Press Releases and News Items

Playground Construction in Sullivan Park 

playground demoOn Monday, July 15, 2019, Sullivan Park in the Green Meadows community will see work begin on playground equipment upgrades. Demolition of a portion of the current Sullivan Park playground will start on Monday to be soon followed by the installation of a new playground structure.

The Sullivan Park restrooms and the playground area closest to the basketball courts will remain open during construction. The construction area will be marked, and the public is advised to stay out of the work zone until the project is completed.

At a community meeting held on May 7, Public Works Director Tom Wooten invited residents from the Green Meadows neighborhood to vote for the playground design they wanted to see be installed in the park.

Hendersonville Public Works expects the new playground installation to be complete by the end of July, depending on weather conditions.

Posted by Allison N 07/12/2019

City of Hendersonville Partners with Henderson County to Jointly Collect Property Taxes 

joint property tax collectionAs part of a continued effort to provide the community with the best service possible, the City of Hendersonville and Henderson County have combined property tax collections. Beginning July 1, 2019, City of Hendersonville property taxes will be billed and collected by Henderson County, seamlessly within the County tax bill.

“One thing this will do for city residents is merge everything onto one bill for them,” said City of Hendersonville Finance Director John Buchanan. “We regularly have confusion with city residents who have paid their county taxes but didn’t realize they had to pay city taxes separately.” Buchanan explained the confusion often stemmed from individuals who had relocated from another area where their county and municipal taxes had been previously combined.

By entering into this agreement, City residents will now receive a single tax bill from Henderson County that will encompass both county and city property taxes. In the past, city residents would receive two separate bills and need to mail separate checks, pay separately online or visit both the Henderson County Courthouse and City Hall if they chose to pay their property taxes in person. As a result of this agreement, when Henderson County issues tax bills in 2019, a Hendersonville resident’s bill will show their county and city tax responsibilities itemized on the bill and they can pay the total directly to the Henderson County’s Tax Collector’s office.

One exception occurs if City residents have overdue taxes. For city residents who are currently delinquent on their 2018 taxes, the City of Hendersonville will continue to be responsible for collecting those monies until January 7, 2020. City residents with past due City taxes should call customer service at (828) 697-3052 to make a payment or pay in person at City Hall.

Because of this change, the City has closed out their P.O. Box used for tax payments. All payments being made to the City should be mailed to 145 Fifth Ave. E. Hendersonville, NC 28792. Any mail sent to the P.O. Box after July 1 will be forwarded to the City address for processing. 

Posted by Allison N 07/08/2019

July Meeting of the Water and Sewer Advisory Council  

Ricky Levi gives water quality presentationThe next Henderson County Water and Sewer Advisory Council meeting will be held on July 22, 2019 at Flat Rock Town Hall at 6:00 pm.

“These meetings provide a platform for Hendersonville Water and Sewer to be completely transparent with our stakeholders, the media and the public,” said City Councilman and Advisory Council Chair Steve Caraker. He explained the quarterly meetings provide an opportunity for stakeholders to receive updates on budget and capital improvement projects, ask questions, and provide input.

The Water and Sewer Advisory Council includes representation from Henderson County, Hendersonville, Fletcher, Mills River, Laurel Park, Flat Rock and Saluda. Industry and business representatives like the Chamber of Commerce and Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development as well as utility customers from inside and outside the Hendersonville city limits have seats on the council.

During their meeting in April, the advisory council decided to establish a public comment period at each of the meetings. The meeting on July 22 will include a time for public comment in addition to capital project updates and other items of business. Topics from the January and April meetings have included an overview of the Sewer Master Plan, budget presentations, and Water Quality Report updates.

 

Posted by Allison N 07/08/2019

Rainwater Harvesting Workshop 

Rainwater cisternsThe City of Hendersonville Stormwater Department is offering a free Rainwater Harvesting Workshop on July 15, 2019.

“This workshop is an excellent opportunity to learn about rainwater harvesting systems and stormwater management,” said City of Hendersonville Stormwater Administrator Michael Huffman. “The workshop is geared toward engineers, developers, and commercial property owners, but we welcome anyone who is interested and wants to learn more on the topic.”

The workshop will take place from 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM with instruction starting at the City of Hendersonville Operations Center located at 305 Williams Street. Participants will also tour Hendersonville's new 10,000 gallon rainwater harvesting system as well as hands-on installation of pump and drawdown systems.

The City of Hendersonville is offering this workshop free of charge and would like to thank the NC Cooperative Extension and the NC-319 Grant Program for helping make this event possible.

More information and a link to register can be found at https://web.cvent.com/event/7817a000-cbde-41bf-acc2-4b695f581d8f/summary

Information on the City of Hendersonville’s Rain Barrel Program can be found at https://www.hendersonvillenc.gov/city-of-hendersonville-continues-rain-barrel-program-

Posted by Allison N 07/03/2019

Public Works Building Includes ‘Green Infrastructure’ 

Kevin and Mike landscapingIf you have taken a stroll in Patton Park or driven along North Main Street, you have probably noticed the new Public Works building that will house the City of Hendersonville Building and Grounds Maintenance crews. The facility’s purpose is to store equipment and provide a workshop and office space for parks and maintenance employees, but it was also designed with the environment in mind.

