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Delayed Coal Ash Protections Put Public Health at Risk
Environmental and public health groups announced their intent to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in federal court to force the release of long awaited public health safeguards against toxic coal ash. The EPA has delayed the first-ever federal protections for coal ash for nearly two years despite more evidence of leaking ponds, poisoned groundwater supplies and threats to public health.
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The Green Restaurant Initiative
Progress has been steady on the Green Restaurant Initiative since last month's newsletter update. The final solar thermal panels have been installed by Sundance Power Systems for the French Broad Chocolate Lounge and Posana Café.
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Heating with a Fireplace or Wood Stove?
With the increased cost in utilities, more homeowners may return to using their fireplace or wood stove for additional heating. With this in mind, there are some safety precautions that need to be followed to insure a safe heating season.
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Green Industry Council Specialty License Plate Approved!
The green industry specialty license plate can be purchased for your personal vehicle or commercial vehicle up to 26,00lbs. Three hundred plates must be ordered before NCDMV will begin making the new plates so order your plates today, support the efforts of the NC Green Industry Council and show everyone that you /we are the "Authentic Green"!
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Recalls & Product Safety News
All those gifts you and your children received for Christmas... are they safe? The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products.
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What is Organic Food?
Organic food is produced by farmers who emphasize the use of renewable resources and the conservation of soil and water to enhance environmental quality for future generations. Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones.
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Review Bird Feeding Basics to Keep Feathered Friends Well-Fed This Winter
Did you know that more than 100 North American bird species supplement their natural diets with birdseed, suet, fruit and nectar obtained from backyard bird feeders? It's true! Natural food supplies are scarce during the cold days of winter, so there's no better time than the present to prepare your backyard feeders for feathered friends.
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Let's Form a Habit
Let's form a habit of... drinking water! Best way to form a habit is with a routine: drink a glass when you wake up, a glass with each meal, a glass in between meals, and be sure to drink before, during and after exercise.
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The Surprising Power of Happiness
If you had to choose a theme song for your life, would it be, "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" or "Don't Worry, Be Happy"? Great news if you picked the latter: You're less likely to have a heart attack.
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LED street Lights Ramp Up in West Asheville
In spring of last year, the City of Asheville successfully installed 700 lights in River District and Kenilworth neighborhoods in Phase I of the street light upgrade project. Phase II has a broader reach and will involve 2800 streetlights across West Asheville, Kenilworth and Oakley.
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Turning Fall Leaves Into Garden Gold
Rather than picking up, bagging, and disposing of your fall leaves, consider using them in your yard. Here are three simple options to turn your fall leaves into garden gold.
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BRSI Launches Energy Education Program for Green
Restaurant Initiative
As part of the Energy Upfit Campaign, BRSI is partnering with the Asheville Independent Restaurant (AIR) Association to "green" 17 local independent restaurants through a $258,000 grant from North Carolina Green Business Fund. We intend to put Asheville on the map as a Green Dining Destination City with the highest per- capita density of Green Certified Restaurants® anywhere in the country.
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Tips for Saving Energy this Fall and Winter
With winter setting in across the nation, the Environmental Protection Agency encourages Americans to continue to take action to save energy and cut heating costs this winter. Maintain heating equipment: Dirt and neglect are the main causes of heating system failure, so be sure to maintain your equipment.
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It's Nice When Someone is Watching Out for You...
Imagine you are at the grocery store, and the cashier notices that you’ve got a certain product and that it is buy one get one free. She tells you to go and get your free product while she finishes ringing you up.
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Riverside Cemetery Final Resting Place for One of America's Best
Although William Sidney Porter lived his life far from the Western North Carolina mountains, the man who penned short stories under the name O. Henry and became the favorite of a generation at the turn of the Twentieth Century owes the location of his final resting place to his second wife, Sara Coleman Porter, a Weaverville native. Through his burial at Asheville’s beautiful and historic Riverside Cemetery, O. Henry has become a thread in the rich lore that is part of the city's heritage and, today, creates continued interest in this master storyteller's life and times.
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Mountain Biking Trails Abound in Pisgah Ranger District in Pisgah National Forest
The Pisgah Ranger District of Pisgah National Forest contains hundreds of miles of fabulous trails that seem almost specifically designed for a mountain bike, and this is the best time of the year to discover them. Whether it's your first time on a mountain bike or you've been exploring trails on a bike for years, Pisgah National Forest has trails to fit your mood and ability level.
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Three Foods That May Fend Off Diabetes
Eat more leafy greens, choose fat-free yogurt, and add nuts and seeds to your diet. Each of these changes may help lower your risk of diabetes anywhere from 10 to 20 percent.
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Is There Hope for the Hemlock?
The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid is in the mid to late stages of destroying the Eastern Hemlock throughout the Southern Appalachians. DuPont State Forest depends on both the Carolina and Eastern Hemlock to provide deep shade for its cold water trout habitat.
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Sweet or Not So Sweet Tea, That is the Question As the temperature outside goes up, so does the consumption of a favorite southern beverage, sweet tea. No wonder June is Sweet Tea Month!
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Texting While Driving is the New Drunk Driving
Texting while driving has become an epidemic in the Carolinas and AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety aims to educate the public about the dangers associated with this reckless behavior. "Texting while driving, is the new drunk driving," said Tom Crosby, president of the AAA Carolinas Foundation for Traffic Safety.
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Leaves of Three, Let It Be
Along with the arrival of summertime and outdoor activities, comes the risk of an itchy case of poison ivy. Leaves of three, let it be! Poison ivy always has three leaflets at the end of a long stem.
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Great Tips For Maintaining Your HE Washer
Perform periodic maintenance once a week, or at a minimum, once a month, to ensure your HE washer remains clean & free from soil buildups. A maintenance cycle" involves running a full wash cycle without any laundry in the machine.
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Box It to Go! Food in Moderation is Okay
Notice how large some portions are these days? Here's a tip. Eat half now and box half to go.
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Nourish Your Body with Vitamin D
Can you fend off heart problems just by popping a vitamin? Sounds too good to be true. But it isn't.
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After the Storm: Restoring Power After an Outage
One of the major causes of power outages is damage from fallen trees; usually the result of bad weather. According to the Rel-Tech Group, about 80% of major grid failures from 1965 to 2009 in the United States and Canada were attributed to extreme weather, including summer and winter storms; hurricanes, and heat waves.
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Producing Green Energy at the Landfill
The Buncombe County Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project is nearly complete. The generator, which is powered by landfill gas, will begin producing electricity in September.
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Great Tips For Traveling Green This Summer
It is officially summer and one of the most popular times of the year for vacations. Whether you’re doing a stay-cation, heading to the beach or going to another country, here are some travel tips to help you save green while going green.
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Buncombe County Has Been "Picking it Up!"
During recent months, the Buncombe County Solid Waste Department’s environmental control officers cleaned up tons of trash alongside our highways and in our mountains, including 131 tires and 18 appliances that were able to be recycled. Through partnerships with local non-profits and with the help of our great citizens, 141 large trash bags full of garbage were removed from the environment and properly disposed of over the same two months.
