Reedy Creek Nature Preserve expansion touches 3 schools

Reedy Creek Nature Preserve expansion touches 3 schools

Two public schools and the CPCC Cato Campus have gained important access to a great learning resource, thanks to Mecklenburg County’s recent purchase of 100 acres for the planned Reedy Creek Greenway. The new addition to Reedy Creek Nature Preserve adjoins Northeast Middle School, Grier Academy and the Cato Campus. With more than 1,000 acres and a staffed nature center, the nature preserve should eventually help students get first-hand knowledge of our local environment and wildlife. New addition creates 1,200-acre block of public land The new property creates a solid block of Charlotte and Mecklenburg land totaling nearly 1,200 acres bordered by East WT Harris Blvd, Plaza Road Extension and Grier Road. Reedy Creek Park and adjoining Reedy Creek Nature Preserve hold about 1,050 acres; the three schools comprise about 100 acres; and a city fire station and other city-owned land total about 30 acres more. Mecklenburg County bought the new addition in early May for about $2 million. The seller, Cox Media Group, paid nearly $2.3 million for the same land about 17 months earlier, when it bought the property from WSOC Television. Besides adding important land to the nature preserve, the new land will provide a path for the first phase of Reedy Creek Greenway, between Grier Road and Plaza Road Extension. The Charlotte Ledger Business Newsletter’s Tony Mecia recently told WFAE that the county has no other plans for developing the new addition to the nature preserve, other than perhaps to add a few picnic tables. Nature Center provides classrooms, displays, programs The Reedy Creek Nature Center has been closed throughout the pandemic. The facility has small...
Concerts, races, football and fans returning to University City’s big outdoor venues

Concerts, races, football and fans returning to University City’s big outdoor venues

Big crowds and fast cars and trucks all roared at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Memorial Day weekend, thanks to the statewide lifting of most COVID-19 restrictions on outdoor events. If public health stays good, expect many more big shows and crowds this year at University City’s three huge outdoor venues. PNC Music Pavilion, with nearly 19,000 seats, has 19 shows scheduled starting June 29 with Chicago – The Band. Willie Nelson, Dave Matthews, Judas Priest and the Jonas Brothers are among the many shows through early November. MORE Charlotte Motor Speedway, its dirt track and campground will host a total of seven racing events, the two-day Breakaway Music Festival, a concert by ZZ Top and the Speedway Christmas extravaganza. MORE Jerry Richardson Stadium at UNC Charlotte, with 15,300 seats, will welcome back fans on Sept. 3 and also make history by hosting its first-ever home football game against an ACC opponent: Duke University. CBS Sports Network also plans to televise this and two other 49ers home football...
Start your Saturdays at University City Farmers Market

Start your Saturdays at University City Farmers Market

University City Farmers Market is off to a great start. Online publication Charlotte Five recently declared our market one of its “Five Things To Do” on Saturdays, and with good reason. The lakeside market at the Shoppes at University Place offers fresh regional produce, live entertainment and cooking demonstrations, children’s programs, local crafts and, new this spring, an outdoor cafe featuring Manolo’s Latin Bakery and Detour Coffeebar. The market is open 9 am-1 pm Saturdays through next fall at 8929 JM Keynes Drive, a short walk from the JW Clay LYNX light-rail station. Free parking is nearby and plentiful. MAP Visit the market website for details on vendors, safety measures and more. Follow the market on Facebook and Instagram @univcitymkt for the latest news on vendors, products and special events. Sign up for weekly boxes of fresh produce from area farms, assembled by the Farm at Dover Vineyards...
Vision Builders fly in NASA Rover Challenge