“The City took the initiative to install green infrastructure at the new Public Works Facility as a demonstration project to show how stormwater can be managed in an environmentally conscious way,” said City of Hendersonville Stormwater Administrator Michael Huffman. “The design provides benefits beyond stormwater treatment and includes energy savings and aesthetic improvements.”

Huffman explained the goal of ‘green infrastructure’ is to mimic the site’s pre-developed hydrology by treating stormwater at the source. Practices such as rain water harvesting, bioretention, impervious surface reduction, and permeable paving aim to slow, sink, and spread the stormwater runoff giving sediment and pollutants time to settle out of the runoff.

“The steps we’ve taken with the design help infiltrate the water, so it goes back into the ground instead of straight out to a stream,” said Huffman.

Bioretention

Huffman explained that bioretention cells are like engineered rain gardens. They have a special soil mix that promotes microbial growth and infiltration of water which both work to treat stormwater and its associated pollutants like hydrocarbons (fuel), nutrients, and sediment. They are also perfect environments for native wildflowers, creating additional pollinator habitats within the City.

The division of Public Works in charge of maintaining the City’s parks, grounds, and greenways has been hard at work landscaping the new facility in a fashion that enhances stormwater management efforts and promotes a healthy ecosystem.

“We’ve been planting Purple Tears Switchgrass, Bee Balm, Black-eyed Susan’s, and Horsetail Grass in and around the bioretention pond,” said Kevin Rhodes who supervises the Parks division. “NC State helped us with the design of the plants.” He explained native wildflowers were chosen because they help absorb stormwater and will attract bees, butterflies, and birds.

Rain Harvesting System

A rain water harvesting system is part of the facility’s design. Roof runoff is directed to large cisterns that store water which can either be used on-site for activities like washing vehicles or irrigation or can be allowed to slowly drain so that the water has a chance to infiltrate into the ground.

“We are using rain water cisterns to capture runoff from the facility,” said Michael Huffman. “The roof runoff will be stored in two 5,000 gallon cisterns and be used for washing equipment at the facility.”

The rain water harvesting portion of the system is being funded by a grant awarded to the City through the NC-319 Program.

Permeable Pavement

Permeable Pavement is a paving system that allows water to pass through it and infiltrate into the ground below it. Runoff from the parking area and other impervious surfaces at the facility will drain to the bioretention cell where it can soak into the ground.

“The City is looking forward to implementing more green stormwater infrastructure in future CIP projects throughout the community,” said Michael Huffman. “We hope that private developers will consider using similar practices where technically feasible.”

The City’s Building and Grounds Maintenance building is scheduled to be completed later this month.

Posted by Allison N 07/02/2019

Ashe Street Meeting Focuses on Safety 

Ladies standing next to easelThe City of Hendersonville and The Housing Assistance Corporation held a community meeting in the Ashe Street neighborhood on June 25, 2019. The meeting, held at Agape Christian Fellowship Church of God in Christ, was organized to gather input from residents on how they feel Community Development Block Grant funding should be spent to improve the area.

“We have some ideas, but feel it is important to hear from the neighborhood how we might be able to use that money in the area,” said City Manager John Connet. He explained the City is partnering with the Housing Assistance Corporation to apply for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).

Meeting attendees were asked to provide feedback in small groups on four general topics: Crime/Safety, Infrastructure, Parks/Open Spaces, and Affordable Housing. City and Housing Assistance staff facilitated discussions at each table and captured concerns, ideas and priorities from residents.

At the end of the meeting, summaries of each table were presented to the group, and the meeting wrapped up by attendees voting on their priorities. Crime/Safety was ranked as the top need with Infrastructure focused on lighting and sidewalks ranking second.

The final CDBG application is due to NC Department of Commerce by July 16, 2019, with the maximum potential grant amount totaling $750,000.

Posted by Allison N 06/26/2019

WestNGN Update - Broadband Provider to Begin Direct Customer Outreach 

logo for West NGNRiverStreet Networks is reaffirming their interest in providing broadband service in Fletcher, Hendersonville, Laurel Park, and Biltmore Forest. Over the next three months, citizens will receive direct marketing information from RiverStreet about the services they can provide to our area. If residents are interested in these services, they should follow the directions on the marketing material and visit https://join.buildriverstreet.com/ to provide RiverStreet with feedback. RiverStreet has indicated they will only enter our local market if they determine residents are interested in a new service provider.  

“We are excited to have a new provider evaluate the potential of the broadband market in Western North Carolina,” said John Connet, City Manager of Hendersonville. “There is no doubt that high speed broadband is a prerequisite for economic growth and community growth.”