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Palliative Care a Lifesaver to Many
Palliative care is a medical specialty focused on treating the stresses of both patients and their families who are living with a serious, often life-threatening illness. For anyone who has suffered with such an illness, or has walked alongside a loved one with a serious illness, this patient-centered coordinated care can be a lifesaver.
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Asheville Named “Best Local Government Recycling Program” by the Carolina Recycling Association
The City of Asheville was awarded the “Best Local Government Recycling Program” award by the Carolina Recycling Association during its annual conference and trade show in Charleston, SC in March. The award was presented to City Council during its June 14 Council meeting.
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Take the 40 Gallon Challenge
As summer approaches, let's start thinking about water conservation. A lot of people think about rain barrels and drought tolerant plants, but may overlook practices we can implement inside the house.
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10 Easy Tips to Save Money & Fuel
With gas prices continuing to rise, here are some simple ways to keep money in your wallet and gasoline in your tank while helping out the environment at the same time. Using these tips can help you save 15-33% on your fuel spending.
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Start Grasscycling this Spring!
Now is a great time to think about grasscycling your lawn clippings this year. Grasscycling, which is also called mulching, means letting your grass clippings drop onto the lawn when you mow, rather than picking them up with the grass catcher or bagger.
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Has Your Pre-Teen Received All Their Vaccinations?
Vaccines are not just for infants and preschool age children. As children get older, the protection they get from their childhood vaccines can wear off.
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Going Green? Get Your Pets in on the Action Too!
A fun and easy way to start going green begins with your family pets. Dogs and cats love to play with the cardboard cores from paper towel and toilet paper rolls.
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Back to School: Pack a Zero-waste Lunch
Make zero-waste lunches this year: you could prevent 67 pounds of waste and save tons of money! Most parents pack lunch items in single-use plastic bags, aluminum foil, or wax paper, or they purchase single-serving items that come in their own disposable package.
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Announcing the 2011 Perennial Plant of the Year
The Perennial Plant Association’s Perennial of the Year for 2011 is Arkansas Blue Star, Amsonia hubrichtii. From late spring to early summer, two-to three inch wide clusters of small, light blue star-shaped flowers are displayed above the fern-like foliage.
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Healthy Eating Tips Your Kids Will Love
Every parent wants good things for their children: a positive outlook on life, a healthy respect for authority, a strong sense of self, a disease-free body...a healthy body weight. Despite our best intentions, a recent report suggests that for the first time in two centuries, the current generation of children may have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.
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Drought Busting Tips Help You Conserve Water This Summer
With the summer season in front of us, quite a few folks are trying to conserve water. Residents are curtailing their non-essential uses of water, such as watering lawns and washing houses, sidewalks, and automobiles.
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Take Some Good Tips to Help You Drive Greener
Whether you are road tripping across the country or just making the morning commute, you should always try to drive green. Driving green means adopting a few simple, inexpensive driving habits to decrease the amount of fuel you use and put more money in your pocket.
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Tips for Boosting Personal Wellness with Kindness, Compassion, & Volunteering
Here's a new tool you might want to add to your health and wellness regimen: random acts of kindness. As people search for better and faster ways to improve their health and well-being, they often overlook easy, inexpensive and effective social wellness activities like volunteering and doing good deeds.
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Be Prepared with Key Facts About Flood Readiness
Hurricane season is here and what that usually means in Western North Carolina is the possibility of flooding. Please take a few moments to check out this information to get yourself and your family prepared.
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Saving Natural Habitats Begins At Home; Learn About Sustainable Gardening Practices
Disappearing habitat is a problem worldwide, where most endangered species have that status because of habitat loss. Two thirds of the world’s forests are already gone.
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EPA Declares Swannanoa River a Success Story
The Environmental Protection Agency has labeled the Swannanoa River a "Nonpoint Source Program Success Story," citing efforts by local non-profit RiverLink and partners to improve the river's water quality. Development in the Swannanoa's watershed lead to a high level of sediment draining into the river.
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Are You Prepared in the Event of an Emergency?
While our attention has been on the disaster in Japan, let's not waste this opportunity to check our own preparedness. Do you have what you would need to survive on your own after a disaster or emergency?
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College Expenses Can Be Overwhelming, Take Some Tips to Be Prepared
Parents need to know how to maximize their children's eligibility for financial aid; they need to understand how financial aid formulas work so they can take advantage of ways to lower out-of-pocket costs. Even paying expenses in the most tax-efficient way is a benefit to families who get aid as well as families who do not.
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Practice Fire Safety Year Round
Home fires are the single most common disaster across the nation. Unfortunately, they kill more people in the United States each year than all other types of disasters combined.
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North Carolina Arboretum Inspires Budding Naturalists through its Innovative Wee Nats Program
Nature had an additional 658 visitors last year as children and their caregivers gained an appreciation of its offerings and learned how to care for it, thanks to an innovative youth program at The North Carolina Arboretum. The Arboretum’s Wee Naturalist Program is a unique early childhood hands-on learning experience that helps children ages 2 to 4 develop motor and conceptual skills by doing what they enjoy most—playing, exploring, creating, and doing.
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Don't Forget to Change Your Smoke Alarm Batteries
As the daylight savings time clock change passes, the Asheville Fire & Rescue Department is reminding residents to make another change that could save their lives - changing the batteries in their smoke alarms. Asheville Fire & Rescue urges all citizens to adopt a simple life safety habit to change smoke alarm batteries when they change their clocks back from daylight savings time.
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The Family is a Child’s First and Most Important Teacher
Helping the children in your life to be ready for starting school is one of the best ways to prepare them for a lifetime of success. Research shows that children who are unprepared for the entrance to kindergarten are more likely to fall behind in school, experience school failure, and they are more likely to drop out of school.
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Does Eating Healthy Have to Cost You More?
More often than not, people are resistant to following a new healthy way of life because they think it will cost more money. The word that especially scares people and sometimes gets them running in the opposite direction is the word "Organic", as if they might go broke just by saying it.
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Check Out these Simple Tips for Basic Home Maintenance
As you begin to think about spring repairs in and around your home, there may be some areas that have been neglected in the past. This is the time to address those specific areas to prevent larger maintenance problems in the future.
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Kick Your Immunity into High Gear with a Song
Ever catch yourself humming that old Broadway tune "Everything's Coming Up Roses"? Maybe you should give it a try sometime, your immune system may thank you.
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Green IT: Energy Saving Strategies That Really Work
In this data-driven economy, companies of all sizes are increasing their spending on information technology (IT). For small businesses that typically do not have massive data centers, this means a greater reliance on servers for storing and processing critical data, in addition to the computers and electronic equipment used throughout their facilities.
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Sweet or Not So Sweet Tea, That is the Question As the temperature outside goes up, so does the consumption of a favorite southern beverage, sweet tea. No wonder June is Sweet Tea Month!
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Test Your Limits with Chimney Rock Park’s Rock
Climbing Adventures

