Environment and Outdoors

The Virginia Land Conservation Foundation has awarded the Grassy Hill Natural Area Preserve in Franklin County a grant to protect the Piedmont Fameflower. WFIR’s Denise Allen Membreno reports.


Earlier this week The Virginia Land Conservation Foundation awarded grants to two conservation projects in our area. As WFIR’s Denise Allen Membreno reports both projects are globally significant.

The Roanoke River Greenway now runs continuously through much of Roanoke and Salem — so the next steps are beginning to fall into place. Roanoke County is overseeing one expansion to the west and another to the east as part of the eventual goal of a continuous greenway between Explore Park and Montgomery County. More from WFIR’s Evan Jones:


Image: VDOT

A busy parking area for hikers heading to a popular Appalachian Trail overlook will close November 30th — and remain closed for about a full year. A lot of hikers must cross Route 311 to head off for McAfee Knob, and work is set to begin next month on a pedestrian bridge to take that foot traffic over the roadway. While it is progress, the trailhead parking lot will be closed. More from WFIR’s Evan Jones:


Photo: Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge

John Seiler studies the physiology of trees at Virginia Tech and every year he’s asked about peak weekends to enjoy the Fall colors when the leaves turn. He’s looking at the last week in October but adds that a  lack of moisture in September could move that end-of-October timetable up a bit. Seiler says there really isn’t that much variation year to year – the shorter days are the principal driver for when the Fall colors arrive.