Land preservation

Flood-prone site of former temple, school now awaits storm waters

At a prominent site on Charlotte's busy Providence Road, a one-time synagogue, then school, has been demolished as part of Mecklenburg County's ongoing effort to control flooding and help water quality. (Photo: Mary Newsom)

After decades, Reid Park may get its park

After nearly three decades of hoping for a new park, the Reid Park neighborhood in west Charlotte may be on its way to getting one designed, not by the county, but a student. (Image: Dylan McKnight)

Gaston naturalist loves the fungus among us

During a recent hike Allein Stanley finds a bolete, Tylopilus alboater, that she's seen only in books. Photo: Amber Veverka Mushrooms, like those sprouting in Piedmont lawns this rainy summer, have been a decades-long avocation for Allein Stanley, a nationally recognized expert who at 84 is still helping Gastonia’s Schiele Museum add to its collections. (Photo: Amber Veverka)

Untangling urban growth boundaries

Are urban growth boundaries effective tools for curbing sprawl, or an infringement of property rights?

Mecklenburg’s 2012 green space assessment: Fair to middling

Little Sugar Creek Greenway, with the recently daylighted creek and urban greenway section.  Photo: Nancy Pierce. Mecklenburg County is not on track to meet its 2008 goals for acquiring nature preserves and open space, and the trend is continuing downward, according to the 2012 State of the Environment Report. Greenways and parks are rated just “fair.”

Remembering Rachel Carson’s ‘Silent Spring’

National wildlife artist Bob Hines and Rachel Carson c.1955. The pair spent many hours along the Atlantic Coast. Photo: USFWS Sept. 27 marked the 50th anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring, widely recognized as the beginning of the modern environmental movement. The golden anniversary is a good time to reflect, again, on its remarkable author.

How’s the water? Maybe not so fine

Most water quality indicators in Mecklenburg County are “good,” but its streams are not as clean as they should be, says the county’s latest State of the Environment Report. Three of four water quality indicators are rated “good,” while “streams,” is rated only “fair.”

Piedmont prairies offer glimpses of region's distant past

The Shuffletown prairie sits under power lines in northwestern Mecklenburg County. Photo: Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Only about a dozen of these rare landscapes remain in the Charlotte region, but those that have been protected are doing well, experts say. 

Cheap land? Low prices frustrate cash-strapped preservationists

The unfinished Abersham development near Davidson is now a county park. Photo: John Chesser A Faison subdivision off Beatties Ford Road and Abersham near Davidson were purchased by Mecklenburg County for parks, after the developments stalled. But generally, the region's land conservationists lack money to protect tantalizing properties available after the financial crash. 

When wetlands aren't so wet anymore

Pools finally returned in recent weeks to Flat Branch Nature Preserve The Flat Branch Nature Preserve, in the southernmost tip of Mecklenburg County, holds the county’s largest remaining upland depression swamp forest. It's a place where water naturally fills forest depressions in winter and early spring. But just weeks ago, the pools were gone and the ground parched. And when the pools returned in recent days, they were smaller than they used to be. What does that mean for the future of this uncommon ecosystem?