For more than a million years, the sheer cliffs and rock wall faces of Chimney Rock Park have stood high over this gorge with some of the most spectacular scenery anywhere in the world, calling visitors from near and far. Now, they're calling for a more personal, up-close relationship.
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Rare American Chestnut Trees Found in Southeast
A grove of very rare American chestnut trees has been discovered in Georgia. The find is exciting to the scientific community and tree lovers alike, as the American chestnut had virtutally disappeared in a blight in the earlier part of the 20th century.
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Buncombe County Has Rain Barrels For Sale!
Since Cooperative Extension is getting a lot of calls from citizens asking about rain barrels, they are now offering them for sale. The 80-gallon barrel from Rain Barrel USA (a North Carolina company) measures 37 inches high and 28 inches wide.
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Western North Carolina Nature Center Spotlight: River Otters
Everyday Olive & Obi-Wan's aquatic acrobatics bring shouts of amazement, laughter and smiles to the faces of dozens of Nature Center visitors, both young and old! Seeing the otters playing is an experience that everyone can enjoy.
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What Should You Do With All Those Plastic Bags?
Today most shoppers at grocery stores and farmers' markets carry home their fresh produce and other purchases in plastic bags. Plastic bags are also commonly used in most retail stores today, and few shoppers realize that the lightweight bags they take for granted cause serious environmental problems.
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The Juice That Makes Exercise Easier
Think outside the sports-drink bottle when you're looking for a workout beverage. New research puts the "gives you an edge" spotlight on this vegetable drink: beet juice.
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Check Out These Great Tips for Buying Green
As you walk the aisles of grocery stores and your one-stop-shopping stores, you may see bright green labels saying organic or eco-friendly. While some of these products may truly be sustainable, some may be green-washed.
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Sliding Rock is Mother Nature’s Chilly Answer to Water Parks
Water parks are everywhere, and with the summer heat, young kids (and their parents) start thinking about whether they would rather go to Charlotte’s Carowinds or Atlanta’s Six Flags or even one of the parks over in Pigeon Forge. The “true” water park aficionado might also want to make plans to visit Mother Nature’s very own – and original – water park, Sliding Rock.
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Energy Myth Busters to Help You Save Green
Turn your computer off if it won’t be used in the next hour. Don’t turn your computer off and on frequently in one day as this uses more power. Turn your AC/heat off as you leave your house for the day.
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Have You Checked Your Credit Report?
In these difficult economic times, it is more important than ever to have good credit. Why is a credit report important? Your credit report is important because lenders, insurers, employers, and others may obtain your credit report from credit bureaus to assess how you manage financial responsibilities.
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Where Do Buncombe County's Recyclables Go?
The Buncombe County Solid Waste Department hears this question alot. In Buncombe County, our recyclables are collected and processed by several companies.
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Red Wolf, An Endangered Spcies, Is Making a Slow Come Back
Originally, the red wolf roamed as far north as Pennsylvania and as far west as central Texas. Like its relative the grey wolf, the red wolf was wiped out from its former range by large scale predator control programs.
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How to Avoid Heat Stroke
The past few weeks of high temperatures provide a good reminder of the health-related impact of extreme heat. This past month, data based from Emergency Department visits across the state indicated that approximately 319 people had sought medical treatment for a heat-related illness.
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What Exactly Is Convection Cooking?
More and more new ranges have the convection oven feature, but what exactly is convection cooking? For you to use this feature more effectively, you need to understand what it does.
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Heat Your Home Safely and Save Energy
Cold weather means it is time to fire up your heating systems. Regardless of what type of heating system you use, there are safety tips to keep in mind.
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Hard Water Problems? Here Are Some Tips on Removing Mineral Deposits
If you have hard water, there will be an increase in the amount of films and stains from soap, minerals, and other substances. Bathroom fixtures, sinks, dishes, and other surfaces need frequent cleaning to prevent build-up.
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Asheville’s Newly Restored Thomas Wolfe Memorial Welcomes Visitors Home Once Again
The boardinghouse that inspired the works of one of America’s classic literary figures, Asheville-native Thomas Wolfe, has once again open its doors to visitors, six years after an arson blaze ravaged parts of the home. Born in the mountains of Asheville, Thomas Wolfe grew up in his mother’s rambling boardinghouse, known as “Dixieland” made famous in the novel, “Look Homeward, Angel.”
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Pack it in for the Environment: Why We Should Compost
With cold winter weather so far away, it’s hard not to think about the summer season. But with our waste problems, as well as the increasing amount of urban pollution, we can do our part to help the environment this winter while providing our gardens with excellent soil for the spring.
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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Announces Recovery Team for Ivory-billed Woodpecker
Less than a month after the Big Woods Conservation Partnership partners announced the ivory-billed woodpecker had been rediscovered in the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service named the first members of a range-wide recovery team that will craft a roadmap for the conservation of this extraordinary bird. The team, which held its first meeting in June, includes representatives from state fish and wildlife agencies, The Nature Conservancy, and other conservation organizations and universities.
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Go Green With Your Pets
A fun and easy way to start going green begins with your family pets. Here's a few tips from fellow pet lovers: Dogs and cats love to play with the cardboard cores from paper towel and toilet paper rolls.
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Motion Sickness Can Be A Reality In The Virtual World Too
Psychologist Eric Muth sees motion sickness as potential fallout from high-end technology that once was limited to the commercial marketplace moving to consumer use in gaming devices. Microsoft's Kinect is the latest example of technology with the potential to use a helmet-mounted display to immerse the gamer in a 3D virtual world.
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Don't Throw It Away - "Freecycle" It
You never know when your trash is going to be someone else's treasure, and there has never been a better example of this than Freecycle. Got a broken TV that you were going to throw away? Freecycle it!
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Monarch Butterfly Migration Is Fueled With Milkweed; Plant Milkweed Seeds to Aid Migration
180 Million Monarchs are now on the move! Milkweed plants are the only food source for Monarch caterpillars. There is a severe shortage of Milkweed, and their young may perish in large numbers if a larger milkweed food supply is not made available.
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Protect Your Eyes From Long-Term Computer Exposure
