Ruth Ann Grissom

Writer, conservationist

Biography

Ruth Ann Grissom grew up on a farm in Montgomery County and earned degrees in journalism and social work at UNC Chapel Hill. She divides her time between Charlotte and the Uwharries.

 

Articles

  • ui.uncc.edu
    Oct 14, 2019
    As Ron’s retirement approached, they turned to the faith that had brought them together and prayed for a sign to guide them to the right tract of land.  They found it along the banks of the Pee Dee River in Stanly County, as the flight of an eagle formed the shape of a cross.   Now called 3 Eagles Sanctuary, this 170-acre tract of forest and farmland is being managed for wildlife habitat and sustainable agriculture.  Ron and Nancy have gone from being activists to stewards.
  • ui.uncc.edu
    Oct 14, 2019
    Chappell Russell and Justin Foley were living the millennial dream.  They met at Appalachian State.  He worked for a large CPA firm in uptown Charlotte.  She helped run a small dog-training business.  They had an apartment in South End.  On weekends, they walked their dogs Oliver and Indie on the Rail Trail, stopping at breweries and local shops like the Canine Café.
  • ui.uncc.edu
    Oct 14, 2019
    Danny Alderman puts 1,200 to 1,400 miles on his truck each week.   As the general superintendent of North Carolina projects for Branch Builds, he oversees about $250 million worth of work across the state, including schools in Cabarrus County and Indian Trail — as well as the rare project close to home, the new high school in Montgomery County. “I’m in such a rat race during the day,” he said.  “That’s why I choose to live in the Uwharries.” 
  • ui.uncc.edu
    Oct 14, 2019
    The land at this particular crossroads in southern Randolph County has a storied history.  It once belonged to Miles and Healy Lassiter, and some of it still belongs to their descendants, including Jerry Laughlin.   Miles was born into slavery circa 1777, but apparently this status wasn’t fully enforced.  At the time of their marriage circa 1810, Healy was a free woman of color who already owned land in the area.  Together, they eventually held 400 acres, a vast estate in a mountainous area inhabited by small-scale subsistence farmers.  
  • ui.uncc.edu
    Oct 14, 2019
    The narrative around rural areas has often held that people need to leave for a better chance to find success, typically in the city. But for many, leaving the place they love and call home never really feels like an option. Here are seven stories of people who are turning that narrative on its head. 
  • ui.uncc.edu
    Aug 14, 2019
    The overall cluster was about the size of my fist.  A woven cylindrical core was decorated with willow oak leaves, some of them whole and others torn.  They had been applied in an intriguingly symmetrical pattern, creating the effect of wings and a tail.  Tiny twigs with swollen buds had also been incorporated into the design, their weight providing a ballast.  The creature twirled and fluttered in the breeze, a sylvan ballerina.
  • ui.uncc.edu
    Jul 23, 2019
    Common rush (Juncus effusus) is often used in riparian restoration projects. It provides cover for wildlife and helps stabilize soil and filter stormwater runoff, and it can be found throughout the Uwharries. Jim Matthews, professor emeritus at UNC Charlotte and founder of Habitat Assessment and Restoration Professionals, calls it the “Cadillac of wetland plants” because it can grow in standing water but also tolerate dry spells.
  • ui.uncc.edu
    Jun 24, 2019
    Found primarily along the Southeast coast, white-bracted sedge also grows with abandon in wet, sunny meadows you can create in your Charlotte backyard. The flowers attract a crazy array of pollinators - bumblebees and honeybees, bizarre bugs and colorful moths, tiny bees and flies. And the bracts remain attractive deep into fall, even after a hard freeze has turned them to parchment.
  • ui.uncc.edu
    Jun 04, 2019
    Wildlife habitat comes in all shapes and sizes, as does opportunity for improving it.  The rural nature of the Uwharries and other areas around Charlotte allows us to restore grasslands and forests on a landscape scale, but the same management techniques have also proven successful on smaller parcels in urban parks and nature preserves. One of the most promising interventions in the rapidly developing Piedmont is to enhance backyard habitat. 
  • plancharlotte.org
    Apr 26, 2019
    When I was a novice birder, attending bird walks in New York’s Central Park, I asked the leader which field guide I should buy.  Without missing a beat, and without a hint of sarcasm, he replied, “All of them.”  While I’ve come to appreciate his wisdom, there’s also something to be said for having a basic, indispensable guide you can turn to again and again.