Managing invasive species: Plant removal begins in Pinnacle Park

After a botanical survey identified the location of several invasive species in Jackson County’s Pinnacle Park, work has begun to manage the ecologically threatening pests. 

Notes from a plant nerd: Invasive Plants Part II: Revenge of the Sterile Cultivar

All around Western North Carolina are thousands upon thousands of small to medium trees blooming white, stinky flowers along roadsides, fence lines and driveways.

Notes from a plant nerd: Invasive Plants

I’ve been writing this column for over a year and a half and every plant that I have highlighted and celebrated evolved and co-evolved in the bioregion of Southern Appalachia.

From enemy to ally: Kudzu Camp seeks to overturn misconceptions

It was 1983 when Avram Friedman first rolled into Sylva, driving the repurposed school bus that was home for him, his wife and their 18-month-old son during their cross-country trek from California. They were looking for a more permanent living situation, and while most would have passed over the 3-acre property that is still the Friedman family home, to Avram it was perfect — mainly because the land and the house combined cost only $12,000. 

“We didn’t have any money,” Avram laughed. “We were just poor hippies.”

Hunting for kudzu

Even as I parked my car at the bottom of a steep and weedy hill that Friday morning, I wasn’t quite sure what I’d signed up for by electing to participate in Kudzu Camp. 

Kudzu’s unstoppable march across the South

mtn voicesFew people want to get close enough to observe the attractive flowers that kudzu produces. The plant probably won’t actually reach out and grab you — but then again, it might.

One of the many kudzu jokes that has emerged in the southeastern United States since its introduction goes, “If you’re going to plant kudzu, drop it and run.” There’s a certain logic in this piece of advice since the “mile-a-minute vine” grows as much as 12 inches in 24 hours and up to 50 feet in a single season.

Kudzu players to build theater

By Sarah Kucharski • Staff Writer

On a conference table covered with blueprints perches a small paper model of a building. The paper model represents the future for the Kudzu Players, Jackson County’s community theater group.

Smokey Mountain News Logo
Go to top
Payment Information


At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.