Working for long periods on a computer is a demanding visual task. Daily, millions of Americans use a computer for hours at a time, both at work and at play. Many of them routinely experience symptoms of headache, fatigue, blurry vision, scratchy eyes, or pain in the shoulders, neck or back.
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You Dump It, You Drink It. So Recycle That Used Motor Oil
Recycling your oil helps the environment, saves energy and protects our drinking water. The best part, is that it is super easy!
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Recycle Your Plastic Bags
Plastic bags are recycled into many different products. Most plastic bags are recycled into composite lumber, but they can also be reprocessed into small pellets or post consumer resin, which can become feed stock for a variety of products such as new bags, pallets, containers, crates, and pipe.
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Don’t Overestimate Your Driving Ability
Multitasking may be a useful skill in the office, but don’t try it behind the wheel of a vehicle, researchers say. Nobody thinks they are an average or worse-than-average driver.
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Protect Your Pet: Hot Weather Warning For Animals The Humane Society reminds us that high temperatures can be deadly for pets left without a cool, shady place to rest and plenty of water. Take these precautions to make sure your pets are safe during this heat.
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Download an Audio Tour Guide of Asheville’s Urban Trail
It has never been easier to take a tour of downtown Asheville’s Urban Trail, thanks to a free downloadable audio guide made available through the City of Asheville’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department. The tour, funded with a grant from the Janirve Foundation, is designed for mp3 players, and walks participants through the 1.7-mile, 2-hour trail that highlights Asheville’s history, architecture, public art and local personalities.
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Mosquito Repellents - What Actually Works?
You hear all kinds of tips and tricks when it comes to repelling mosquitoes. Let us help you separate fact from fiction.
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Canoes and Kayaks Not Exempt From Life Vest Law
In North Carolina, having a life vest for everyone onboard a canoe or kayak is smart, potentially lifesaving — and the law. Wildlife Officers with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will work to inform paddlers about an update to state regulations and begin enforcement on waterways.
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Falcon Fledglings Set Up Shop at Chimney Rock Park
Chimney Rock is excited to announce that a pair of Peregrine Falcons has successfully nested in the Park. Two juvenile falcons, one male and one female, have been spotted near the nesting site high on the Park's cliffs.
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Want to Enjoy Your Own Fresh Home Grown Blueberries?
There is no better plant to add to the edible landscape than a blueberry bush. Highbush blueberries are native to Western North Carolina and are the type recommended for growing here.
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Natural Fun: Birthday Parties at The NC Arboretum Encourage Unique Experiential Adventures
Remember how fun it was to explore nature as a child? The NC Arboretum invites families to participate in its birthday party program, offering safe adventure amid 434 acres of natural beauty and a fun, guided celebration that everyone will treasure for years to come.
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A Nice Set of Curtains Could Save You 10% on Heating Costs
Windows can provide light, ventilation and an enjoyable view. However, they also can make heating and cooling your home more difficult.
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Is Your Brain Hungry? Have Some Food for Thought!
Did you know that your brain is a very hungry organ? In fact it consumes 20% of all the oxygen you breathe and 25% of all the calories you eat.
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Take Care to Prevent Heat-Related Illness During Hotter Weather So far this summer, temperatures in Asheville have been flirting with record highs. And with plenty of upcoming outdoor events like Bele Chere to choose from, the City of Asheville is asking people to be aware of the ways to prevent heat related illnesses as well as recognize their symptoms.
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APD Animal Services Unit Provides Tips for Being a ‘Bear Smart’ Community
The Asheville Police Department’s Animal Services Unit is offering tips on how citizens can increase their safety around bears. According to the N.C. Wildlife Department, the bear population in Western North Carolina has grown in recent years, along with the simultaneous encroachment of humans into bears’ natural habitats.
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Linking Waters Demonstrates a Whole-Systems Approach to Reclaiming Water
LinkingWaters, a RiverLink project located in Asheville's East Riverside neighborhood, has finalized the first demonstration site for an innovative whole-systems approach to reclaiming water in urban neighborhoods. The program works towards creating green jobs, restoring the environment and growing fresh, healthy food.
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Interested in Growing Your Own Fruit? Here are Some Tips!
Ever want to grow your own fruit? Well the best choice just might be grapes and berries!
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Check Out these Great Tips for Improving Home Energy Efficiency
Having an energy efficient home is one of the best things that you can do for the environment, because it significantly reduces the amount of pollution created by a home. Additionally, it also enables a homeowner to save money.
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What You Need to Know About Recycling
Remove and discard caps and lids before you recycle plastic and glass containers! Good recycling involves capturing all the recyclables you can, preparing them properly and placing them into the correct containers.
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The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker; Natural History And Facts
The ivory-billed woodpecker ( Campephilus principalis) -- is among the world's largest woodpeckers. Only the imperial woodpecker of Mexico, now thought by many to be extinct, was larger than the ivory-bill.
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More Land Protected Along the Blue Ridge Parkway at Balsam Gap
The Conservation Trust for North Carolina on September 22 helped preserve a 332-acre tract on one of the largest privately owned properties in Western North Carolina. The property will safeguard water quality and protect scenic views along the Parkway at Balsam Gap from subdivision, development and timber cutting.
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Worms Can Recycle Your Garbage!
In the winter it is not always convenient to carry the kitchen scraps out to the compost pile. Some people solve that problem by composting indoors with earthworms.
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Asheville’s “Creative Economy” a Driving Force in downtown Asheville
Asheville’s arts community is nationally known – artists who express their creativity through painting, sculpture, metal works, clay, photography, and many other media have found their way to the city and now call it home. What some people may not know, however, is the economic force these combined talents have made themselves.
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Attracting Hummingbirds to Your Backyard Wildlife Habitat Site
Tiny, iridescent hummingbirds are an exciting addition to your habitat. Hummingbirds visit the Carolinas from March through November and you can attract them by planting red, tubular flowers. Over 160 native, North American plants depend exclusively on hummingbirds for pollination.
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Hunger Isn't Just A Global Issue, It's Local Too
A landmark study has been released from Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization, reports that 106,600 different Western North Carolinians (one in six) receive emergency food each year through MANNA FoodBank’s network of emergency food providers. The local findings gathered by MANNA are largely aligned with national and North Carolina state data.