Vision Builders fly in NASA Rover Challenge

With an invitation from NASA and help from University City-based Vision Builder Adventures, five high-school students have completed an out-of-this-world challenge: to design, build and demonstrate a Human Exploration Rover. Even better, our team took home one of nine awards presented for the best efforts of more than 80 US and international teams competing in the eight-month NASA 2021 Rover Challenge. “The students and the adults were overjoyed,” says Johnny White of Vision Builders. “It truly was a community effort.” Watch the Official Team Video Using projects to learn science, tech, engineering and math White founded Vision Builder Adventures 14 years ago to help area youth learn about science, technology, engineering and math by completing projects. Last year, Vision Builder took a large group of students to the NASA center in Alabama. This spring, a select team of students took on the ultimate project-based engineering challenge: to design, build and demonstrate a human-powered Rover that met NASA’s competition standards. The Vision Builder team began working on the project in June 2020 with guidance from White and an advisory team from nearby businesses and the Schiele Museum’s Lynn Planetarium. The Vision Builder Rover team comes from several area high schools, including the Cato Middle College High at Central Piedmont Community College’s Cato Campus in University City. 2021 NASA Challenge goes virtual In previous years, Rover Challenge teams took an exciting trip to NASA’s center in Huntsville, Ala., for the final competition. The pandemic forced NASA and the teams to go virtual this time. Instead of demonstrating their Rover on a NASA test site, each team videotaped their vehicle and two riders...
University City launches Barton Creek Greenway Native Meadow

University City launches Barton Creek Greenway Native Meadow

By Azania Herron University City Partners, University of North Carolina at Charlotte Botanical Gardens and North Carolina Native Plant Society have partnered to install Barton Creek Greenway Native Meadows, a community native plant project in University City. On April 25, volunteers and Botanical Gardens staff planted native flowers and shrubs on cleared land near the greenway’s trailhead at JW Clay Boulevard in University Place. A unique addition to our greenway network Barton Creek Greenway Native Meadow is a unique addition to the natural landscape in University City and will enhance the greenway experience for users and nearby residents. Barton Creek Greenway, which opened in 2020, connects University Place to a growing network of greenways running for more than a dozen miles through UNC Charlotte, University Research Park and numerous University City neighborhoods. Those trails, in turn, are part of the 26-mile Cross Charlotte Trail, the 15-county Carolina Thread Trail and an emerging statewide network of trails. A breath of fresh air – and a place to learn “University City offers the best of both worlds in that we have a vibrant urban center, but also gorgeous tree canopy and greenways that can be accessed by neighborhoods, University Research Park, the light rail or by parking at one of several entrances,” said Darlene Heater, Executive Director of University City Partners. “The Barton Creek Greenway Native Meadow is a project that we’re excited to support as we pursue development that enhances our connected greenways. The meadow will provide a breath of fresh air for greenway users and expand their experience while visiting the gorgeous botanical gardens at UNC Charlotte.” The UNC...

There’s still time to help Vance High have a yearbook for the ages

In January, we reported that a dedicated team of Vance High students and their advisor hoped to pull off the seemingly impossible – create A TRULY SPECIAL YEARBOOK: A yearbook spanning two years, since the pandemic wiped out last year’s yearbook. A yearbook created almost entirely online, since Vance students just returned to campus on March 15. And a yearbook every student can afford, even those with families struggling to pay bills. How are the yearbook students doing? The YEARBOOK TEAM has nearly finished the book, says their advisor, but more money is needed to provide low-cost books. YOU still have time to help these dedicated teens make their IMPOSSIBLE DREAM a reality. See details below on how you can help. Update from the yearbook team advisor Vikki Harmon, Vance’s first-year media coordinator and yearbook advisor, gives this report on the yearbook staff’s progress. “Face to face has been sort of a see-saw effect. Yes, we are excited to have scholars back in the building, but we are still very nervous about the virus and worried about our own families and kids. “It has also been challenging for teachers to teach via Zoom and in person, but we are pushing thru with the last 9 weeks starting on Monday. We can almost see the finish line for this year!” Dedicated yearbook staff nears the finish line “The yearbook staff is still trekking thru this unprecedented year, and I am extremely proud of my yearbook class! “As a new teacher at Vance, I’ve worked tirelessly to build relationships with my students and establish myself as a member of the Vance...