The arrival of RiverStreet is the result of the West Next Generation Network (WestNGN) initiative. WestNGN Broadband is a partnership of local governments consisting of the City of Asheville, City of Hendersonville, Town of Fletcher, Town of Laurel Park, Town of Biltmore Forest and Town of Waynesville (Phase I) and Transylvania, Madison, Henderson, and Buncombe counties (Phase II). These municipalities and counties are continuing their work to improve broadband access to Western North Carolina. 

The Phase I communities of Hendersonville, Biltmore Forest, Laurel Park and Fletcher held community meetings in November and December to gather input from their residents about current broadband service and the desire for additional broadband providers in their communities. Following these meetings, the communities followed up with local providers about citizen concerns and have continued to encourage RiverStreet Networks to enter the local market. 

The Phase II counties recently completed a demand aggregation study for the region. This study surveyed residents from all four counties to assess information such as service reliability, accessibility, and how people used broadband services. Over 7,000 responses came in from the region indicating this issue reaches a diverse audience supporting various demographic concerns. Land of Sky Regional Council of Government is currently developing reports with the survey results that will be shared with providers to identify issues and opportunities. In addition, the reports will include community information, vertical assets, and community assets that providers and local government officials will be able to access to assist with decision making to help deploy and improve services.

In addition to working with broadband providers, the local governments are encouraging state legislators to support legislation that will allow them to work with the broadband companies to improve high speed internet throughout North Carolina. An example of this legislation is the Electric Co-Op Rural Broadband Services. This legislation will allow companies such as RiverStreet Networks to work with rural electric cooperatives to provide high speed internet to rural areas. The WestNGN partners will continue to support all legislation that improves the access to broadband infrastructure. 

Posted by Allison N 06/24/2019

Budget Approved for Fiscal Year 2019-2020 

Cover of budget documentOn June 6, 2019, the Hendersonville City Council voted to adopt the FY 19-20 Budget. The City budget is crafted around the following six focus areas: Economic Vitality, Strong Partnerships, Sound Infrastructure, Numerous Amenities, Great Public Services, and Financial Sustainability. The adopted City of Hendersonville Budget totals $38,721,053 with expenditures and revenue dispersed among nine governmental and proprietary funds.

During his presentation to Council on June 6th, City Manager John Connet explained the FY 19-20 Budget is based upon information presented and discussed during the City Council/Staff Retreat on February 21st and 22nd, 2019. In addition, the City Council attended two Budget Workshops on April 11th, 2019 and May 3rd, 2019. These meetings provided an avenue for priority setting, fact finding, and general inquiries regarding the City’s Budget for FY 19-20. 

City Manager John Connet summarized the long-term revenue picture for the City and highlighted that property tax was the only truly reliable revenue source available to the City. He also provided the following summary to Council before they voted on the budget:

“The City Council has made a commitment to maintain a high level of service to our citizens by significantly investing in facilities, equipment and people. You have committed to supporting our employees and their families by assuming a portion of dependent medical insurance costs.  You are continuing to support the Hendersonville Fire Department by authorizing a grant application for twelve firefighters, moving forward with the purchasing of new fire apparatus and directing staff to investigate the renovation of Station 1 and construction of Station 3. The Building and Property Maintenance Building is nearing completion and the downtown restrooms are currently under construction. The 4th Avenue streetscape will begin in the November and construction of the new police headquarters is scheduled to start in December 2019. In addition, over the next twenty-four months, the City will be making significant water and sewer infrastructure improvements. Improvements including a new water intake on the French Broad River, water system improvements in Etowah and Fletcher, and sewer line replacements in the older parts of our system. These items as well as numerous other capital projects, employee benefits and equipment purchases in the FY 19-20 Budget are positioning the City of Hendersonville to serve our citizens for the next fifty years.” 

Connet expressed that the City must continue to be vigilant in understanding how the growth of the community directly affects how existing services are provided to citizens and visitors. 

“The budget is fiscally sound, and although it does not fund all the requests made by departments or external agencies, it does address the top priority needs of the City and is set at a level to maintain a high level of service for Hendersonville citizens, customers and partners,” said the City Manager. 

Following the budget presentation, City Council unanimously voted to adopt the budget.

Approved Budget for Fiscal Year 2019-2020

Posted by Allison N 06/20/2019

Hendersonville Fire Department Engineer Promotion 

Photo of Engineer HearnThe Hendersonville Fire Department has announced the promotion of Chris Hearn from Firefighter/EMT to Engineer. The promotion took effect on June 15, 2019.

“Engineer Hearn has shown a tenacity for knowledge and growth during his time with our organization,” said Hendersonville Fire Chief Joseph Vindigni. “The position of Engineer is critical to our daily operations, and we feel he will do an outstanding job in his new role.”