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Red Cross Offers Tips Help You Conserve Water
Many areas in the Carolinas are in a drought, and with the summer season still going strong, quite a few folks are trying to conserve. Residents are curtailing their non-essential uses of water, such as watering lawns and washing houses, sidewalks, and automobiles.
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Cleaning the Streets Means Cleaner Rivers
The roving fleet of street sweepers that operates on a daily basis in the City of Asheville does more than just make for nicer looking roadways. The sweepers also pick up and collect dirt, particles and leaves that could otherwise clog the city’s storm water drains or flow into local waterways.
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Mountain Waterfalls a Beautiful Draw for the Mountains
One of a number of natural beauties for outdoor adventurers and families alike, is to head to one of many area waterfalls. Hiking to the sites is a terrific way to get a little exercise, breathe some fresh mountain air, and spend some time with family and friends.
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There's HOW Much Sugar in That Soft Drink???
Soft drinks are the first source of added sugar in the American diet. The United States ranks FIRST among other countries in soft drink consumption.
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Conservancy Uses Aquaculture to Restore NC's Pamlico Sound's Oysters
The demise of the eastern oyster and its reef habitat has reduced biodiversity in the Pamlico Sound, but The Nature Conservancy is hoping its newest restoration strategy may change the tide. The Conservancy has recently introduced captivity-spawned oyster larvae to the wild, a pioneer effort in an ongoing fight to repopulate the native species.
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Choose This Creamy Breakfast, Be Sneeze-Free
Top it with cereal, fresh fruit, or a little swirl of honey. Any way you serve it up, this creamy breakfast food may be an allergy fighter.
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Botanical Gardens of Asheville a Natural Reflection of Southern Appalachian Mountains
The Botanical Gardens of Asheville, located on a lovely ten-acre site next to the UNC-Asheville campus on Weaver Boulevard, is a haven of sorts for more than 700 plant species that are native to this diverse ecosystem we call home – the southern Appalachian Mountains. For the many people who visit or volunteer their time in these delightful gardens, it is a haven indeed, offering solitude, serenity, and a chance to reconnect with the natural world that surrounds us all.
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Take Your Sunblock and an Emergency Plan With You on Vacation Throughout the summer, millions of people will travel to destinations near and far to enjoy the warm weather. Some will be seeking rest and relaxation; others will hope to find just the opposite.
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Endangered Species Spotlight: American Bald Eagle
Eagles are a member of the Accipitridae family that also includes hawks, kites, and vultures. The Bald eagle is one of the largest birds of prey, with the female bald eagle measuring 35 to 37 inches and a wingspan that measures from 79 to 90 inches. Male bald eagles measure from 30 to 34 inches and a wingspan from 72 to 85 inches.
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Local Sierra Club Chapter Leads the Way to Enjoyment and Protection of Outdoors
On the national level, the Sierra Club is a fairly high profile advocate for environmental causes – protection of the country’s woodlands, water sources, and air often have strong backing from the activist group. Founded in 1892 and with a current membership totaling over 700,000 people, the organization has fought through the decades for preservation of the wildlands of many national parks, including Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Sequoia, and the Florida Everglades. They also are strong proponents of reducing America’s dependence on foreign oil and guarding against the abuses that lead to global warming.
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Tips For Avoiding Wildlife Conflicts In Your Backyard
Expect some undesirable critters and plants to make your backyard habitat their home, too. Animals such as garden snakes and moles are unpopular neighbors around the home but play their part in the balance of nature.
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Riverside Cemetery Final Resting Place for One of America’s Best
Although William Sidney Porter lived his life far from the Western North Carolina mountains, the man who penned short stories under the name O. Henry and became the favorite of a generation at the turn of the Twentieth Century owes the location of his final resting place to his second wife, Sara Coleman Porter, a Weaverville native.
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Check Out 9 Tips for Reducing Junk Mail
The statistics are quite alarming. More than 4 million tons of junk mail are produced yearly. Over 50 percent of this unsolicited mail ends up in landfills annually.
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Audubon North Carolina Announces State’s 92 Important Bird Areas
Audubon North Carolina, the state office of the National Audubon Society, has announced the release of Important Bird Areas of North Carolina, a scientific assessment of the most important habitats for birds in the state. The culmination of six years of study, the publication identifies 92 places from the mountains to the coast that are vital for breeding, migrating, and over-wintering birds.
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Study Examines Air Pollution’s Effects on Ecosystems; Finds Widespread, Serious Impacts
No ecosystem type in the eastern United States is free of the effects of air pollution, according to a report released by The Nature Conservancy and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. From streams and rivers to forests and wetlands, air pollution reduces the benefits these ecosystems provide to society, and damages human health and economies.
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Chimney Rock Park's Unique Birding Sites and "Big Boy" Trees Officially Recognized
Everyone in WNC knows that Chimney Rock Park's beautiful 1,000 acres of forests and hundreds of gorgeous and rare birds are special, but recently, the Park has been honored for both. With the help of NC State University, the NC Division of Forest Resources recently updated the state's Register of Big Trees.
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Reduce the Risk of a Mobile Device Security Breach
Many computer users, especially those who travel for business, rely on laptops and PDAs because they are small and easily transported. But while these characteristics make them popular and convenient, they also make them an ideal target for thieves.
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Help Put a Stop to Bullying Among Children
As millions of children settle back into school after the new year, the following information has been provided by the Resources and Services Administration of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to assist families in addressing the challenges of bullying behavior. Bullying is aggressive behavior that is intentional and that involves an imbalance of power or strength.
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Eat Certain Sauces to Reduce the Risk of Ovarian Cancer
There's a sauce that's rich in apigenin, and that's excellent news for a very delicate body part: women's ovaries. The sauce in question? Marinara.
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Botanical Gardens of Asheville a Natural Reflection of Southern Appalachian Mountains
The Botanical Gardens of Asheville, located on a lovely ten-acre site next to the UNC-Asheville campus on Weaver Boulevard, is a haven of sorts for more than 700 plant species that are native to this diverse ecosystem we call home – the southern Appalachian Mountains. For the many people who visit or volunteer their time in these delightful gardens, it is a haven indeed, offering solitude, serenity, and a chance to reconnect with the natural world that surrounds us all. More details

