Outdoors Briefs

Outdoors roundup

Masa documentary to be screened at UNCA

Join the Carolina Mountain Club for a screening of the 2002 documentary “The Mystery of George Masa,” at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 23, at Highsmith Student Union Grotto at University of North Carolina Asheville. 

The 90-minute film, directed by Paul Bonesteel, looks at the life of Masahara Izuka, a Japanese immigrant who later renamed himself George Masa. Masa arrived in the Southern Appalachians of North Carolina in 1915, where he focused his camera and his passions on preserving the beauty of the wilderness he discovered. His photographs helped inspire the creation of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

The screening is offered free in celebration of CMC’s 100th year of existence. Masa was a member of the club. 


Spend the day with baby hemlocks

Help tend young hemlocks during a volunteer workday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, March 31, in Waynesville. 

Participants will help with tasks in the greenhouse and nursery where the Forest Restoration Alliance conducts a selective breeding program aimed at growing hemlock trees resistant to the deadly hemlock wooly adelgid. In addition to working with plants, volunteers will get a tour of the facility by researcher Ben Smith to learn about FRA’s efforts to restore hemlock populations. RSVP by Tuesday, March 28, to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 828.252.4783. Space is limited. 


Become a citizen scientist

A meeting 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, March 23, at the N.C. Arboretum in Asheville, will gather volunteers interested in becoming a citizen scientist. At the meeting, attendees will learn how to get involved with the arboretum’s citizen science projects for 2023. 


Help the arboretum from home

The N.C. Arboretum in Asheville is looking for volunteers willing to work from the couch. 

Volunteer processors review observations submitted to the ecoEXPLORE program by validating, encouraging and rewarding points to each child. This includes checking the species ID each child submits against the common name preferred on iNaturalist and making any needed corrections; offering supportive comments to the child; and sending the observation to iNaturalist as a contribution to citizen science. 

Processors are asked to give three to four hours of time each week, though this is not a requirement. For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Arboretum hikes parking fee

Parking fees at the N.C. Arboretum in Asheville are increasing.

As of Feb. 27, personal vehicles will now be charged $20 to park, up from $15. The fee for large vehicles will be $60 and $125 for buses and oversized vehicles. The arboretum will offer a 50% discount on the first Tuesday of each month, and membership rates will remain unchanged. 

“Given the valuable additions made to programming and events on property, and the continued efforts to offer reduced-price programs, as well as inflationary pressures so many businesses are experiencing with labor and materials, the Board of Directors felt that it was time to increase the gate fee paid by one-time visitors,” reads the announcement from the Arboretum. 

The Board of Directors reviews gate prices every two years, but the review has not occurred in four years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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