Outdoors Briefs

Outdoors roundup

Journey through Appalachian music history

Look at the history of Appalachian music with a Blue Ridge Parkway ranger to guide the way at 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 23, during this week’s Fridays at the Folk Art Center session, 7:30 p.m. Friday, July 2, at the Folk Art Center in Asheville. 

Follow the tracks of the original inhabitants of these hills — the Cherokee — and then the arrival of European and African people to the present-day understanding of Appalachian folk music. 

The Folk Art Center is located at Milepost 382 on the Parkway. No restrooms will be available during this outdoor program. Bring a chair or blanket to sit on. 


Do the Creek Week scavenger hunt

It’s Creek Week in Haywood County July 24-30, and in addition to the full schedule of daily events planned by Haywood Waterways Association, the Nature Scavenger Hunt encourages participants to find “cool nature things” all around Haywood County. 

The list includes 18 items ranging from an aquatic insect to the Junaluska Dam. Participants submit photos of each item found, and the first team to submit all 18 items will win a prize. Everyone who finds all 18 items will be entered into a prize drawing. 

Learn more about the scavenger hunt at bit.ly/3z4LYlF. For a full schedule of Creek Week activities, visit bit.ly/3xROprK


Mountain ash berries coming to Clingmans

For the first time since 2016, the mountain ash trees at Clingmans Dome are in bloom. 

The trees normally bloom only every three to five years and produce masses of bright red berries in the fall. They appear to be loaded this summer, so expect a spectacular sight as the berries change from green to orange and finally bright red. 

Fraser firs are also producing large numbers of cones, something that doesn’t happen every year. 


Make lunch from the forest

Experience a half-day nature immersion with wildcrafter Cara-Lee Langston, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, July 24, in Macon County. 

Langston, of Wildcraft Kitchen, will teach participants to safely identify and ethically harvest wild foods and medicinal herbs. The group will meet at the Alarka Expeditions headquarters at the Cowee School near Franklin and after a short introduction head to a nearby trail in search of wild plants that can be used as food or medicine. Participants will be able to do some light harvesting and make their own plant-based summer rolls with sustainable wild and locally grown ingredients. 

Cost is $55. Register at www.alarkaexpeditions.com/upcoming-events.


Experience a forested farm

Tour the Mountain Medicine Farm in Jackson County at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 24, as part of the Farmer-to-Father Collaborative series. 

Participants will tour the forest farming plots at David Collins’ and Sara Steven’s farm and observe forest management practices that encourage access and medicinal plant growth while fostering the tree canopy as the forest matures. Plant identification and the use of test plots in farming will also be discussed. 

Sign up at bit.ly/2UxFVqK.


Hurricane disaster relief available 

A total of $79.6 million in grant funding is available to assist producers and woodland owners in 90 North Carolina counties who suffered losses from Hurricanes Florence, Michael and Dorian in 2018 and 2019. 

The program, funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture block grant to the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, offers direct payments to eligible poultry, livestock and plasticulture producers to assist with losses not covered under other USDA disaster programs. It also offers technical and financial assistance, as well as comprehensive forest management plans, to woodland owners in emergency-declared counties. 

The application period runs through Oct. 1. Learn more at www.ncagr.gov/agdisasterprogram or call 919.707.3362.

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