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Wednesday, 29 July 2015 00:00

Outdoors roundup

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Farm Service nominees wanted

Swain County farmers with a voice to offer the larger agricultural community are wanted to serve on the Farm Service Agency County Committee. 

Nominations for committee members are open through Aug. 3, with farmers of all experience levels living in Swain County north of U.S. 74 — including Deep Creek and Ela — eligible. 

Committee members help deliver FSA programs at a local level, deciding which programs their counties should offer and working to make those programs serve the needs of local producers. 828.524.3175, ext.2 or 828.488.2684 ext.2.


Get screened, get dancing, get fit

Outdoor Zumba is coming to Jackson County communities with a series of free classes to be paired with basic health screenings. 

Classes will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 29, at the Balsam Community Park; Wednesday, Aug. 5, at Little Canada Park; and Wednesday, Aug. 12, at East Laporte Park.

The Jackson County Department of Public Health will offer health screenings from 6:30 to 7 p.m. each evening.

No pre-registration required, but RSVPs are helpful to ensure minimum enrollment. Cullowhee Recreation Center, 828.293.3053. Call for rain location.


Learn with Leopold

A workshop to train educators to teach the next generation about conservation stewardship and land ethics will come to Sylva just in time for the back-to-school season. 

The Leopold Education Project Educators Workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 5, on the Cane Creek Road farm of retired Western Carolina University botany and biology professor Dan Pittillo. 

Open to anyone who’s interested but especially geared for teachers, camp counselors, extension agents and environmental educators for teens in grades six to 12, the project aims at increasing student awareness of the land and influencing them to make responsible choices for the planet. The curriculum is based on the classic A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold.

Free. RSVP to Rob Hawk, 828.586.4009 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Waterfalls and their flora explained

Western North Carolina is famous for its abundant waterfalls, and a pair of talks by author Timothy Spira will discuss their allure, as well as the plants and wildflowers associated with them. 

The free presentations will be held:

• 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 6, at the Highlands Biological Station Nature Center as part of the organization’s summer Zahner Conservation Lecture Series. 828.526.2221.

• 10:30 a.m. Monday, Aug. 10, at the Waynesville Library Auditorium. 828.356.2507.


Party with Smokey 

Smokey Bear turns 71 this year, and the Cradle of Forestry in America is inviting all kids to come celebrate with him. 

Smokey’s birthday party will be held from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 1, with activities including games, crafts, songs and, of course, birthday cake. A live animal program from Carolina Naturalists will close out the day at 1:30 p.m. 

$6 adults; $3 children 4-15 with those under 4 free. The Cradle of Forestry in America is located in the Pisgah National Forest along U.S. 276, about 25 miles from Waynesville. 828.877.3130.


Bear plates raise $4 million for the Smokies

Smokies license plates recently crossed the $4 million mark in their fundraising power to support Friends of the Smokies’ work in North Carolina. 

The specialty plates, which were launched in 1999, have hepled fund dozens of projects and programs in the park over the years, including black bear research, elk reintroduction, brook trout restoration, hemlock protection, trail improvements, renovations of historic sites, the Appalachians Highlands Science Learning Center at Purchase Knob and the Parks as Classrooms program for school children. 

The black bear Smokies plates can be purchased for an extra $30 at


Adult kickball coming to Jackson 

An adult kickball league is starting up in Jackson County this fall, with registration open Aug. 3-7. Games will be held Thursday nights at Mark Watson Park in Sylva beginning Sept. 3. $225 per team. 828.293.3053.


Butterfly outing coming to Franklin

A mini excursion to catch butterflies along the Little Tennessee River Greenway in Franklin will take place 10 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 6, at the Big Bear Shelter. 

Jason Love of the Coweeta Long-Term Ecological Research Program will lead the walk, helping participants catch, identify and release butterflies. 

Children welcome. A program of Friends of the Greenway. 828.369.8488.

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