Saving Natural Habitats Begins At Home; Learn About Sustainable Gardening Practices
Disappearing habitat is a problem worldwide. Most endangered species have that status because of habitat loss. Two thirds of the world’s forests are already gone.
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Want to Make Telemarketers Stop Calling You?
Stop unwanted phone calls by signing up for the Do Not Call Registry. It’s fast, free and effective.
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Chimney Rock Park Offers Four Seasons of Outdoor Fun
For those looking for a invigorating, outdoors spot to spend the better part of a day away from their own particular brand of hustle and bustle, Chimney Rock Park might just be the place. With fall’s generally crisp and sunny days, the park is an ideal location for an afternoon outside with family or friends. More details

Ivory-bill Habitat Protected Through Land Deal Between The Nature Conservancy and U.S. Wildlife Service
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced it will acquire 1,440 acres of land from The Nature Conservancy to add to the Cache River National Wildlife Refuge in Arkansas – home to the recently rediscovered Ivory-bill Woodpecker and a host of other wildlife species. The Service and the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission approved $1,944,000 from this year’s Migratory Bird Conservation Fund (commonly known as the Federal Duck Stamp program) to acquire 1,440 acres of the former Ray Coleman Howell Farm at Cache River NWR presently owned by The Nature Conservancy.
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Numbers You Need During Bad Weather!
During inclement weather, Who should you call if the power goes out or the water stops running; Asheville.com has you covered. Here are some numbers to keep on your refrigerator that will be useful in an emergency.
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Wild Turkey Flock Finds Asheville To Its Taste; Pays Recent Visit to Historic Manor Inn Apartments
Veritable traffic stoppers, and the topic of much conversation around the office, a rather large flock of wild turkeys has decided, like so many others, that Asheville is the place for them. A somewhat unlikely choice, given that wild turkeys tend to gravitate toward more rural and less populated areas in which to reside, Asheville has embraced its wayward flock. More details

