Filed under: Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts
This exciting announcement comes from the WNC Nature Center:
Round up your favorite ghouls and goblins and head out to the Western North Carolina Nature Center on Saturday, October 26, 10:00 am–6:00 pm for the annual HOWL-O-WEEN event. Enjoy the season with a walk through the Creepy Crawler Cabin along with a variety of crafts and activities. Kids are invited to dress in costume and take part in the ever popular costume parade and contest at 5:00 pm.
Come climb the new Arachnid Adventure Playground at the WNC Nature Center
New at this year’s HOWL-O-WEEN is the grand opening of the Arachnid Adventure Playground, a web of climbing and play for kids and adults. The Arachnid Adventure Playground officially opens at 11:00 am with a grand opening ceremony at the playground. Along with the playground, the newly expanded red wolf exhibit will be open for the first time featuring incredible views of the world’s most endangered canine.
All activities are included with paid admission to the Nature Center. Admission: adults $8 ($6 for Asheville residents), senior citizens $7 ($5 for Asheville residents), youth ages 3-15 $4, and children age 2 and under are free.
For more information including directions and special programs visit the Nature Center website at www.wncnaturecenter.com
The WNC Nature Center features over 220 animals native to the Southern Appalachians including red wolves, otters, birds of prey, black bears, and reptiles. The Nature Center is a service of the City of Asheville and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
October 25, 2013
***UPDATE*** Click below for a video showing how this great piece was installed!
A new chapter in the 4-year renovation and updating of the U.S. Cellular Center begins this week with the installation of a new terrazzo floor in the lobby of the Thomas Wolfe Theater.
The public artwork, designed by artist Joan Weissman, will be a vibrant addition to the U.S. Cellular Center, enhancing the experience for visitors while preserving the architectural feel of the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium and Asheville’s Art Deco style.
Artist Joan Weissman's design for the terrazzo floor at the U.S. Cellular Center
“The goal was to respect and refer to the site’s structural and decorative details, while adding a fresh and dramatic new focal point,” Weissman says.
Weissman was selected from a pool of 50 artists who responded to the City of Asheville’s call for artists in April. The call for artists was open to artists both local and national and who had experience in terrazzo floor design. Three finalists were selected, and a panel consisting of local artists and representatives from the City of Asheville and the Public Art and Culture Commission brought its recommendation before the full Commission for approval.
Noted for her rug designs, Weissman also creates designs for terrazzo floors, tapestries and fabrics. Her work has been featured in Interior Design, Hali, Western Interiors, Paris Home and Veranda. Her floor designs can be found at the University of New Mexico Center for the Arts and in the New Mexico Governor’s Mansion.
Like Weissman’s design, the floor installation itself incorporates a new vision with a historical component: Asheville Tile, the company performing the installation, represents three generations of work in the city. Owner Ronnie Smith’s father Albert laid the original lobby floor when the Civic Center was constructed in 1974, and Smith’s grandfather installed the mosaic on the front of Asheville City Hall.
“It’s really a neat thing to see this kind of family tradition being carried out in person,” says U.S. Cellular Center General Manager, Chris Corl. The installation, Corl says, is being recorded in the form of a time-lapse video that will be posted online when the project is complete in mid-September.
The City of Asheville remains dedicated to providing public art that enhances and confirms the city’s artistic culture and creative economy.
“This public art project perfectly illustrates how art creates economic opportunity that ripples through the community, providing opportunities for local companies and craftspeople,” said Debbie Ivester, assistant director of the City of Asheville’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department.
The installation of the U.S. Cellular Center’s terrazzo floor is part of an ongoing $12 million renovation of the facility. Needed roof repairs, restroom updates, box office redesign and other enhancements have already been completed. Funding for the renovations comes from the City of Asheville, Buncombe County, the Tourism Development Authority and U.S. Cellular. Ongoing projects include the expansion of convention and box seating spaces and the exterior lobby entrance. The enhancements are a large part of attracting new business and events like the SoCon Basketball Championships to Asheville.
More from the coablog:
U.S. Cellular Center prepares for audience of conferences and trade shows
October 1, 2013
Cool announcement for artisits from the City of Asheville’s Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department:
The City of Asheville is seeking to commission a qualified artist or team of artists to create a permanent exterior public art feature above the parking garage exit at the north side of the Aloft Hotel on Aston Street. The Aloft Hotel at 51 Biltmore Avenue in downtown Asheville is a visible landmark in the skyline, set apart by its contemporary architecture and vibrant color scheme. 51 Biltmore is the shared address of the City of Asheville’s new parking complex which is the site for the public artwork. The 51 Biltmore Public Art Project is intended to enhance the sense of local identity in downtown Asheville, as well as compliment the architecture of the Aloft Hotel and is part of the City’s Percent for Art mandate.
