Buying a house in the Charlotte region has, in many ways, never been more challenging. Buyers face a dizzying array of obstacles: A historic supply crunch, skyrocketing prices and homes that sell faster and faster each month.
The reasons are numerous. Housing supply never fully recovered after the 2008 economic crash and Great Recession drove homebuilders out of business; pandemic-...Read more
For over a decade, readers of the Urban Institute’s weekly e-newsletter have enjoyed the nature essays of Charlotte conservationist Ruth Ann Grissom, often inspired by the habitat restoration work that she and her sister Amy Grissom have been leading in the Uwharries, about an hour east of Charlotte. Now, an...Read more
My husband and I recently hiked the Birkhead Trail, starting at Tot Hill Road for the first time since that section was hit by a wind storm in June 2019. Hundreds – perhaps thousands – of mature trees were snapped or uprooted along the trail. I hate to see a mature hardwood forest in the Uwharries suffer such extensive damage. It will take a century to replace those massive oaks. As I trudged...Read more
In January, a month when birders across the state and around the world launch headlong into a rigorous endeavor called a Big Year — in which they rush around a given geographic area trying to see as many species as possible — I hunkered down in the Uwharries and became obsessed with a single species.
The Northern harrier, also known as the marsh hawk, is an enthralling raptor. Harriers...Read more
My sister and I once decided it would be a fine idea to tour the Mojave Desert in May. Being hard-headed women from the Uwharries, we forged ahead even after the Santa Ana winds kicked up and pushed temperatures into triple digits. The heat made for a memorable, if sometimes freakish, trip. Along the way, we crossed paths with a dude who looked like an Elvis impersonator, a randy bighorn sheep...Read more
As Charlotte continues its quest to become a more urban and cosmopolitan city, is it possible that the small towns and former mill villages dotting the land around Charlotte have something to teach us about how to solve some of the biggest and most pressing needs facing our big cities and suburbs today?
Bill Fulton, Director of the Kinder Institute for Urban Research at Rice University...Read more
“The public wants access to the land it already owns,” observed Jay Leutze, conservationist and author of Stand Up That Mountain. That sentiment was the driving force behind support for the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA), recently signed into law after receiving wide bipartisan support in...Read more