Chris Hearn began full time employment with the Hendersonville Fire Department as a Firefighter/EMT in August of 2017. He came to the fire service following time working as a Team Leader in the computer department of an electronics retailer. Hearn attended the Henderson County Fire Academy through Blue Ridge Community College and previously worked part time with the Hendersonville Fire Department and as a volunteer for Dana Fire Department. He holds an Associate Degree in General Studies from Valencia College in Central Florida. Engineer Hearn has a love of teaching and passing on knowledge.

In order to serve as an Engineer at the Hendersonville Fire Department, personnel must hold the following certifications in addition to various Hazardous Materials, Driving, and Incident Management Training: NC certification as a Firefighter Level II, Emergency Medical Technician, Emergency Vehicle Driver Certification, Driver Operator Pumps, Driver Operator Aerials, and Child Passenger Safety Seat Technician.

Posted by Allison N 06/20/2019

Utility Construction Near Hendersonville High School 

Map showing Bearcat Blvd & Oakland Ave.Attention Commuters, Businesses, and Residents in the Intersections of Bearcat Blvd. and Oakland Ave.

As part of advance utility improvements for the future Hendersonville High School Project, Vannoy Construction will be conducting underground utility relocation activities under these roadways in the near future. 

WHAT:

Sawcutting of asphalt, curb & gutter, and sidewalks along path indicated. Demolition and capping of existing utilities. Installation of new storm and sewer line.  

WHEN:  

Start Wednesday, June 19th, weather permitting
Anticipated Completion by August 20th, weather permitting 
Anticipated work hours for non-demo work are 7:00 am – Dark 
Anticipated work hours for demolition are 8:00 am – 5:00pm 

WHERE:

Locations along Bearcat Blvd and Oakland Avenue, adjacent to HHS Stillwell Building 

WHAT TO EXPECT:

  • Sectional Lane closures along Oakland and Bearcat, on the side closest to Hendersonville High School
  • Signage and fencing indicating Detours and/or No Thru Traffic
  • Full Road Closures will be kept to a minimum, as much as possible, and will be communicated to impacted residences and businesses at least 24 hours in advance of work
  • Further Notice on specific temporary shutdown of sewer utilities will go out in future to impacted residents and businesses as least 24 hours in advance of work

Construction Notice

Posted by Allison N 06/18/2019

Ashe Street Neighborhood Input Meeting 

Ashe Street Meeting FlyerThe City of Hendersonville will be holding a community meeting to provide updates and receive feedback on improvements in the Ashe Street Neighborhood. The meeting will take place on June 25, 2019 at 7:00pm at Agape Christian Fellowship Church of God in Christ located at 656 Cherry Street in Hendersonville.

The City of Hendersonville in partnership with The Housing Assistance Corporation will be submitting a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) application later this summer. One of the main goals of the June 25th workshop is to seek input on what local residents feel are priorities that qualify under the grant guidelines.

The CDBG Neighborhood Revitalization program is designed to support housing, housing related activities, or public facilities that support housing related activities for low- and moderate-income families. Proposed projects must have one of the following principles as an area of focus: Promote equitable, affordable housing; Support existing communities; or Value communities and neighborhoods.

The following qualify as allowable Community Revitalization activities:

  • Infrastructure and public improvements that support existing housing such as streets, sidewalks/pedestrian ways, curbs and gutters, parks, playgrounds, greenways, water and sewer lines, flood and drainage improvements and trees
  • Housing rehabilitation
  • Public facilities such as shelters for victims of domestic violence or homeless/homeless families, transitional facilities/housing for the homeless/homeless families, senior and community/neighborhood/recreational center
  • Single Family homeownership developments
  • Multifamily housing rental developments
  • Water and sewer connections

The feedback received has the potential to impact the CDBG application as well as future infrastructure planning in the area. The final CDBG application is due to NC Department of Commerce by July 16, 2019, with the maximum potential grant amount totaling $750,000.

City of Hendersonville staff will also provide residents with an update on water and sewer infrastructure improvements that have been scheduled for the Ashe Street area.

Posted by Allison N 06/13/2019

Hendersonville Bee City USA’s Pollinator Month 2019 

Pollinator Month Flyer 2019

Hendersonville Bee City USA’s
Pollinator Month 2019
Schedule of Events

Pollinator Month (June 2019), is a celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats, beetles, and other species that help pollinate more than 1,200 crops. That means one out of every three bites of food you eat is there because of pollinators!  In addition, about 90% of all wild plants and trees rely on pollinators for the survival of their species.  Because of this, pollinators also help sustain healthy ecosystems that clean air, filter water, stabilize soil, and support other wildlife species.  Learn more about why you need pollinators and how pollinators need you!

