Articles about Arts & Recreation

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Beyond Honey – Get to Know some Native Bees
   July 21, 2021
Ruth Ann Grissom

Bee nirvana.  That’s how Gabriela Garrison described one of the fields we’ve converted to native warm season grasses and wildflowers.  Garrison, the Eastern Piedmont habitat conservation coordinator with N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, was in the Uwharries to conduct point counts targeting a list of priority bird species, but she kept getting...

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Advisory board suggests sharp increase for Meck parks funding
   April 14, 2021
Ely Portillo

As Mecklenburg County hammers out its budget priorities for the coming year, advocates for the park and recreation system are hoping to see a big funding increase.

At a presentation Tuesday, the Park & Recreation Commission, a citizen advisory board, suggested dramatically increasing funding for the county’s parks. That’s after Park & Recreation Director Lee Jones earlier this...

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Finding luck in a buckeye
   March 24, 2021
Ruth Ann Grissom

You’ve no doubt heard this advice – keep a buckeye in your pocket so you can rub it for luck. I can see how this shiny, lumpy “nut” became a talisman. It has grooves that beckon your thumb. I’m thinking its power actually has less to do with luck than with a calming effect. Think of a buckeye as the old school version of a fidget spinner – an apparatus to manage stress or focus anxiety.

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Dead trees can help make a healthy forest
   February 26, 2021
Ruth Ann Grissom

My husband and I recently hiked the Birkhead Trail, starting at Tot Hill Road for the first time since that section was hit by a wind storm in June 2019. Hundreds – perhaps thousands – of mature trees were snapped or uprooted along the trail. I hate to see a mature hardwood forest in the Uwharries suffer such extensive damage. It will take a century to replace those massive oaks. As I trudged...

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Feeling harried? Watch harriers
   February 1, 2021
Ruth Ann Grissom

In January, a month when birders across the state and around the world launch headlong into a rigorous endeavor called a Big Year — in which they rush around a given geographic area trying to see as many species as possible — I hunkered down in the Uwharries and became obsessed with a single species.

The Northern harrier, also known as the marsh hawk, is an enthralling raptor. Harriers...

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Students rethink how and what we memorialize
   November 2, 2020

Meg Whalen

“Not many events inspire our historical imagination and force us to critically think about our past the way a falling monument does.”

Associate Professor of Sculpture Marek Ranis, who grew up behind the Iron Curtain in communist Poland, has seen monuments go up and come down in countries like his homeland. But the intense evaluation of monuments in the United States –  what they tell...

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How to Appreciate a Brown-Eyed Susan
   September 22, 2020
Ruth Ann Grissom

I wasn’t especially fond of brown-eyed Susans (Rudbeckia triloba). They strike me as having a superficial and relentless cheer – like a clerk who automatically chirps Have a great day! when you’re clearly miserable.

But they freely seed around our yard in the Uwharries, and my garden in Charlotte was bare, so I transplanted several clumps. They pop...

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North Carolina’s parks showcase the state’s diverse landscapes
   February 18, 2020
Crystal Cockman
North Carolina is truly blessed with a fantastic and diverse system of state parks and nature preserves, stretching from the mountains to the coast. Read more


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Nonprofit charts a new course for troubled South End development
   January 8, 2020
Ely Portillo
A new, mixed-income housing development is set to take the place of a long-troubled, low-income housing complex in South End.  Brookhill Village is a paradox: An oasis of affordability in the midst of a booming and fast-gentrifying part of the city, but full of run-down units, many of them boarded up and visibly decaying from the street. Developed in the 1950s by the late C.D. Spangler, a... Read more


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Enjoy hiking? You should help build a trail
   December 13, 2019
Crystal Cockman
Most people who hike trails don’t take time to think about who makes and maintains paths through the woods.  In the Uwharries, as in most recreational areas, most trail-building is done by dedicated volunteers. Read more