Thursday, May 19, 2016

New Pittsboro Farm & Forest Trail Open: EE Certification Projects Part of Project

Abundance NC, the Chatham County Partnership for Children and a host of community partners are excited to announce the opening of the new Pittsboro Farm & Forest Trail! The trail surrounds the Plant, an eco-industrial park on the edge of Pittsboro. Home to Piedmont Biofuels, Fair Game Beverage, Homs Bio-Herbicides, Abundance NC, Piedmont Biofarm, and several other sustainably-minded businesses. The Plant is a special, eclectic treasure of Pittsboro. The trail is located at the Plant, 220 Lorax Lane, Pittsboro. 

This trail has a special connection to the North Carolina Environmental Education Certification Program. Two Certified Environmental Educators completed projects that supported and were incorporated into the trail project. Marga Theelen partnered with the Wildlife Resources Commission, the Triangle Land Conservancy, New Hope Audubon, the Abundance Foundation and the Chatham County Partnership for Children to develop an explorative trail along the Wild Cherry Loop of the trail. The self-guided trail includes a companion brochure that helps visitors explore the ecology of the trail and explains forest succession and the functions of a constructed wetlands. Denise O'Gorman-Nowak also worked with the Chatham County Partnership for Children, Piedmont Biofuels and the Abundance Foundation to create a website for the trail which includes information about the trail and support resources and curricula to be used by educators, parents and caregivers. In the future, this website will serve an integral role for the trail community as the information hub to connect volunteers, educators and the public about events, workdays and all other aspects of the trail and it's programs. 

The rains subsided for the ribbon cutting...and left this nice present...
The.78 mile long trail, which will be open to the public from sunup to sundown, will provide a place for children and adults to be active in nature while learning about key themes of sustainable communities such as local food, renewable energy, the preservation of native plants, wildlife, natural resources and active living.  The trail surrounds four sustainably farmed vegetable fields, greenhouses, solar panels, and a newly planted vineyard; passes a constructed wetland, traverses woodlands with interesting specimen trees, and crosses a creek.

Summer Lunchtime Speaker Series Kicks Off Next Week

“Extragalactic Exploration: Galaxies and the Universe” will kick off the next Lunchtime Discovery Series next week. Dr. Patrick Treuthardt, assistant director of the Astronomy & Astrophysics Research Lab at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences will be the first featured speaker, May 25th at noon. 

This guest lecture series is hosted by the Department of Environmental Quality's Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs and features professionals from a wide range of environmental and science backgrounds representing local and state agencies, colleges and universities and organizations throughout the state.

Attendees are able to learn about a variety of subjects first-hand and interact directly with some of the best experts in their respective fields. In some cases, participants even head outdoors to explore urban nature, local architecture and green rooftops! The presentations are provided as professional development opportunities for downtown employees and is open to the public.

Lectures are held in the office’s Environmental Literacy Center from noon until 1:00 p.m. The upcoming series includes presentations from Robin Moore from the Natural Learning Initiative with “Natural Play and Learning,” Dr. Adrian Smith from the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences with “Social Insect Chemical Communication,” and Greg Morris from Walnut Creek Wetland Center who will lead an interpretive walking tour of the capital area’s tree species. The full line up can be found at