Locally, Pollinator Month celebrations are coordinated by Bee City USA - Hendersonville, a program of the City of Hendersonville Tree Board and Environmental Sustainability Board. Join the fun, learn more, and get involved with bringing back the pollinators by participating in the variety of Pollinator Month activities being offered in Hendersonville and the surrounding area.  Get great gardening tips, help remove invasive plants and restore habitats, taste foods and drinks made from honey and pollinator-dependent ingredients, discover the fascinating world of plant-pollinator interactions, learn more about bees and beekeeping, or take a walk to observe native plants and pollinators in action. A complete schedule of events is posted below.  You may also keep up with the latest Pollinator Month news by liking the Bee City USA - Hendersonville Facebook page

 

Non-Native Invasive Plant Removal & Pollinator Meadow Planting 
Wednesday, June 5, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Presented by: MountainTrue and City of Hendersonville - Tree Board and Environmental Sustainability Board
You'll get a brief training on identifying target invasive plants and control methods (manual and herbicide application). Then we'll walk to a section of the Oklawaha Greenway near the wetland forest and remove three invasive species to restore native wetland habitat.  We’ll also plant milkweed and other native flowering plants to benefit pollinators.  Plus, take home some natives to plant in your own pollinator garden.  Wear close toed shoes, long pants, long sleeve shirt. Bring water and snacks and work gloves if you have them. We'll have everything else you need.
Audience: 12 years old and up with a responsible guardian. All participants should be capable of moderate physical exertion and able to handle the heat. 
Location: Patton Park, 114 E. Clairmont Dr., Hendersonville (Park close to the entrance by the basketball courts.)
Cost: Free!
Registration: Please visit http://mountaintrue.org/eventscalendar/ to register or call 828-258-8737.

Bee-licious Tastings: Honey, Mead, & More!
Thursday, June 6, 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Presented by: Wine Sage and GourmetAlchemy Herbal WineBotanist & BarrelHenderson County Beekeepers Association 
In celebration of Pollinator Month, join us for this special epicurean event to taste sips of mead, drips of honey, and all things bee-licious!  Mead (A.K.A. Honey Wine) is most likely the oldest alcoholic beverage and is cited in many ancient texts throughout the world. It is even referenced as containing hidden wisdom and making the drinker a great poet or sage!  Griffin Abee of Alchemy Herbal Wine will be sharing tastes of bee-guiling meads made with unique and intentional blends of herbs and spices.  Alchemy utilizes local, seasonal, organic, wild-crafted, and natural honey, fruits, herbs, roots, and barks to create healthy nutritionally rich ancient beverages with a buzz!  In addition, sample local wildflower honey made from flowers growing within just a few miles of downtown Hendersonville and compare it to honeys from around the world.  Local beekeepers will explain how bees collect nectar from flowers and turn it into honey, how beekeepers manage the nectar flow (to collect a monofloral honey such as sourwood), and how honey is harvested from the hive.  Sweet and savory nibbles featuring honey and/or ingredients dependent on pollinators will also be included. Did you know 1 in every 3 bites you take is thanks to a pollinator? Think tomatoes, squash, berries, almonds, melons, chocolate, vanilla, coffee, and even cheese (we’ll explain!). Also now joining us will be Amie Fields of Botantist & Barrel ciders and wines!
Audience: Adults
Location: The Wine Cellar (downstairs) at Wine Sage and Gourmet, 416 N. Main Street, Hendersonville
Cost: Free!
Registration: This is a free event and tickets are not required, but please let us know you are attending! Call 828-595-2236 or email winesageandgourmet@gmail.com

Lewis Creek Preserve Nature Walk
Wednesday, June 12, 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
Presented by: MountainTrue and Conserving Carolina
Lewis Creek Preserve is an eight-acre preserve protected and managed by Conserving Carolina. MountainTrue Ecologist and Public Lands Director, Bob Gale, will lead a slow hike along the trail, interpreting the plant life, wildflowers, and value of pollinators on this property. The visit includes a boardwalk which overlooks an example of the remaining rare Southern Appalachian Bog ecosystems. Bob and MountainTrue have special expertise in managing these bogs and in addressing their threats, including non-native invasive plants.
Location: Edneyville Community Center15 Ida Rogers Drive, Hendersonville. We will meet at the community center parking lot (up the hill, to the left) then shuttle to the Lewis Creek Preserve trailhead a short distance away.
Audience: Middle school age to adults. Hike rating is easy.
Cost: Free!
Registration: Please visit http://mountaintrue.org/eventscalendar/ to register or call 828-258-8737
 

Gardening for Pollinators in Western North Carolina
Thursday, June 13, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Presented by: Henderson County Extension
Steve Pettis, Henderson County Commercial and Consumer Horticulture Agent will talk about butterflies, bees, green lacewings, and other insects that benefit humans. In this class you will learn how to identify pollinating insects in the landscape and vegetable garden. You will also learn which plants feed, shelter, and provide habitat for pollinating insects. Also, you will learn how to build a pollinator house! Pesticide use can harm beneficial insects so we will learn how to control bad insects with non-pesticide techniques.
Audience: Adults
Location: Henderson County Extension Center100 Jackson Park Road, Hendersonville
Cost: $20.00 per individual or $35 per pair.
Registration:  Please complete the registration form posted here. Cash or check only (make checks out to Henderson Co. Coop. Ext.; mail to 100 Jackson Park Road, Hendersonville, NC 28792). Call 828.697.4891 with questions. 
 

