The Rotary Club of Franklin presents RiverFest 2 :: Saturday, August 29 from 8:30am - 12:30pm along the Little Tennessee River :: click here for more information!

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Outdoors

Big Choga Access Area on Lake Nantahala recently reopened for the remainder of the summer recreation season. All facilities and amenities are available for public use.

Site improvements at the access area include a paved parking lot with handicap-accessible parking, a bank fishing area, handicap-accessible restroom facilities and new lighting for safety and security.

“We continue to focus on enhancing our access areas by providing new amenities and offering quality recreation facilities for residents and visitors,” said John Crutchfield, Duke Energy director, public safety and recreation strategy planning services.

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As summer is winding down many are ready to start cleaning up the yard and begin planning for next year’s garden. A compost pile is a great way to use your yard waste and kitchen scraps to help your flowers and crops grow next season and for many planting seasons to come.

What is composting?

Composting is the process of combining yard waste, kitchen scraps and other organic material into a pile and letting it sit. As the compost pile sits the internal temperature will increase as microorganisms begin the decomposition process. After one to three months of patience and the occasional stirring the compost pile will turn into a nutrient and mineral rich soil-like compound called humus that can work magic on your plants. Composting is a great way to reduce your kitchen waste and put your yard debris to good use. Composting creates a no/low cost, high quality soil additive for both outdoor and indoor planting.

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The sixth annual Old Cullowhee Canoe Slalom, a family friendly paddling competition on a calm section of the Tuckaseigee River near the Western Carolina University campus, will be held on the morning of Saturday, Sept. 12.

Competition will begin at 9 a.m. just upstream of the Old Cullowhee Road bridge on the back side of campus. Categories will include single open canoe, double open touring canoe, decked double canoe, parent and child canoe, men’s single kayak, women’s single kayak, kid’s kayak (ages 12 and under) and stand-up paddleboard.

Nine gates will be set up for paddlers to negotiate on flat but moving water. Canoes, paddles and personal flotation devices will be provided, but kayakers and paddle boarders are expected to bring their own kayaks and boards. An awards ceremony will begin 30 minutes after the last run.

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The Zahner Conservation Lecture Series continues on Thursday, Aug. 27, at 6:30 p.m. in the Nature Center of the Highlands Biological Station. This series is designed to help educate and inspire the public through a series of talks from well-known regional scientists, conservationists, artists, and writers. Dr. Edward Pivorun, retired Professor if Biology at Clemson University, will present a talk entitled: “Though Small, We Pack Quite a Wallop: The Saga of Small Mammals and the Environment.”

Although most people consider “rats” and “mice” vermin and have never seen or heard of a wild shrew, the small mammal faunas in the forests, fields, wetlands and even deserts play an important and even an essential role in maintaining robust and stabile ecosystems.

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