Building Pollinator Habitat

Cub Scout Pack 515 helped build and plant a pollinator garden along the greenway in downtown Bakersville. The garden is filled with native flowering plants that will attract pollinators such as butterflies, bees, and birds. 

Invasive Removal

A huge thank you to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy for bringing a crew of interns over for some invasive species removal at the Cane River dam removal site. We focused on Japanese Knotweed, a rigorously growing and rapidly spreading herbaceous perennial.

North Toe Paddle & Clean

The Paddle & Clean on the North Toe River was a success! We had two canoes, two kayaks, and eight single rafts all full of tires, metal, miscellaneous trash, and a whole lot of smiles. Thank you to the local volunteers that came out to help keep our rivers clean. It was a good day on the river.

Cane River Benthic Invertebrates

Mountain Heritage AP Environmental Science students collecting benthic invertebrates in Cane River. They collected several pollution intolerant species from the river, which is good news as an indicator of healthy water quality.…/NCDWRMacroinvertebrate-SO…

The link above is a guide to classifying benthos samples. This is one of the ways North Carolina water quality specialists assess water quality.

Roots of Resilience Film Festival: Cultivating Sustainable Community in the High Country

Friday, April 28 at 7:00 pm
PSU 201AB Blue Ridge Ballroom
Free and open to the public; refreshments provided

Sustainability endeavors are growing strong in our community.  In the High Country, we share a rich history of working together to ensure that our mountain region will forever be a wonderful place to call home. The Roots of Resilience Film Festival celebrates some of these efforts through a series of seven mini-documentaries, each spotlighting local people and organizations working on various dimensions of cultivating sustainable community, including:

  • ASU Office of Sustainability (campus sustainability)
  • Blue Ridge Conservancy (land protection)
  • Blue Ridge RC&D (fire-adapted communities)
  • Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture (sustainable agriculture)
  • New River Conservancy (water protection)
  • Todd Listening Project (community development)
  • Valle Crucis Community Park (environmental education)

This event is hosted by participants in the Sustainable Development course Outreach Skills for Sustainability, including students and instructor Laura England (

Special thanks to Tom Hansell of University Documentary Film Services for assisting the class in planning and creating these mini-documentary films. 

Grassy Creek Workshop

Planting native live stakes and removing invasive species along the Grassy Creek restoration site with the help of our local partners. Live stakes were planted on the stream side to enhance streambank stability and stream quality. 

Appalachian RC&D Fire Adapted Communities (FAC) Coalition website

The intent of the Appalachian RC&D FAC Coalition is to expand the success of the Fire Adapted Communities concept up the Appalachian Mountain Chain from Georgia to Virginia to help reduce the risk of wildfire in communities in the Wildland Urban Interface most of which border National forests. The Appalachian RC&D Coalition is made up of 6 RC&D Councils in Georgia (1), North Carolina (4), and Virginia (1) along the Appalachian Chain. The FAC Appalachian Coalition will draw from learning processes that have been developed by the Chestatee-Chattahoochee RC&D council (CCRCD) in North Georgia since 2013 that has transformed Towns County in North Georgia into a Fire Adapted Community by using the FAC Fire Learning Network methods where people educate their neighbors, family, and friends as to Fire Adapted principles and practices. The Georgia FAC hub presently has three additional communities in development stages. The newly created Appalachian RC&D Coalition will serve as the mechanism to spread the FAC concept to communities at risk from wildfires in this area.

Energy Cost-share Assistance Program (ECAP) website

The four North Carolina mountain RC&D's have a new website for our Energy Cost-share Assistance Program. Farmers and small businesses can navigate through the renewable energy and alternative energy cost-share and grant programs to see if they would be eligible for assistance. The ECAP partnership can provide technical assistance and resources. Please contact us with any questions.

Shade Your Stream- Logo Contest

Shade Your Stream • Logo Contest


Western North Carolina conservation organizations seek a logo for the Shade Your Stream initiative


About Shade Your Stream

Shade Your Stream is a campaign to encourage landowners to plant or maintain woody plants along streams on their property. The plants’ roots hold soil in place, preventing erosion, while branches and leaves shade the stream, helping keep water temperatures cooler and more favorable to fish and other aquatic animals. The end result is that simply by planting trees and shrubs, landowners improve water quality and stream health.


Though created and first implemented in the Little Tennessee River basin of Western North Carolina, Shade Your Stream is currently being used by local watershed organizations across Western North Carolina. Implementing the campaign is typically a three-step process, 1) generating landowner interest, 2) passively providing information to landowners, and 3) actively engaging and teaching landowners.


Logo specifications

·         Circular or square in shape

·         Entries should be a 6” x 6” jpeg, 300 dpi. Winner must provide final logo as a vector file.

·         Submission email must include the name, age, address, and email of the entrant

·         Should function well in both color and black and white

·         Work must be original


Selection process

·         One logo will be selected by a team of stream conservation and environmental education professionals from across Western North Carolina. The creator of the winning entry will be notified by July 1, 2016.


Finalizing the logo

·         The creator of the selected logo agrees to work with the selection committee to apply minor adjustments to finalize the logo. If this is not possible, another entry will be selected. Winning entry becomes the sole and exclusive property of Mainspring Conservation Trust, Inc., including all rights for use, display, copying, publishing, etc.



·         Winning designer receives $350.


Deadline for entries

·         5:00 p.m., Wednesday, June 1, 2016


Submit entries, via email, to your local conservation organization implementing Shade Your Stream:

·         Cherokee or Clay County – Tony Ward, Hiwassee River Watershed Coalition,

·         Graham , Jackson, Macon, or Swain County – Jason Meador, Mainspring Conservation Trust,

·         Henderson or Transylvania County – Tom Fanslow, Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy,

·         Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watuaga, Wilkes, or Yancey County – Jonathan Hartsell, Blue Ridge Resource Conservation and Development Council,

·         Haywood County – Stephen Brinson, Haywood Waterways,