Pollinators and Flowers 
Saturday, June 15, 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Presented by: Henderson County Tailgate Market 
Celebrating 40 years, the Henderson County Tailgate Market has themed each Saturday. Join us as we participate in "Pollinators and Flowers." Local farmers and vendors bring a wonderful variety of produce, value added products, seafood, plants, and handmade crafts for all to enjoy. Come discover neighbors, farm stories, and renew your local food connection!
Audience: All ages
Location: 100 North King Street, Hendersonville
Cost: Free!
Registration: None required


Family Fun with Pollinators
Sunday, June 16, 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM
Presented by: Holmes Educational State Forest
Join NC Forest Rangers at Holmes Educational State Forest in Hendersonville for a Free Father’s Day Celebration. Scheduled activities will take place during the afternoon at the Pollinator Garden starting at 2:15, 3:15 and 4:15. These family oriented activities may include a relay race, obstacle course, scavenger hunt, and arts and crafts. Visit for an hour or stay all day!  We appreciate all the hard work of our volunteers and Extension Master Gardeners for helping us care for our pollinator habitat. June is a wonderful time to stop by the forest to observe the native plants and busy pollinators in the garden. The forest is open Tuesday through Friday 9am-5pm or Saturday and Sunday 10am-6pm and closed on Mondays.
Audience: All ages
Location:  Holmes Educational State Forest, 1299 Crab Creek Rd, Hendersonville
Cost: Free!
Registration: RSVP is not required but call 828-692-0100 or email for more information. 
 

Gardening for Pollinators Online Education Series
Monday June 17 – Friday, June 21 at 7:00 PM
Presented by: Gardens That Matter
Join garden educator and author Amy Landers live from the hive (or garden) via Facebook video for a short daily lesson about pollinators in our gardens. Add more color and life to your backyard this season!
Audience: All ages
Location: Online
Cost: Free!
Registration: None required. Sign up for reminders and additional pollinator resources here.


 Hiving Fun with the Bees 
Tuesday, June 18 - Friday, June 21, during regular Museum hours (10:00 AM- 5:00 PM)
Presented by: Hands-On! Children’s Museum
Visitors to Hands-On! Children’s Museum are invited to join in a week of bee-themed crafts and educational activities all about honey bees and other pollinators.  Plus, meet ‘Scout’ the scout bee and learn how you can help bring the rest of her swarm to Hands-On! Children’s Museum, their new hive sweet hive!
Audience:  Children of all ages
Location:  Hands-On! Children’s Museum318 N. Main Street, Hendersonville
Cost:  Free with the cost of admission, $8 for adults and children/free for members and children under age 1
Registration:  None required


Pollinator Walk
Wednesday, June 19, Drop by between 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM 
Presented by: Bullington Gardens
Join us for a guided walk through Bullington's Pollinator Garden, identifying good pollinator plants and pollinators.
Audience: All ages
Location: Bullington Gardens, 95 Upper Red Oak Trail, Hendersonville
Cost: Free! 
Registration: None required
 

Pollinator Garden Tour & Beekeeper Talk
Saturday, June 22, 9:00 AM - 10:30 AM
Presented by: The Park at Flat Rock
The Park’s naturalist will give a tour of the pollinator garden and as well as the new, still developing wildflower meadow.  The Park’s beekeeper will demonstrate beekeeping tools and methods and discuss how everyone can support honey bees and other pollinators through their own actions.  
Audience:  All ages
Location: The Park at Flat Rock, 55 Highland Golf Dr, Flat Rock (Meet at the Pavilion.)
Cost: Free!
Registration: None required

 

Introduction to Beekeeping
Saturday, June 29, 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Presented by: Henderson County Beekeepers Association and Hendersonville Community Co-Op
This informative program on how to get started in beekeeping will be presented by experienced local beekeepers from the Henderson County Beekeepers Association.  Topics will include: basic bee biology, equipment and terminology, how to get bees, beekeeper responsibilities, investment (cost), producing local honey, benefits of joining a bee club, and more. 
Audience: Middle school age to adults
Location: Community Classroom at the Hendersonville Community Co-op, 60 South Charleston Lane, Hendersonville
Cost: Free!
Registration: Please RSVP by emailing outreach@hendersonville.coop or calling 828-693-0505 ext. 102

 

Farm, Field and Forest: Discover Pollinators at Connemara
June 1-30, from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Presented by: Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site
Pick up a Farm, Field and Forest TRACK Trail brochure when you enter the park to discover the homes and hiding places of pollinators at Connemara.  The trail guide will take you by the gardens, goats and pastures while following the footsteps of Carl Sandburg’s grandchildren.  Activities in the brochure will guide you to learn about the various plant and animal communities that work together at Connemara.
Audience: All ages
Location: Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site80 Carl Sandburg Lane, Flat Rock
Cost: Free! 
Registration: None required
 

