A Road Running Southward

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, Muir suffered a workplace accident he feared would leave him permanently blind. Within a few months, he had fully recovered, but his experience prompted him […]

New Gambrell Faculty Fellows Address Critical Community Questions

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 questions that UNC Charlotte faculty members will work to answer as part of the fifth cohort […]

The haunted history of reclaiming a floodplain

Categories: General News Tags: ENVIRONMENT

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, regenerating forest and grasslands riddled with butterfly weed. This outstanding wildlife habitat – over 160 species of birds have […]

Surveys, Counts and Blitzes

Categories: General News Tags: ENVIRONMENT

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 Uwharries on summer nights when insects splattered the windshield like the first fat drops of […]

‘No Mow May’ Is Catchy But Is It a Good Thing?

Categories: General News Tags: ENVIRONMENT, Gardening

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 less work and challenges the expection for a pristine stand of […]

A Vision for Piedmont Roadsides

Categories: General News Tags: ENVIRONMENT

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 […]

Tracking nature in an unlikely place: Piedmont roadsides

Categories: General News Tags: ENVIRONMENT

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 […]

Charlotte’s tree canopy is under threat — and we all have a role to play in saving it

Categories: General News Tags: ENVIRONMENT, Podcasts, Trees

Charlotte 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 as of 2017, and likely more in the five years since the last comprehensive […]

Charlotte’s changing climate, with Brad Panovich

Categories: General News Tags: ENVIRONMENT, Podcasts

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 creep up, or out west […]

Unruly plants and passionate attraction in a Charlotte garden

Categories: General News Tags: ENVIRONMENT

I love playing matchmaker in my garden. I introduce plants that will be compatible in terms of color, texture and form. As with humans, the best relationships achieve a balance of contrast and harmony. For example, I paired little bluestem and rattlesnake master because they share the same blue foliage, but one is coarse and […]