Environment

Find the story in the numbers. See below to explore facts about Environment in the Charlotte region. See how the region's counties compare to one another and how the metro area compares to peers around the country.

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Articles

  • Trees demolished for construction

    Charlotte’s losing its green canopy, despite efforts to save trees

    Charlotte is losing over three football fields a day worth of trees. That’s the sobering conclusion of a study by the University of Vermont in collaboration with TreesCharlotte, detailing how development, age, storms and other factors have cut down Charlotte’s tree coverage. The percentage of Charlotte covered by tree canopy fell from 49% to 45% of the city between 2012 and 2018.
  • Three lessons our city should learn from COVID-19

    The novel coronavirus is extracting a terrible toll from our society, replete with mind-boggling statistics: A death toll of more than 100,000, 40 million people unemployed, a 95% plunge in airline passengers and so many more. The losses are immense. Grief is immeasurable. It’s still unclear how far-reaching and deep the economic pain we’re facing will run.  Amidst that, however, the pandemic offers lessons, and opportunities for change. Here are three lessons surfaced by COVID-19 that we should not let fade even after the virus is under control.
  • A red-breasted grosbeak

    A rare encounter with a beautiful bird this spring

    On one recent hike, I saw a fantastic bird up close that I’d not seen in person before – the red-breasted grosbeak (Pheucticus ludovicianus). These birds typically prefer to stay near the tops of trees, so spotting them is not easy. I was fortunate that these birds were using my friend’s bird feeder, dining on birdseed and sunflower seeds. I was able to get some good photographs of them with my camera with the 40x optical zoom. I tried with my phone but was not able to get anywhere near them, as they are pretty skittish.
  • flint rock, moss, heart leaf and bluets

    Overcoming plant blindness: Seeing the extraordinary in the common

    For a lay naturalist, springtime in the Uwharries can be exhausting. There’s a sense of urgency this time of year – the migrating birds and spring ephemerals come and go in a matter of weeks.  I’ve resorted to multi-tasking.  I’ve given up binoculars in favor of birding by ear. This allows me to identify the black and white warbler by its squeaky-wheel song as I search for wildflowers along a path through the bottomland forest.