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Wednesday, 15 October 2014 00:00

Outdoors roundup

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Straight A’s for farm to school program

A program that began in Haywood County in 2002 has now grown into a resource that serves 12,464 children in 20 counties, according to the 2013-14 report card for Growing Minds Farm to School program.

The program, sponsored by the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, supports farm-to-school initiatives that include school gardens, farm field trips, training for cafeteria cooks, healthy recipe tastings in the classroom and serving local food in school cafeterias. 

“We are thrilled to see the impact of our work every day,” Emily Jackson, ASAP’s Growing Minds Farm to School Program Director offered. “What started in 2002 as a garden project at one school in Haywood County has now grown into a movement.”

The report is online at growing-minds.org /2013-2014-growing-minds-report-card


Friend of Forestry Award 

The North Carolina Forestry Association recognized North Carolina State Representative Michele Presnell, R-Burnsville, with its 2014 Friend of Forestry Award earlier this month.

Her accomplishments include being a “tireless advocate” for jobs, especially forestry-related jobs, in North Carolina, according to NCFA President Ray Allen. 

“The forest products industry is the state’s the number one manufacturing industry,” Allen said. 

Founded in 1911, the NCFA is the state’s oldest forest conservation organization and has more than 4,000 members state-wide. 

Prescribed burns planned in national forest

The U.S. Forest Service will be conducting about 4,000 acres’ worth of prescribed burns in the Nantahala and Pisgah National forests between now and the end of November. 

Prescribed burns reduce woody debris and hazardous fuels that could contribute to high-severity fires. Burns also produce healthier forests that are more diverse and resilient, according to the Forest Service.

The burn schedule will depend on when the right set of weather conditions line up to allow fuels to burn without getting out of hand. 


Guided bike ride along the Little T Greenway

A 10-mile bike ride along the Little Tennessee River Greenway in Franklin will be held Oct. 18 as part of Jackson County Parks and Rec’s outdoors programming.

Learn basic riding skills, basic bike repairs, greenway riding etiquette, and then ride the full length of the greenway with a provided picnic along the trail. 

Activity fee is $8 per person. Rental bikes are available for an additional $25. Register by Oct. 15. 828.293.3053 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Fracking documentary to be screened at Franklin library

A screening of the fracking documentary “Triple Divide” will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct.16, at the Macon County Public Library in Franklin. 

Ken Brown, chairman of the Tuckasegee chapter of the Western North Carolina Alliance, will give a background talk prior to showing the film.

The documentary is an 18-month cradle-to-grave fracking investigation featuring interviews with industry giants and advocates, exclusive reports with impacted landowners, uncovered state documents and expert testimonies.

Co-Sponsored by the Western North Carolina Alliance, Watershed Association of The Tuckaseigee River, League of Women Voters of Franklin and the Macon County Public Library.


Global warming and ecological collapse

An environmental discussion on global warming and implications for mass extinction will be led by a husband and wife team at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 16, at City Lights Bookstore in Sylva.

Charles Dayton and Sara Evans, who are part-time residents of Waynesville, will draw from the book The Sixth Extinction, which warns of an impending ecological collapse caused by man’s disharmony with the natural world. Dayton will share slides about the impact of climate change on the ocean’s ecology based on first-hand observations from a sea voyage.

Dayton is a retired environmental lawyer who practiced in Minneapolis for 40 years and has spent the past decade as an environmental advocate. Evans, who has summered in WNC since early childhood, is a retired history professor from the University of Minnesota and the author of several books.



Cataloochee Valley documentary

A screening of the documentary “Cataloochee” will be held at 2 and 5 p.m. on Saturdays, Oct. 11 and Oct. 18, at The Strand theater in downtown Waynesville.

The Cataloochee Valley documentary traces the history of the valley from the Cherokee to the early Appalachian settlers to the movement to create the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The story encompasses the universal themes of migration, settlement and loss of community.

The special screenings are being held in conjunction with street festivals held on back-to-back weekends, the Church Street Arts and Crafts festival and the Apple Festival.

$6 for adults/ $3 children.

38main.com or 828.283.0079.


Harvesting and saving herbs

A program on harvesting, storing and preserving herbs to last through the cold winter months will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 16, at the Jackson County library in Sylva.

Becky Lipkin, a certified aroma therapist known as “the Herb Lady of Cedar Creek Farms,” is an expert on how herbs can be used for medicinal purposes, cooking and aromatic products.

Participants will also create an herbal treat to take home. Free. 828.586.2016.


Native plant walk along Jackson Greenway

A plant walk along the Jackson County Greenway in Cullowhee will be held at 10 a.m. Oct. 17.

Max Lanning with Jackson Parks and Rec will identify and discuss plants along the way.  

Free. Register up until the day before. 828.293.3053 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


What to do with fall’s apple bounty?

Apples 101 — everything you always wanted to know about apples — will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 17 in Sylva with the Jackson County Cooperative Extension.

The workshop includes how to make apple jelly and apple sauce. $10. Registration required. 828.586.4009.

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