Environment

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To you it’s a place to walk, but to wildlife it’s refuge

A boardwalk curves through wetlands at Four Mile Creek Greenway. Photo: Nancy Pierce Mecklenburg County’s greenways are more than places to jog, bicycle or escape the city’s hurly-burly. Surrounded by urbanization, they provide increasingly rare refuges for wildlife. Part of KEEPING WATCH on HABITAT. 

Your backyard can be habitat for wildlife

Flowers and a statue decorate Ernie McLaney's wildlife habitat garden How some local residents scrapped pesticides and herbicides and created a haven for native plants and animals – and even welcome insects. Part of KEEPING WATCH on HABITAT.

North Carolina, ‘toast of the temperate universe’

Zebra swallowtail butterflies. Blessed with an unusually rich natural diversity of plants and animals, North Carolina is losing species in large part due to habitat loss. What you can do to help – in your own yard. 

How can wildlife co-exist with city development? This researcher looks for answers.

Associate Professor Sara Gagné sits in front of posters showing insect species. Photo: Mary Newsom For 2017, the KEEPING WATCH initiative focuses on wildlife habitat in our urban ecosystem. PlanCharlotte.org editor Mary Newsom talked with UNC Charlotte’s Sara Gagné, who researches landscape ecology.

How to safeguard Charlotte’s trees? Plan aims to support the canopy

Gingko trees in uptown Charlotte. Photo: Nancy Pierce Charlotte's tree canopy faces serious long-term threats. An urban forestry management plan in the works would encourage more public involvement and education.

Endangered species finds a haven in N.C.

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

TreesCharlotte summit focuses on city tree canopy

Gingko trees in uptown Charlotte show their colors in November. Photo: Nancy Pierce Concerned about Charlotte’s tree canopy? The UNC Charlotte Urban Institute and the nonprofit TreesCharlotte are sponsoring an Urban Forestry Summit on Sept. 20. The event is free and open to the public. 

Mecklenburg recycling: What do you do? Know? Want?

Trash piles up at a trash bin. Photo: Nancy Pierce Mecklenburg County wants to hear from residents about recycling. With the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute’s help, the county has launched an online survey. Those who take it can register for a chance to win an Apple iPad.

Booming York County growth provokes zoning, impact fee debates

New construction near Lake Wylie. Photo: Mae Israel The pace of growth in northern York County concerns residents, who worry officials aren’t paying enough attention to the environment or moving quickly enough to deal with problems.

The long, long path for one Charlotte greenway

Heavy equipment at construction site for Toby Creek Greenway Phase 2. Photo: Mary Newsom Beset by funding gaps, a recession and other delays, the second phase of the Toby Creek Greenway near UNC Charlotte is finally underway 18 years after the first plans were drawn.