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

  • Staghorn sumac silhouetted by a foggy October morning. Photo: Ruth Ann Grissom

    Sumac shows its glories in autumn

    Few plants are as gorgeous in fall as sumacs, a native plant that can also thrive in gardens. 
  • Catawba River in York County, aerial view. Photo: Nancy Pierce

    Water for growth? River group raises the alarm

    Projections are for the Catawba-Wateree River watershed to reach its capacity to provide water to the growing Charlotte region by 2065. With no state laws managing water rights, what happens?
  • The star-nosed mole can touch 10 or 12 different places in a second. Photo: U.S. NPS via Wikipedia CCA 3.0

    The nose knows

    There will be no question what you’ve found if you see a star-nosed mole. The unusual animal can even detect seismic wave vibrations. Loss of wetlands, where it lives, can negatively affect this amazing creature.  
  • Black, yellow and white striped monarch caterpillars with aphids on swamp milkweed. Photo: Ruth Ann Grissom

    The mystery of the missing garden cats

    As I left town for a quick trip over Labor Day weekend, a dozen hungry monarch caterpillars were munching away on my swamp milkweed.  When I returned 32 hours later, they had vanished.