proceeds benefit the Nantahala Racing Club.

Register at


Mountain Wildlife Days a success

The 14th annual Mountain Wildlife Days drew more than 600 people to Sapphire Valley Resort July 14-15, offering a variety of hikes, performances and opportunities to see wild animals up close.

A silent auction of donated items held in conjunction with the event raised $3,000 for Mountain Wildlife Outreach, a series of wildlife education programs given to Western North Carolina schools. The funds will guarantee 12 to 14 programs for the upcoming year. Last year, 13 programs were held reaching 2,100 students.

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