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Outdoors

It’s just a short walk from the Blue Ridge Parkway to Fryingpan Tower — 1.5 miles roundtrip — but in a season when wildflowers abound and the ecological intricacies of mountain life are on full display, a curious person could spend hours exploring. 

Especially when accompanied by someone who’s full of the knowledge and stories to explain it all. Someone like a Blue Ridge Parkway ranger, two of whom were out last week to lead a group of 25 locals and tourists on a summertime ramble.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017 15:20

Meet a wild bird

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An ongoing volunteer opportunity offers the chance to get an up-close look at the songbirds of Western North Carolina, with volunteers needed to help scientists collect data throughout the summer. 

Wednesday, 21 June 2017 15:18

Ash borer found in Asheville

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The emerald ash borer has made it to Asheville, with its arrival to Craftsman Circle providing the first evidence of ash trees under attack in city limits. 

Wednesday, 21 June 2017 15:17

Earn a junior ranger badge

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Kids wanting to earn their badge will have plenty of chances with a full slate of junior ranger programs offered this summer in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017 15:16

Waterrock Knob planning begins

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Planning is underway for the management of 5,329 acres that the Blue Ridge Parkway acquired around Waterrock Knob last year.

Wednesday, 21 June 2017 15:16

New fence will protect Smokies museum garden

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Elk will stay out of the crops at the Mountain Farm Museum following construction of a historically accurate fence funded by a $5,000 Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership grant awarded to Friends of the Smokies.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017 15:20

Search for Stewartia

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Horticulture expert Jack Johnston will lead an annual hike in search of the rare Stewartia 9 a.m. to noon Friday, June 23, near Franklin.

Wednesday, 14 June 2017 15:17

Hold a wild bird

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A series of bird banding days will offer a chance to see the Smokies’ winged residents up close this summer at the Great Smoky Mountains Institute at Tremont. 

Wednesday, 14 June 2017 15:14

New forest planning materials released

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A slate of open houses this summer will gather input on the latest draft documents released in the management planning process for the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests.

Wednesday, 07 June 2017 15:43

Summer programming starting at the Cradle of Forestry

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Summer educational series are now underway for kids 4-12 at the Cradle of Forestry in America.

Wednesday, 31 May 2017 16:59

Dive into summer at Highlands Nature Center

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Summer programs are here for the Highlands Nature Center, with garden tours, summer day camps and hands-on children’s activities available throughout the season.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017 15:40

Teach kids a love of fishing

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More than 40 kids fishing events will be offered in North Carolina over the next month, part of an annual effort from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

Wednesday, 01 March 2017 16:23

Solar eclipse viewing tickets on sale

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 Tickets are now on sale for the Great American Solar Eclipse in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, available on a first-come, first-served basis for $30 apiece.