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Species Respond to Global Warming Everyone who owns pets knows how sensitive they are to the weather. Dogs and cats fidget and fuss before a big storm. More details


Take These Tips to Ensure That Your Wireless Networks are Secure Wireless networks are becoming increasingly popular, but they introduce additional security risks. If you have a wireless network, make sure to take appropriate precautions to protect your information.
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WNC Nature Center Animal Spotlight: The Coyote
Cristina Garcia is right to compare the coyote to the jackal of Africa and Eurasia. In fact, the two species are so alike that the coyote is often called the American Jackal.
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NC Arboretum Operates State-of-the-Art Greenhouse Complex
For both the regular visitor and the uninitiated, the splendor of the North Carolina Arboretum begins with the entry road into this massive and picturesque facility. Owned and operated by the University of North Carolina system on 426 acres in the Bent Creek Experimental Forest, the road winds gently past woodlands, trails, high stone retaining walls, and some glorious landscaping. More details


Is Your Adolescent at Risk?
Because of vaccines, our country rarely sees many diseases that once devastated families here. But some serious vaccine-preventable diseases, like pertussis, meningitis, and cervical cancer, continue to threaten the health of our families. Immunity received from some childhood vaccines can begin to wane over time, exposing a child to serious diseases that can easily spread, leading to missed weeks of school or worse.
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Unwashed Reusable Grocery Bags Breed Bacteria
Cloth shopping bags may be good for the environment, but are they good for your health? “Reusable grocery bags are safe, but you do need to keep them clean,” said Pam Schmutz, Home and Garden Information Center food safety specialist.
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Biltmore Industries Holds Distinguished Position in Asheville's History
Biltmore Industries, for many years an exceptional outlet for traditional mountain arts and crafts and the one-time beneficiary of George and Edith Vanderbilt's generosity, is a long-running example of Asheville's propensity toward fostering local mountain industry. The following article, posted with the permission of local author, historian, and antiques authority Bruce E. Johnson, provides an in-depth look at Biltmore Industries and the impact it had on local artisans and crafts people throughout the 20th century. More details


