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.  

Disease and old age afflict Charlotte’s tree canopy

Grier Heights with street trees and cankerworm bands. Photo: Mae Israel Lurking silently beneath the beauty of Charlotte’s tree canopy is a persistent problem with ailing trees. The issue significantly affects the city’s efforts to preserve and replenish its most treasured amenity.

Designing for indoor air quality: Talking with Jefferson Ellinger

Active Modular Phytoremediation System, at a public safety call center in the Bronx, N.Y.  Photo courtesy Jefferson Ellinger Air quality is important inside buildings as well as outside. A UNC Charlotte associate professor is using indoor plants to filter out pollutants in the air inside several new buildings. A conversation with Jefferson Ellinger. Part of the KEEPING WATCH on AIR initiative.

A city of trees, but for how long? Canopy is loved but threatened

City tree canopy, view of JCSU. Photo: Nancy Pierce In Charlotte, a shared passion about trees inspires community activism, marked by a keen admiration of the beauty of trees and pragmatism about protecting their environmental significance to the city. Part of 2016’s KEEPING WATCH on AIR.

These trees are the champions

The champion Alaska cedar at Historic Rosedale Plantation. Photo courtesy N.C. Forest Service In a city that loves its trees, some stout survivors have won a special, statewide honor: Champion Trees. For more about Charlotte’s tree canopy and the role of trees in protecting air quality, visit keepingwatch.org.

A ‘winning strategy’ for air quality? Better city design

UNCC Assistant Professor Brian Magi of the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences. Photo: Lynn Roberson, UNC Charlotte What’s the state of air quality in Mecklenburg County today? A discussion with Brian Magi, a UNC Charlotte academic who studies air pollution. Part of the KEEPING WATCH on AIR initiative.