This is a nationwide call with preference given to all qualified local artists/teams of artists who currently live in North Carolina in Buncombe, Yancey, McDowell, Rutherford, Polk, Henderson, Madison, Haywood, Transylvania, Jackson, Swain, Macon, Graham, Clay and Cherokee counties (proof of residency will be required).
Artists’ qualifications will be accepted electronically through October 30, 2013 at CallforEntry.org, also known as CaFÉ™. Project specifications and instructions on how to apply are located at www.callforentry.org. For information about the call for artists, contact Basil Punsalan at 828-259-5552 or email@example.com.
The City of Asheville Public Art Program oversees Asheville’s public art collection with assistance of the Public Art & Cultural Commission. The collection includes the popular Urban Trail, a historic walking tour of downtown Asheville; along with other prominent works in the downtown area including but not limited to the Pack Fountain, Energy Loop, Deco Gecko and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial.
Download the RFQ.
September 18, 2013
September 6, 2013
This summer’s rainfall certainly put Asheville on the charts, making it the second-wettest city in the U.S., according to the National Climactic Data Center. And the rainfall was not without its costs. Landslides, sinkholes and flooding were all impacts of the high volume of rain.
From time to time, the City of Asheville experiences extraordinary weather events, be they rain, wind or snow, and that’s when city crews from Public Works, Streets and Water Resources work their hardest to restore the City of Asheville back to normal.
To keep you informed of where work is happening and how it is progress, we’ve included a “Storm Cleanup” button on the front page of the City of Asheville web page, ashevillenc.gov. The button takes you to a dedicated page with locations and updated information about storm damage remediation.
In addition, the page offers important numbers you can use to report potential hazards and storm damage.
The City of Asheville offers several tools you can use to report or find out about important weather related events in your community, including the Citizens Alert Information tool, the Asheville App and the Storm Cleanup page.
August 27, 2013
The latest tools in the City of Asheville’s GIS tool belt are lighter than air and float at 1,000 feet: Weather balloons outfitted with digital cameras are being used in the ongoing project by the IT Services Department and the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department to confirm and map the location of graves and plots at the city’s historic Riverside Cemetery.
The balloons provide aerial pictures of the cemetery grounds, which can then be matched with cemetery records and on-the-ground surveying of markers and landmarks. Together, all of this information provides an accurate survey of the grounds, which is being plugged into an interactive GIS map. Riverside Cemetery is managed by the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department and, alongside good stewardship, the mapping allows the city to know how many and where plots are available for sale on the grounds.
See more: Riverside Cemetery gets the GIS treatment.
Recently, a class of third graders from Isaac Dickson Elementary School visited Riverside Cemetery to see how the balloons work and learn about mapping. The students got to see how pocket cameras were rigged with harnesses made from string and repurposed two-liter soda bottles so that they would remain pointed down and resist spinning, and even got a chance to “pilot” the balloons by holding the lines.
Working with Adam Griffith, a research scientist with Western Carolina University and the nonprofit group The Public Laboratory, the team launched two weather balloons, spooling out 1,000 feet of line to keep them from floating into near-space altitudes (where differences in pressure would cause them to pop). Each balloon carried a pocket digital camera set to take pictures every four seconds. Using this relatively inexpensive technique, the team captures photos within a 1/10-mile radius.
GIS Analyst Scott Barnwell says the technique could be used for other areas around the city as well as to fill in information gaps. Aerial images are taken regularly by the N.C. Geographic Information Coordinating Council (NCGICC) but the latest information is from 2010, and another fly-over isn’t planned until 2015. The balloons can provide images of changes and new construction in the ensuing five years, Barnwell says. And the images taken from the balloons show higher detail than existing satellite imagery.
As for the Riverside Cemetery survey, work mapping the graves is nearing an end. “We’re about 95 percent there,” Barnwell says. “We’re just working on that last five percent now.”
March 18, 2013
The City of Asheville is pleased to announce that the Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Center at 285 Livingston Street has achieved Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification. The designation is the highest level of certification awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council in its recognition of building design and construction practices that reduce carbon footprint and environmental impact.
“This certification is great news,” said project manager Al Koph from the City of Asheville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department. “We’ve worked hard to make this project a flagship for the city and an example of what can be achieved in sustainable building.”
