How our changing landscape sustains us all

Ecosystems such as forests and wetlands provide clean air and water, food, building materials and recreational opportunities. The benefits people receive from nature are referred to as “ecosystem services.” Our interactions with ecosystems can have a positive impact, boosting our health and the economy. We can also have a negative impact on the health and […]

National Land Trust Rally comes to North Carolina

Thanks to a brutal early fall heat wave, much of September felt more like July. As a result, I have not spent as much time outside as I would have liked. Last Friday, however, I was able to break away and spend the morning at Morrow Mountain State Park. A friend and myself hiked the […]

Why isn’t Charlotte built on the water?

After visiting a city with a waterfront, maybe stopping for a drink and a bite to eat along whichever river or ocean it’s built along, I’m usually left with one overriding thought: “Wow, Charlotte could really use some of this.” Water plays a prominent role in the design and history of most cities, whether it be a river, bay or ocean. And Charlotte’s skyline and downtown sit tantalizingly close-but-yet-so-far from a major river and lake system. So, the question looms: Why isn’t Charlotte built on the water? 

‘City of Creeks’ debuts March 27, launches KEEPING WATCH second year

FOR UP-TO-DATE EVENT INFORMATION ABOUT KEEPING WATCH, PLEASE VISIT KEEPINGWATCH.ORG What creek is in your neighborhood? Where did it come from, and where is it going? Why was Charlotte settled amid so many creeks? Are urban streams important? Where does rainwater go? Can we do anything to help with pollution or flooding? Why should we […]

Backyard bogs and wetland gardens

After months of steady – and sometimes excessive – rain, we’ve recently seen a more typical pattern of precipitation. Autumn is our driest season. If this trend continues and we don’t receive a soaking from a hurricane or tropical storm, our total precipitation for 2013 could be deceptively average. It’s been a banner year for […]

Your chance to help clean Mecklenburg creeks

Residents can help improve area water quality by picking up trash from local streams on Saturday during Mecklenburg County’s annual creek clean-up, Big Sweep. To register, click here. The Big Sweep will take place at six sites, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Volunteers can walk alongside or, if they’re adventurous, wade into local streams […]

Mecklenburg’s 2012 green space assessment: Fair to middling

With three of the four indicators rated “fair,” Mecklenburg County’s land resources have room for improvement, according to the county’s latest State of the Environment Report. The 2012 report rates four categories of environmental Indicators for land resources: climate change and wildlife, nature preserves, greenways and facility planning. The report did rate climate change and […]

The abundant diversity of the hardwood forest

At first glance, Eastern hardwood forests seem a homogenous block of green, but if you train your eye and look closer, you’ll notice subtle differences. Wild North Carolina: Discovering the Wonders of Our State’s Natural Communities helps amateur naturalists do just that. Botanist Michael Schafale describes more than two dozen unique communities, several of which […]