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Wednesday, 04 March 2015 00:00

Outdoors roundup

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Learn to grow shittakes

A class on growing shiitake mushrooms will be held 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, March 5, at the Macon County Environmental Resource Center. 

A classroom session will explain what’s involved with Shiitake growing, and then participants will drill their logs to inoculate them with mushroom spores. They’ll leave with two inoculated logs and the ability to inoculate more later. 

Register by Feb. 27. $10.

Macon County Cooperative Extension Center, 828.349.2046.

 

Fracking and landowner rights explained 

An information session about fracking and its impact on landowner rights will be held from 7-9 p.m. Monday, March 16, at the Swain County Technology and Training Center in Bryson City. 

Topics will include forced pooling, oil and gas leases, proposed legislation, tips for landowners, eminent domain and mineral rights. The meeting is sponsored by N.C. Cooperative Extension and Rural Advancement Foundation International. Speakers from both entities who specialize in agriculture, environmental law, and policy research will present. 

Last year, the N.C. General Assembly lifted the fracking ban, pending regulatory rules being put in place. Those rules have now been written by the N.C. Mining and Energy Commission, paving the way for fracking to begin this year. 

Free. Dee Decker, 828.488.3848 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .         

The program will also be presented in Hayesville on March 12. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

 

Help track stream health by sampling aquatic critters

Volunteers are needed to help monitor the number and diversity of small aquatic creatures in various Haywood County streams — which in turn offers clues about water quality.

A training from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 14, at UNC-Asheville will provide the know-how necessary to sample creeks for benthic macroinvertebtrates. Haywood Waterways Association coordinates water monitoring teams to regularly sample sites for baseline data, which can then be used to detect sudden or gradual changes in pollution. Volunteers from any county are welcome, and can be directed to the nonprofit waterways group in their home county. 

The training will be provided this fall as well. RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 828.333.0392.

 

Milkweed sale to help butterflies and bees

The Haywood County Master Gardeners Association is adding nectar-producing perennials to the line up of its plant sale this year, an effort to help monarch butterflies and honeybees — both of which are embattled species in Western North Carolina. 

Milkweed, a vital food source for monarchs, will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 11, at the Cooperative Extension office on Raccoon Road in Waynesville. Cost will be $5 per plant, with one free for every two purchased.

Orders can also be placed ahead of time to guarantee your order. Other plants offered through the Master Gardener sale must be pre-ordered by March 13.

828.456.3575, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . 

 

Help breathe new life into Waynesville park

Volunteers are needed to help remove invasive species from East Street Park in Waynesville, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 14, as part of a project to restore the stream ecosystem in the park and revitalize its facilities. The tiny neighborhood park is in the center of town, but often overlooked, underused and untended.

The undertaking started out as a school project for Katie Carr Messer, a low-impact development student at Haywood Community College. She and Ralphene Rathbone, a Waynesville resident, are working on the project after winning a grant from the Pigeon River Fund. Haywood Waterways Association is administering the grant. 

Rain date is March 28. 

 

Outdoor youth leadership program debuts in Waynesville

Waynesville Parks and Recreation is launching a new youth outdoor leadership program in March, with weekly activities planned to build teamwork, teach outdoors skills and ethics and give students the confidence they need to enjoy the backcountry safely. 

A mandatory meeting for participants and their parents will kick off the program, 6 p.m. Thursday, March 5, at the Waynesville Recreation Center. 

The program is for students ages 12-15, with a registration fee of $20. The March 5 meeting will detail additional fees associated with the program. Space is limited. Tim Petrea, 828.456.2030 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . 

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