Pollinator Exploration Kit (Available for Loan) 
June 1-30
Presented by: City of Hendersonville - Tree Board and Environmental Sustainability Board
Calling all educators: teachers, camp counselors, home-school parents, child care professionals, summer program leaders, and more!  Bee City USA – Hendersonville is eager to help you share the wonder of pollinators with children you teach.  Whether exploring your own backyard, schoolyard, or a local park, you’ll find many helpful tools in our Pollinator Exploration Kit.  The kit includes sets of 12 sturdy child-size insect nets, special bug capture bubbles, bug boxes with magnifying lids, and magnifying glasses.  Two pop-up insect habitats and two sets of laminated fold-out field guides (NC Trees & Wildflowers, NC Butterflies & Moths, Bees & Other Pollinators) are also included.  As available, the kit is available for loan for up to a week. 
Audience: Educators of all kinds 
Location: Kit may be picked up (reservation required) and returned on weekdays from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM at the City of Hendersonville Operations Center, 305 Williams Street, Hendersonville
Cost: Free! 
Registration: Please email to check availability and reserve the dates you’d like to borrow the Pollinator Exploration Kit. 
 

Pollinator Seed Packet Giveaway  
June 1-30, weekdays from 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Presented by: City of Hendersonville - Tree Board and Environmental Sustainability Board
As part of the effort to expand local habitat for pollinators, Hendersonville Bee City USA invites citizens of Hendersonville and Henderson County to pick up a free seed packet and plant a pot or patch of multi-colored zinnia flowers to help feed the bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds.  Zinnias are great flowers for beginning gardeners. The seeds germinate quickly in warm soils and grow fast to the flowering stage. Once flowering, even if spent blooms aren’t removed, zinnias will continue to produce more flowers until frost. Seed packets contain 100% pure, non-GMO, neonicotinoid-free seeds guaranteed to grow by American Meadows.  For more details about zinnias, how to grow them, and which pollinators use them, please visit here.
Audience: All ages
Location: City of Hendersonville Operations Center, 305 Williams Street, Hendersonville
Cost: Free! 
Registration: None required. Stop by Monday – Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM to pick up your free seed packet at the reception desk.

Check out our neighbors, Bee City USA - Asheville, for more pollinator events in WNC!

 

Posted by Allison N 06/03/2019

2019 National Main Street Accreditation 

Downtown HendersonvilleThe Downtown Hendersonville Main Street Program has been designated as an accredited Main Street America™ program for meeting rigorous performance standards set by the National Main Street Center. Each year, the National Main Street Center and its partners announce the list of accredited Main Street America programs to recognize their exemplary commitment to preservation-based economic development and community revitalization through the Main Street Approach™.

“We are proud to acknowledge this year’s 840 nationally accredited Main Street America programs that have worked tirelessly to strengthen their communities,” said Patrice Frey, President & CEO of the National Main Street Center. “These programs deserve recognition for generating impressive economic returns, preserving community character, and celebrating local history. Main Street America Accredited communities are part of a powerful movement of changemakers, and their dedication to improving quality of life in the places they call home is inspiring.”

In 2018 alone, Main Street America programs generated $4.93 billion in local reinvestment, helped open 5,310 net new businesses, generated 25,301 net new jobs, catalyzed the rehabilitation of 8,146 historic buildings, and clocked 2.2 million volunteer hours.

Downtown Hendersonville program performance is annually evaluated by the North Carolina Main Street Center which works in partnership with the National Main Street Center to identify the local programs that meet ten national performance standards. Evaluation criteria determines the communities that are building comprehensive and sustainable revitalization efforts and include standards such as fostering strong public-private partnerships, documenting programmatic progress, and actively preserving historic buildings.

2018 was also a fabulous year locally. The Downtown Hendersonville program facilitated and was excited to see the Grey Hosiery Mill rehabilitation project get underway, bringing 35 new apartment units to the downtown area. In partnership with the Henderson County Tourism Development Authority, the program initiated the construction of public restrooms downtown and the renovation of new program offices. The 7th Avenue Depot District has initiated a streetscape planning process that looks to improve the pedestrian experience in the district.

The program has also continued to see reinvestment from the private sector flow into the districts. Our local contributions to the national numbers reported above were nearly $2 million dollars in private sector investment between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018, which helped open 17 new businesses and created a mix of 80 new part and full time jobs. We also saw the expansion of five existing businesses and were fortunate to be the beneficiaries of nearly 2,000 hours of volunteer time.

The Downtown Economic Development Director, Lew Holloway notes that “Maintaining accreditation is an annual program goal that reflects our commitment as an organization to the best practices in downtown revitalization. We are honored to receive this recognition from the state and national Main Street Program’s and are always excited to talk with our community about what we do!”

