A Giving Garden

Delaney Cullen wanted to start a garden at her library—the Mountains Branch Library near Lake Lure. But she was only five. How was a little kid going to do that?

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More than One Century

John Humphrey is 102 years old and his trees are about the same age. While that’s a long lifespan for a person, it’s still young for a tree. John, a conservation trailblazer, looks out at his forests and imagines the trees growing to be 500.

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The Kingdom of the Happy Land

Storyteller Ronnie Pepper keeps local history alive with his telling of the Kingdom of the Happy Land—a community of freedmen who settled near Tuxedo just after the Civil War.

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The Snowy Forest

“Don’t your senses feel sharper?” Mattie asks, as snow crystals sparkle. An Episcopal oblate and Zen meditator who lives in Bat Cave, Mattie may soon lead forest bathing experiences for Conserving Carolina.

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Magical Appalachia

When David Campbell was a boy in Canada, he says, “Appalachia sounded like a magical word to me.” As a botanist, he revels in the biodiversity of the Melrose Falls preserve near Saluda.

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The Mountain Behind the School

Little White Oak Mountain, behind Polk County Middle School, will become a new local park, with up to 10 miles of trails for hiking and biking. That’s great news for the kids in hiking club.

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Nature Babies

How many ways can you play with a stick? You can break it in pieces, you can draw in the dirt with it, you can talk about it, you can share it with a friend. A baby on her belly with a stick in her hand could be making discoveries that light up her brain.

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Returning to the Earth

Caroline Yongue founded the first conservation burial ground in North Carolina. It started when her Buddhist teacher asked her to figure out how to take care of a dead body, without embalming, to be taken care of by family and friends.

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A Summer Working in Nature

Ana Martinez wanted to be more outdoorsy. She knew Summer of Service would mean more time outside. It paid. And it would help her get ready for college. But she didn’t go for it, at first. “I was shy,” she says.

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