Dedicated in October 2011, phase one of the recreation center was the first City of Asheville facility built since Asheville City Council’s 2007 direction that all new municipal construction achieve at least gold LEED certification. Council includes among its strategic goals that Asheville be a southeastern leader in sustainability.
Throughout the project’s first phase, project architect Jane Mathews, acting as the LEED certification administrator and working with her design team, submitted qualifying elements to the USGBC and confirmed that it was on track. Thanks to features like use of natural light and water-efficient fixtures, the project cleared the bar for gold certification and then some.
“The City of Asheville is to be commended for showing strong leadership in promoting a very high level of sustainable design for its new facilities,” Mathews said. “We were honored to assist the City in fulfilling this commitment and to furthering its environmental stewardship by providing a quality, affordable and sustainable new center for Asheville and its citizens.”
Mathews presented the LEED Platinum certificate to Asheville City Council at its December 11 meeting.
The Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Center is probably most easily recognized by its roof, the shape of which channels rainwater into sediment reducing ponds and cisterns as well as the roof gardens. But the center also employs energy-efficient windows, geothermal temperature regulation and energy conserving insulation. In rating buildings for certification, the USGBC also factors in how far materials have to travel to get on site and the fact that most of the materials removed for the building were recycled.
Phase one of the center houses an auditorium, classrooms and office space. Phase two, which is currently in the planning stage, will include a gymnasium, a spray ground, playground, and a section of the Town Branch Greenway.
Click here for more information about the Dr. Wesley Grant Sr. Southside Center or any of the City of Asheville recreation centers.
Click here for more about the City of Asheville’s sustainability initiative.
December 18, 2012
From the WNC Nature Center. This is always a fun time to come out and see the critters:
The Western North Carolina Nature Center celebrates winter with its popular “Holiday Tails” event on Saturday December 1st from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. The event will feature games, crafts, special animal presentations and a special visit from Santa.
All activities are included with paid admission to the WNC Nature Center. Admission is $6 for adults ($8 for non-Asheville residents), $5 for seniors ($7 for non-Asheville residents), $4 for youth ages 3-15 and children age 2 and under are free.
For more information including directions and special programs visit the WNC Nature Center website at www.wncnaturecenter.com
The WNC Nature Center is a service of the City of Asheville that features over 220 animals native to the Southern Appalachians including red wolves, otters, birds of prey, black bears, and reptiles. The Nature Center is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
November 27, 2012
This Saturday! From the WNC Nature Center:
The 36th Annual Hey Day Fall Festival will be held at the Western North Carolina Nature Center on Saturday, October 6th from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
The event features animal encounters, craft demonstrations, face-painting and live entertainment. Food and beverage vendors will be onsite and other activities will include pumpkin painting, arts and crafts, and many local exhibitors. “Hey Day is our biggest event of the year,” notes Chris Gentile, Director of the WNC Nature Center.
The Friends of the Nature Center will offer opportunities to become a member, Adopt An Animal, purchase raffle tickets, and other great ways to support the Nature Center and its mission of connecting people with the animals and plants of the Southern Appalachians.
Admission to the WNC Nature Center is $8 for adults ($6 for Asheville residents) and $4 for ages 3-15. The Nature Center is located at 75 Gashes Creek Road in Asheville. Hey Day is produced by the City of Asheville in collaboration with the Friends of the WNC Nature Center.
For additional information on Hey Day and the WNC Nature Center including directions, exhibits, and special programs, visit the website at www.wncnaturecenter.com or call 828-259-8080.
October 4, 2012
A gathering of bicyclists, joggers, walkers and parents with strollers celebrated the opening of a new section of the Reed Creek Greenway on Saturday, Sept. 8. The event marked the latest addition to the City of Asheville’s growing greenway network.
The Reed Creek greenway runs parallel to Broadway Street, crossing Cauble Street, and the addition is a vital link in a continuing expansion that will give bordering neighborhoods greenway access to downtown Asheville.
Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy, Council member Chris Pelly, Greenway Commission member Sue Barlow and Olympic medalist Lauren Tamayo officially opened the connector.
“Thank you to the City and to everyone involved,” Tamayo said. “This is something Asheville can get behind and embrace.”
Following the ribbon cutting, bicyclists including Tamayo and members of the Blue Ridge Bicycle Club rode the new stretch of greenway.
The newest addition to the Reed Creek Greenway includes a 10-foot-wide paved path, a bridge crossing over Reed Creek, and an emergency call box.
Click here for more information about the City of Asheville’s Greenways.
September 11, 2012