ABOUT DOWNTOWN HENDERSONVILLE

The Main Street & Seventh Avenue Advisory Committees exist to identify, preserve and enhance the key factors that contribute to the authentic small town urban character of historic downtown Hendersonville. Organizational projects are identified, assessed and prioritized based on their contribution to and potential to enhance and support a vibrant entrepreneurial environment and the livability of downtown.

ABOUT MAIN STREET AMERICA

Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for more than 35 years. Today, it is a network of more than 1,600 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. Since 1980, communities participating in the program have leveraged more than $79.12 billion in new public and private investment, generated 640,017 net new jobs and 143,613 net new businesses, and rehabilitated more than 284,936 buildings. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Posted by Allison N 05/29/2019

Water and Sewer Advisory Council Establishes Public Comment Period 

Advisory CouncilAt their meeting held on April 29, 2019, the Henderson County Water and Sewer Advisory Council decided to establish a public comment period at each of their quarterly meetings. The next meeting date has been set for July 22, 2019 with location details to be determined. The hope is to schedule the July meeting in the Flat Rock area, continuing the trend of holding the advisory council meetings in various areas and municipalities throughout Henderson County.

“This Advisory Council provides a forum where all stakeholders have a seat at the table and are able to ask questions, voice concerns and give input,” said City Councilman and Advisory Council Chair Steve Caraker. “These meetings provide a platform for Hendersonville Water and Sewer to be completely transparent with the board, the media and the public. During the April meeting we were all in agreement that creating the space for public comment was just another way for customers and citizens to get involved in how their utility is run no matter the jurisdiction.”

Those with seats at the advisory council table are Hendersonville City Council member Steve Caraker, Henderson County Commissioner Bill Lapsley, and governing board members from Fletcher, Mills River, Laurel Park, Flat Rock and Saluda. Industry and business representatives like the Chamber of Commerce and Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development, and utility customers from inside and outside the Hendersonville city limits also have seats on the council.

The agenda during the quarterly meetings typically include timelines and updates on capital projects for the utility. There is always a portion of time set aside to allow stakeholders to provide updates or ask questions from each jurisdiction on issues related to water and sewer.

During the January meeting, a presentation was given on the City’s Sewer Master Plan allowing advisory council members the opportunity to review and give feedback prior to the formal presentation to City Council. In April, Ricky Levi, Facility Manager at Hendersonville’s Water Treatment Facility presented the 2018 Water Quality Report to the group followed by a detailed look at the Water and Sewer fund and budget presented by Budget Analyst Adam Murr.

“At our last meeting everyone seemed impressed and pleased with the detail and transparency contained in the budget presentation,” said Steve Caraker. “It makes me proud to see the care with which our city staff operates to make sure our stakeholders know how the utility is being managed and the ‘why’ behind decisions that are being made.”

The City of Hendersonville will make an announcement when the location and time have been secured for the July 22 meeting.

 

Posted by Allison N 05/14/2019

Green Meadows Community Meeting Encouraged Open Dialogue 

Green Meadows meetingOn May 7, 2019, the City of Hendersonville continued conversations with its citizens by hosting a community meeting in the Green Meadows community off Seventh Avenue. The meeting was a continuation of topics covered during the city’s Council Conversation series last fall and an opportunity for residents to talk about the subjects and concerns that are important to them.

Approximately 50 attendees circled up in the gymnasium at Union Grove Baptist Church alongside Mayor Barbara Volk, Councilman Jeff Miller and City Staff where the floor was opened to discuss whatever topics were of interest to the community.

One of the first topics introduced by meeting attendees was the need for more affordable housing options. Another discussion centered around the police station that Council has approved to be built on Ashe Street.

When asked why the Ashe Street location was selected for the police station, City Manager John Connet explained the site was chosen for multiple reasons. The city already owned three of the nine parcels making up the site, and many of the properties were vacant or substandard homes owned by absentee landlords. The site is centrally located and gives patrol officers easy access to Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Connet added that constructing the police station on this site could help stabilize the neighborhood and open opportunities for reinvestment in the area, potentially attracting future affordable housing options.

Utilities Director Lee Smith provided an update on water and sewer infrastructure upgrades in the Ashe Street neighborhood and along 4th Avenue made possible by Drinking Water and Clean Water State Revolving Fund loans.

Stormwater Administrator Michael Huffman got feedback from attendees on the stream running through Sullivan Park. A discussion ensued about a potential community project in which the City and residents could partner together to further improve the streambanks and water quality in ways that also enhance the appearance of the stream.

Public Works Director Tom Wooten presented two playground designs to the group. As presented in last week’s City Council meeting, Wooten shared the City had received a grant from the NC Recreation and Park Association to replace some playground equipment in Sullivan Park. He invited meeting attendees to vote for their preferred playground design. Option 1 was selected, and playground installation is expected to occur in the next few months.

Additional Council Conversation meetings will be scheduled across the city during the fall and will be announced later in the year.

Posted by Allison N 05/08/2019
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