North Carolina

Farms and sprawl: Conservationists worry they’re losing the battle

About 45 minutes from Charlotte in neighboring Cabarrus County, the owners of 1,000-acre Porter Farms raise chickens and pigs on part of their land. The chickens are sold to Tysons Foods, and the pigs become sausage, pork chops and spare ribs for Smithfield Foods. Another part of the property is a cattle farm, and since […]

Community foundations demonstrate the importance of regional links

Can philanthropy foster greater regional connection? Yes, according to our research for the Carolinas Urban-Rural Connection project. But it’s not just the movement of money that matters, say local leaders: it’s the regional exchange of ideas about how to put that money to work that seems to make a difference. Community foundations, by definition, have […]

How can we reconnect North Carolinians to opportunities and good jobs?

To move up the ladder of opportunity, there’s generally consensus that people need jobs that pay a living wage, where they can grow their earnings over time. But what’s the best way to get workers, especially low-income workers with barriers such as low educational attainment, connected to those jobs? That’s the focus of the ReCONNECT […]

In 2013, can region apply lessons from past 5 years?

2013 may be a year historians look back on as the time local leaders hit the “reset” button on issues that had been at the forefront of public policy discussions before the 2008 economic meltdown. Will leaders revisit these issues following the same assumptions and conventional strategies as before? Or will lessons learned in the […]

The Sandhills’ peachy heritage

A peach display in the grocery store might mention where the fruit was grown. Too often, that means Georgia or California. At a farm stand in the Sandhills, the peaches come from an orchard right here on the edge of the Uwharries. Growers even note the specific variety. After writing about the Ophir apple last […]

Persistently Green: Landscapes in Transition

It’s no secret that the Charlotte region has been rapidly growing more urban over the past few decades. Yet despite the record expansion of the urbanized area experienced during economic boom times, private landowners cling to over two million acres of undeveloped land in the Charlotte metropolitan region. Why do these remnants of green persist? […]

Asters blooming in a remnant of the Piedmont Prairie

Fall Wildflowers – Gallery

To learn more, read “Fall Wildflowers” by Crystal Cockman. –Photos by Bob Bailey & Crystal Cockman