By Karl Galloway

Diquan at Grand Tetons National Park

Diquan Edmonds is an outdoor professional, who currently works as the Education and Outreach Manager for the Triangle Land Conservancy. He’s from south Jersey (and still misses the pizza), but after nearly a decade in the Triangle, North Carolina is home. A career outside probably seemed like a forgone conclusion to his friends and family. As a child Diquan was always exploring the outdoors, catching frogs and getting lost, earning him the summer camp nickname “nature boy.” He loved Discovery Channel and Animal Planet and idolized Steve Irwin. However, it took him until his junior year in…

By Emily McIntosh

There’s a part of Eastern North Carolina that invokes a sense of escape into a place far away from the bustling cities or even the wide-open farmlands. During the spring season, the neon green leaves and new growth provide the perfect backdrop to spend a Friday afternoon outdoors. This spring, Cliffs of the Neuse State Park was where I decided to head east to see the views of spring.

Formed in 1945 in Wayne County, Cliffs of the Neuse State Park highlights the cliffs along the Neuse River, eroded away after millions of years of weather and…

The Longleaf pine is an evergreen conifer like other pines that you might see such as the Loblolly pine, but that gets its name because it has the longest leaves (needles) of all the eastern pines. The LLP leaves can grow up to 18”.

It all starts with the developing cone. The big clouds of pollen we see in the spring here are mostly pine pollen. And once that pollen meets up with an undeveloped cone, that cone can start to grow and produce the seeds. After about 2 years of becoming large and green they’ll dry up in…

Welcome to Weymouth Woods Sandhills Preserve. There are so many unique plants and animals that call this type of ecosystem home, including the red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW).

RCWs typically forage, or look for food, on pine trees such as longleaf, which generally has a very open understory. They search for food along the trunks, breaking off bark with their beak, and using their long tongue to pull out things like ants and beetles. You’ll hear them taping as they poke around for food, so you’ll often hear them before you see them. Its amazing to watch them as they go…

By Karl Galloway

It was such an exciting evening of music at the NC Museum of Art with Lakota John! John Lakota Locklear hails from both the Lakota and Lumbee tribes, and grew up in Pembroke, NC, near the Lumber River. John’s a blues and roots musician, and someone who truly believes that “change is inevitable, but growth optional” We sat down to chat before the performance, and he had some words of wisdom to share with us.

Lakota John has been involved with music all his life. Primarily a roots and blues musician, his first musical discoveries were…

By Karl Galloway

Jordan Lake State Park Superintendent Shederick Mole-Photo by Brandon Goins

Recently, we sat down with Jordan Lake State Park Superintendent Shederick Mole, to learn about his career in parks and nature. Superintendent Mole was born and raised in Cocoa, Florida. After graduating high school, he attended Concord College (now known as Concord University) in Athens, West Virginia. When he began his university career he was unsure what his path would be, a familiar problem for most young people. Being from Florida, he considered pursuing a career in hotel and motel management, a sensible direction that he knew was viable. That changed however, when he took an elective…

By Fay Mitchell

Image from Spaceway Brewing Facebook Page

Briana Brake never imagined she’d make a career out of brewing craft beer. It was nowhere on the radar of little Black girls in the neighborhood. She had attained a degree in computer programming and was in law school when her mother became ill, so she put law school on hold. She discovered a friend’s unused beer making kit and began experimenting with it. Her beers kept getting better and better, and one day she realized she didn’t want to go back to law school.

That was in 2013. Today Brake is the owner and brewmaster of…

By Fay Michell

North Carolina celebrates its double overtime win in the national championship over Kansas, 1957. From the Bettmann Archive

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is upon us, and it’s not the same. The tournament, known as March Madness, is normally spring break for some Atlantic coast Conference teams. Its fans expect to have at least eight of the 15 teams in tournament play. UNC and Duke often are jockeying for a number one seed in a preferred region. Not this year. In the final AP Poll of top 25 teams, for the first time since 1982, UNC and Duke weren’t even in it. When it comes to the madness known as the “big dance,” for the…

By Emily McIntosh

The mountains were calling, and so I went.

You could say that my trip to Occoneechee Mountain provided inspiration for my next adventure, or maybe there’s a part of me that wants to both literally and metaphorically get above the clouds and reach new heights. As winter makes its way to a close, I set my sights on Elk Knob State Park to continue my goal of getting outdoors, no matter the season or the weather.

As one of the highest peaks in North Carolina’s high country, Elk Knob remains open throughout the winter weather, offering cross-country…

NC Department of Natural & Cultural Resources

The official Medium account of the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store