Watch Out for Toxins in "Everyday" Products
In spite of the listing of ingredients and clearly marked warnings on many products, people often use cleaning agents, personal care products, pesticides, paints, hobby products and solvents without taking the time to read the labels. There are a multitude of potentially harmful chemicals found in these items.
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Meeting the Challenges of Forest Conservation; Our Forests, Our Way of Life
Forests are intrinsic to our way of life. We hunt and hike and bird watch in them, and depend upon them for wildlife habitat, water purification, timber and jobs.
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Folk Art Center a Rare Jewel on the Blue Ridge Parkway
Asheville is fortunate to have a unique combination of people, businesses, activities, and interesting side roads that come together to give it a depth of spirit unlike any other city in the South. Couple this cultivated luxury with the rugged, natural beauty of the mountains, and you have something that is both comforting and inspiring to come back to again and again; the Folk Art Center is one such gem found in the Asheville area. More details


Are You Heating with a Fireplace or Wood Stove?
With the increased cost in utilities, more homeowners may return to using their fireplace or wood stove for additional heating. With this in mind, there are some safety precautions that need to be followed to insure a safe heating season.
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National Historic Trust Names Asheville a "Distinctive Destination"
The National Trust for Historic Preservation has selected Asheville, North Carolina, as one of "America's Dozen Distinctive Destinations." The National Trust anually selects a dozen locations that it regards as the best preserved, unique communities in America. Some of Asheville's landmark historic properties mentioned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation included the Grove Park Inn, the Biltmore Estate, the Thomas Wolfe home and Biltmore Village. More details

Mountain Waterfalls a Beautiful Draw for the Mountains
One of a number of natural beauties for outdoor adventurers and families alike, is to head to one of many area waterfalls. Hiking to the sites is a terrific way to get a little exercise, breathe some fresh mountain air, and spend some time with family and friends. In fact, this is just the type of outing of which memories are made. More details

A Hike to the Top of Mount Pisgah and Dinner at the Pisgah Inn.... a Great Combo
Should you wake up some Saturday or Sunday morning, hear the weather forecast for beautiful skies, realize you have nothing on your schedule for the day, and want an invigorating outdoor activity to fill those wonderful "no-work" hours, try spending a day on the Blue Ridge Parkway hiking to the top of Mount Pisgah and follow it up with dinner at the Pisgah Inn. More details

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Mountain Biking Trails Abound in Pisgah Ranger District in Pisgah National Forest
Fall in Western North Carolina is unrivalled in its beauty. The leaves on our trees gradually change from bright summer green to shades of red, purple, gold, orange, and rust, and the underbrush is filled with endless wild plants which produce brilliant pink, purple, and golden flowers. There is no better place to revel in all this beauty than a forest in the Western North Carolina mountains, and an exhilarating mountain bike ride is a perfect way to celebrate fall's palate. More details

Take a Walk Through Time on Asheville's Urban Trail
Asheville's Urban Trail, a walking tour of downtown Asheville and its buildings, architecture, cultural history and lore, has begun its 2001 season with guided and self-guided tours. Twenty newly trained and enthusiastic guides will lead tours from now through November.
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North Carolina Arboretum Another Gem in the WNC Mountains
The North Carolina Arboretum, a member of the University of North Carolina System, quietly goes about its business every day of the year. Fortunately for visitors to the Arboretum, its business just happens to be one of the most delightful businesses to be found in the state.
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Is Your Cooler Healthy? Check These Tips to Find Out!
Don't get caught with an unhealthy cooler, a cooler that's not cool can lead to spoiled food! You can't have a picnic if your food has gone bad.
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Mt. Leconte is One of the Area's Loveliest and Most Remote Hiking Destinations
If hiking is your passion, you will want to add Mt. Leconte to your lists of hiking destinations. Mt. Leconte is one of the area's loveliest and most remote hiking destinations. Located near the border with Tennessee, Mt. LeConte is a tough ticket to come by - the lodge that is perched atop Mt. LeConte has a very limited capacity, making reservations, particularly during warmer weather, very difficult to obtain. More details

Smith-McDowell House Museum, Asheville's First Mansion
If you are planning a visit to the Asheville area for the color season, you might want to plan a visit to the Smith-McDowell House Museum. Built circa 1840 by James McConnell Smith, the Smith McDowell House is Asheville's oldest surviving house and the oldest brick house in Buncombe County, North Carolina. More details

Cobblestones Spoke to Thomas Wolfe's Soul
The use of cobblestones and brick pavers fell out of favor in the U.S. in the early 1900's due to the availability of inexpensive petroleum products. Cobblestones and brick pavers are both expensive materials to purchase and labor intensive to install. More details

Large Stands of Old Growth Forests Found in Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest
A survey, coordinated by the WNC Alliance, and with the assistance of the Southern Appalachian Forest Coalition and the North Carolina chapter of the Sierra Club, has documented 77, 418 acres of delineated old growth forests. This increases the previously recorded acres of old growth forests by over 400%. The two national forests total more that 1.1 million acres of public forests. More details

Wild Turkeys Flourishing in Southeast
Restoring the native wild turkey throughout the Eastern United States stands as one of the most successful restoration efforts in the history of wildlife management. The wild turkey population had fallen from 7 million, at the time of the arrival of the first European settlers, to 30 thousand in the 1930s. More details


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