The Charlotte metropolitan region’s future depends on the health of its natural and built environment, from tree canopies to preserved natural areas to sound land use planning and urban design. The institute offers articles and research on a variety of environmental topics.

For even more articles about the environment visit PlanCharlotte.org

Articles about environmental topics

  • Northern Oconee Bells, endangered species protected at a McDowell County site. Photo: Katherine Schlosser

    Endangered species finds a haven in N.C.

    One of North Carolina’s rarest plants – the formerly “Lost Shortia,” which is found along a few stream banks in only one county in the world – has a history that involves two giants in the world of botany.
  • A wetland wildflower, spotted jewelweed also is called touch-me-not or orange balsam. Photo: Crystal Cockman

    Jewelweed, the wildflower with exploding seed pods

    The colorful blossoms of this wetland wildflower signal a plant with unusual qualities – seed pods that explode when touched and leaves that can relieve skin irritations, including poison ivy rashes.
  • A St. Francis' satyr. Photo: Jenny McCarty

    North Carolina’s rarest butterfly needs special habitat

    North Carolina’s rarest butterfly depends for its survival on hard-to-find habitats formed by beaver ponds and fires. The butterfly is found almost exclusively on Fort Bragg artillery ranges.
  • Water willow in bloom. Photo: Crystal Cockman

    The wind in our willows

    With more than 400 species of deciduous trees and shrubs, willows are found throughout the Northern Hemisphere as well as in myth, legend and literature.