Tonight - final screening at the WITT?

The WITT (Walk in Tributary Theatre) is located in Carrboro's historic community pool, 'Sparrow's Pool.' For the past year, as part of a federation of projects at the Carrboro Greenspace, the WITT has served as a space to show informative movies, information exchange being essential to a healthy democracy. This last remaining greenspace in the heart of Carrboro is being prepared for sale and perhaps development. We are losing access to the property after August 5th. Please come and experience for the last time(!?) THE WITT and what the Carrboro Greenspace could be if we save it!..

Cam Hill's take on Carolina North

Cam Hill asked me to post his guest column in the Herald today about Carolina North:

For several years UNC has been talking about developing a research campus, Carolina North, which is slated to contain as many as eight million square feet of buildings. UNC owns the Horace Williams tract, some 900 acres that currently is the home of the Horace Williams Airport, a couple of toxic dump sites and the old town of Chapel Hill public works and transit facility locations. UNC wants to put Carolina North there. Because the property is largely undeveloped (with the above exceptions), surrounded by existing neighborhoods and not served by any existing (or planned) transit or large-scale utility infrastructure, and because this is Chapel Hill; there has been some considerable discussion about this. Oh yeah, and the airport is still open.

Northern Area Task Force begins meeting

Growth in the northwest part of town has been one of the most discussed issues in Chapel Hill during this Council business year.

I expect that the Council will approve a six month moratorium on development in this part of town at its meeting on Monday night. During this time the newly appointed Northern Area Task Force will craft a new vision for the area.

I am serving on this task force as are fellow OP'ers George Cianciolo, Marc ter Horst and Laurin Easthom. It is being ably chaired by Del Snow.

We had our first meeting last night, and I was pretty happy with it.

A few key goals that folks enumerated:

-Taking measures to make the area more friendly for bicycle and pedestrian uses.

-Ensuring that as redevelopment occures in this quadrant, folks are not priced out of town.

-Taking a direction with new development that emphasizes transit more.

Making the Community Garden grow

As published in the Chapel Hill Herald on Saturday, May 12th:

Carrboro Alderman Dan Coleman recently told me that his town is always looking for programs that combine a grassroots economy, community building and environmental stewardship.
The new Carrboro community garden, which will be at Martin Luther King Jr. Park for at least the next few years, certainly fits the bill. This project is a natural for a town that is already home to a cooperative grocery, a community radio station and a housing cooperative.

I recently chatted with Sammy Slade, April McGreger and Jay Hamm of the Carrboro Community Garden Coalition about their plans for this new town initiative.

Hamm told me that they plan to plant basic Southern vegetables, things like squash, tomatoes, okra, beans, peppers, melons and sweet potatoes. They're committed to making sure that nothing they grow goes to waste and will distribute their yield in a variety of ways, including distributing fresh fruits and vegetables to needy people in the community.

Metro-farming in north Carrboro?

One point that caught my attention in last Saturday's meeting to discuss Carrboro's Northern Study Area was the idea of "metro-farming". The current plan includes:

ENCOURAGE “METRO-FARMING”: Encourage the conservation of active farmland within new conservation subdivisions and elsewhere in the Study Area, with emphasis on nontraditional crops or uses (high-value vegetables, pick-your-own berries, apples, etc.) and community-supported agriculture (community gardening, wholesale nurseries, commercial stables, etc.). Metro-farming should be promoted by a special committee that would look into ways to make Use Value Assessments more common and frequently applied.

Yet this is an idea which has not yet been realized. With changing patterns of food consumption and agriculture, the availability of arable land available for small scale agriculture will become increasingly important in the future.



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