25th Annual Leaf Lookers GEMBOREE :: Friday, October 17 - Sunday, October 19 at the Macon County Community Building

- published 8/21 (Larry) old link: http://www1.cfnc.org/applications/NC_Community_College/apply.html?application_id=1527

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Outdoors

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is seeking volunteers to participate in two invasive exotic plant workshops on Friday, June 3, and Saturday, June 4. The second workshop coincides with 2011 National Trails Day, which encourages all Americans to get outside, experience, appreciate, and help to protect our valuable natural resources and recreational opportunities.

The workshops, hosted by ATC and the Southern Appalachian Cooperative Weed Management Partnership (SACWMP), will educate hikers and the general public about the threats of invasive exotic (IE) plants, how to identify and inventory IE species, and how to remove these plants, protecting native biodiversity along the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.

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The Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education is planning a special event Saturday, June 4, from 10 a.m. to noon at the center.

The title of the program is “The Ecology of Southern Appalachian Wildflowers” with Dr. Tim Spira, a 45-minute presentation followed by questions and discussion, and then a book signing and wildflower walk.

Tim Spira is a plant ecologist, photographer, native plant gardener, and professor of botany at Clemson University where he teaches courses in field botany, plant ecology, and the natural history of wildflowers.

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The Zahner Lecture Series, held every summer, has been a tradition of the Highlands Biological Station for decades. This summer, the Highlands Biological Foundation is introducing new events and programs to the Thursday series in addition to our traditional Zahner Lectures – such as workshops, family events, and guided interpretive hikes - that focus on the beauty and biodiversity of the Highlands Plateau.

“Think About Thursdays” will kick-off on June 2, at 6 p.m. with “Salamander Soiree.” The event will feature a reception and games, followed by a brief lecture about salamanders.

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Farmers and ranchers transitioning to organic as well as established organic producers have another opportunity to apply for the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) Organic Initiative funding to assist their organic efforts. The deadline for this application period is May 20, 2011.

The USDA recently announced that they will, for the third consecutive year, invest $50 million in funding for the EQIP Organic Initiative, which provides a 75% share of the cost of implementing organic conservation measures to those who qualify - 90% for beginning, limitedresource and socially-disadvantaged farmers and ranchers.

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