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Wednesday, 22 July 2015 00:00

Outdoors roundup

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Funding to help farmers with organic certification

A cost-share program can reduce the price tag of becoming a certified organic grower by reimbursing 75 percent of the cost, with a max of $750.

The program is open to growers who are certified or recertified between Oct. 1, 2014, and Sept. 30, 2015. It is offered through the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.


Farm Service nominees wanted

Swain County farmers with a voice to offer the larger agricultural community are wanted to serve on the Farm Service Agency County Committee. 

Nominations for committee members are open through Aug. 3, with farmers of all experience levels living in Swain County north of U.S. 74 — including Deep Creek and Ela — eligible. 

Committee members help deliver FSA programs at a local level, deciding which programs their counties should offer and working to make those programs serve the needs of local producers. 828.524.3175, ext.2 or 828.488.2684 ext.2.


Get screened, get dancing, get fit

Outdoor Zumba is coming to Jackson County communities with a series of free classes to be paired with basic health screenings. 

Classes will be held from 7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, July 29, at the Balsam Community Park; Wednesday, Aug. 5, at Little Canada Park; and Wednesday, Aug. 12, at East Laporte Park.

The Jackson County Department of Public Health will offer health screenings from 6:30 to 7 p.m. each evening.

No pre-registration required, but RSVPs are helpful to ensure minimum enrollment. Cullowhee Recreation Center, 828.293.3053. Call for rain location.


Meet the natives

Learn about native plants and their pollinators at a presentation called “Get Acquainted with the Natives” at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 28, at the Village Green Commons in Cashiers.

The speaker is Master Gardener Susan Sunflower, who founded the habitat stewardship outreach and education group Transylvania Naturally in Transylvania County. Part of the summer Village Nature Series. Co-hosted by Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust and The Village Green.

Free. 828.526.1111.


Future Olympic paddlers to compete on the Nantahala

The nation’s best young paddlers will converge on Nantahala Outdoor Center Friday, July 24, through Sunday, July 26, to compete in the 2015 Whitewater Junior Olympics. 

The itinerary will include competitions in everything from slalom to downriver to freestyle courses for paddlers 18 and under. Spectators are welcome to watch for free, with kids encouraged to come meet the paddlers and get inspired to follow in their footsteps. 

There will be more to do than just watch the young experts. The event will also include a beginner freestyle competition, stand-up paddleboard time on the flatwater, the duckie cross race in inflatables and a quick downriver sprint race. Families can also play yard games and enjoy live music. 

Full schedule at


Landowner education programs coming to WNC

A series of programs to help forest landowners manage their property while promoting environmental and forest health will come to Western North Carolina again this summer. 

The Woodland Steward Series will include four workshops between July 29 and Aug. 21 in the Asheville area. Each workshop will include one-and-a-half days of instruction and hands-on field activities. 

• Discovering Your Land: Basic Land Management Skills. July 29 at the Cradle of Forestry in America and July 30 at Bent Creek Experimental Forest. 

• Woodscaping Your Woodlands and Firewise Management. July 30 and July 31 at Bent Creek Experimental Forest.

• Nativescaping and Water Management. Aug. 19 and Aug. 20 at the N.C. Arboretum. 

• Stewardship, Recreation and Liability. Aug. 20 at the N.C. Arboretum and Aug. 21 at the Cradle of Forestry in America. 

Offered through the N.C. State University Forest and Environmental Outreach Program, and also sponsored by the Cradle of Forestry, Pisgah Field School, N.C. Forest Service, N.C. Cooperative Extension Service, U.S. Forest Service, N.C. Arboretum and Bent Creek Experimental Forest.

$200 for the whole series or $60 per session, with family discounts. Register by Friday, July 10. 

Addie Thornton, 919.515.5065 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . 

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