Articles about Environment and Planning

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A Road Running Southward
   October 11, 2023
Ruth Ann Grissom

Before John Muir became known for his ramblings in Yosemite and the Sierra Nevada, he trekked through the South from Kentucky to Florida. In 1867, at the age of 28,...

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New Gambrell Faculty Fellows Address Critical Community Questions
   September 14, 2023

Hannah Lang

How could community help us weather the impact of climate change? How might Charlotte’s ever-evolving housing market impact local schools? What does it mean to truly mend the harms of systemic racism?

Those are just a few of the...

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The haunted history of reclaiming a floodplain
   August 24, 2023
Ruth Ann Grissom

Chantilly Ecological Sanctuary, informally known as Chantilly Eco-Park, is an oasis in East Charlotte, a part of the county underserved by green space.  Hugging a section of Briar Creek, its roughly 24 acres support lush wetlands,...

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Surveys, Counts and Blitzes
   July 27, 2023
Ruth Ann Grissom

Concerns about an “insect apocalypse” have grown more widespread in recent years.  There’s a sense among scientists – and the general public – that we simply aren’t seeing as many insects as we used to.  I remember driving through the...

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'No Mow May' Is Catchy But Is It a Good Thing?
   May 23, 2023
Ruth Ann Grissom

At first glance, ‘No Mow May’ seems like a winning idea to encourage people to delay their first mowing of the season so early spring flowers in the lawn will be available for pollinators. While I appreciate any approach to helping wildlife that requires...

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A Vision for Piedmont Roadsides
   October 27, 2022
Ruth Ann Grissom

Along the backroads of the Uwharries, the trees seemed especially brilliant this fall. Through the windshield, the blur of sourwoods, sweetgums, black gums and maples was a psychedelic kaleidoscope. But something was missing. Where was the riot of yellow and purple in the herbaceous layer?  There were no sunflowers. No goldenrods. No ironweeds, asters or liatris.

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Tracking nature in an unlikely place: Piedmont roadsides
   October 10, 2022
Ruth Ann Grissom

Becky Dill’s phone was full. After moving to Wadesboro from Pennsylvania, she’d started taking photos of all the pretty wildflowers she found along the backroads of Anson County. She needed to ditch some images. While searching for options to archive her photos, she stumbled across iNaturalist. It seemed too good to be true – the site would store her images for free, and experts would help her...

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This Charlotte planner thinks the city should scrap its transit plans
   October 3, 2022
Ely Portillo

Michael Gallis is a longtime planner with a big idea for Charlotte: Throw out the city's transit expansion plans and start from scratch. Gallis — who's been involved in some of the big plans guiding Charlotte's future, including the original five-corridor transit plan...

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Charlotte's tree canopy is under threat — and we all have a role to play in saving it
   September 26, 2022
Ely Portillo

Jane Singleton MyersCharlotte loves its trees. But are we willing to do all that we can to save them? 

That's the paradoxical question confronting Jane Singleton Myers, executive director of TreesCharlotte. The city's iconic tree canopy has shrunk from 49% to 45% coverage...

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Charlotte's changing climate, with Brad Panovich
   September 12, 2022
Ely Portillo

From seemingly endless heat waves in the west to catastrophic floods from Kentucky to Pakistan, a drumbeat of extreme weather has dominated the news this summer. In Charlotte, it can feel like we’re not on the front lines of climate change — we’re not on the coast watching sea levels...

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