Letters to the Editor

10/26: Your letters: Linda Schoonover Smith, and Michelle Cassandra Johnson

Children from The Boys and Girls Club of Durham and Orange County cut a red ribbon to officially open the new Kids in Parks trail at Occoneechee Mountain in Hillsborough.
Children from The Boys and Girls Club of Durham and Orange County cut a red ribbon to officially open the new Kids in Parks trail at Occoneechee Mountain in Hillsborough. contributed photo

A day in the forest

The National Society of the Daughters of American Revolution recently hosted nine children from The Boys and Girls Club of Durham and Orange County who opened the new Kids in Parks trail at Occoneechee Mountain.

As part of the event, Superintendent and Park Ranger Keith Nealson gave a talk on the animals of the park, and Jason Urroz, director of the Kids in Parks Program, gave a talk on identifying trees on a walk through the forest.

The children and four other young guests joined DAR members, park staff, staff from the BG Club, and staff from Kids in Parks for an afternoon of celebration, discovery and fun. The boys and girls cut the red ribbon upon the official opening, unveiled the new sign post and educational station, studied taxidermy mounts of the animals in this ecosystem, walked the new trail, and recorded their impressions in journals while sitting on log stumps in the forest. They learned to identify trees, helped plant and water a grouping of native wildflowers (Trout Lily), and received prizes for their participation.

All of the community partners in the group hope to improve the health of the children and the forest. The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, the National Park System, and Blue Cross and Blue Shield created the Kids in Parks Track Trails which is a network of 91 self guided brochure-led hiking trails designed for kids and their families. The goal is to get the child unplugged from technology, get out of doors, and improve their health and the health of our park system. Each trailhead has four brochures for families to custom develop their adventures.

Families may search for trails closest to their home by searching the www.kidsinparks.com/ website. By registering their adventures with each child's individual name, that child can track their progress, and earn increasingly bigger prizes that will keep them wanting to hike in the outdoors, continue to be physically fit and learn about the wonders of nature and hopefully, become citizens who care about the conservation of our natural places and resources in our country.

Linda Schoonover Smith

Conservation Chair


Elect Barbara Foushee

I have known Barbara Foushee since I ran for the Carrboro Board of Aldermen in 2011. I am more than thrilled that she is running for a seat this year.

Barbara’s campaign goals are aligned with the values of the town. She is interested in supporting our local businesses, continuing efforts to create and maintain affordable housing for the town and sustaining a long history of creating justice in the Town of Carrboro and beyond. Barbara has served on the OWASA board and the Human Services Advisory Board. She has experience working with stakeholders and town entities.

When I served on the board, Barbara would come to meetings to share her opinions about various issues such as the IFC Community Kitchen, the Rogers Road water and sewer project and the Affordable Housing Plan. She is committed to civic engagement.

Barbara is authentic. She isn’t interested in playing games or using her stature in the town for social or political gain. Barbara does work in the world for the collective good. She is honest and direct. Social Justice is a value held by the town and Carrboro lives into that value through cultural celebrations, policy and practice, committee and advisory board appointments, resolutions, advocacy and by training departments and town staff on race equity. Another way that the town can reflect its commitment to justice is by electing a body that represents the town. Carrboro has a history of people of color building and being part of the community. Barbara is a woman of color with deep roots in Carrboro and Chapel Hill, a lived experience that the town needs to value and hold as sacred.

Barbara is committed to her roots and community and invested in and working on behalf of all of the people in town. I invite you to exercise your right to vote, support Barbara Foushee, and to make the sweet little town of Carrboro better and better through Barbara’s leadership.

Michelle Cassandra Johnson

The writer is a former member of the Carrboro Board of Aldermen.