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Attended the Year of the Park 2008 kick-off celebration at Pack Place/Diana Wortham Theater on Tuesday evening. (I’m a member of the YOP committee, actually.)

We’ve been working for more than a year to create a map featuring every park, green space, and blade of grass in Asheville and Buncombe County. The map was unveiled during the reception–it’s the kind of fold-up piece that you can always have handy in your car or pocket or backpack. On one side there’s an actual map showing all locations; on the other, each park/green space is listed by name and given a brief description. Maps will be available at places like the Visitor’s Center, Arboretum, and other usual suspects.

Local members of Blue Ridge Food Ventures (AB-Tech/Enka Campus; visit  http://www.advantagewest.com/content.cfm/content_id/144/section/food) provided the reception, which offered such interesting delicacies as bamboo pickles and Mayan truffles (HOT chocolates, so to speak). Speakers and sponsors gave brief comments about Year of the Park and the importance of parks and we previewed the new PSA created by American Green (http://www.americangreen.tv) for Year of the Park. (Look/listen for its creepy/catchy “we live in a box” opening that gives way to cheerful park scenes.)

The evening’s entertainment culminated in a viewing of the 1990 film “Frederick Law Olmsted and the Public Park in America”, starring David Strathairn. Excellent film! (FYI: the extensive landscaping for Asheville’s own Biltmore Estate was Olmsted’s last professional project, and considered by many experts to be the finest example of Olmsted’s landscape architecture genius.)

So…what do bamboo pickles, public parks, and Olmsted have in common? Must be Asheville! Hope you’ll step out of whatever box you’ve stepped in, pick up a copy of the new map, and “go parking”.  

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About ltbrwnhare

A real Ashevillain, from the fabled town of Asheville, NC. There aren't too many of us "from here" any more, but don't ask about the secret handshake. Few people know I blog; they think I work for corporate America. I do. Both. There's probably a secret handshake for that, too. You can think of me as a "locavore," if you like: someone who consumes local food and culture. I'm not just local, though--I like finding out interesting stuff from all over the place, traveling, tasting, reading, writing fiction (actually, I write non-fiction--I just don't let my family read it and get mad at me for spilling the beans. There are some pretty funky beans to spill, sometimes, but that's just a fact of life in the South...), and lots of other things. If I think of them, maybe I'll blog about them.

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