Lake Norman recognized for wildlife efforts

The National Wildlife Federation recently designated the Lake Norman area as a "community wildlife habitat," where people and wildlife can flourish.

Only 54 other U.S. communities have been so recognized, including two in North Carolina: the mountain towns of Montreat and Weaverville, both near Asheville.

Lake Norman is the nation's largest certified community that surrounds a body of fresh water, federation officials said.

Since April 2009, volunteers with the Lake Norman Backyard Wildlife Habitat group have helped get 330 yards designated Certified Wildlife Habitat sites by the federation.

Ten lake-area businesses, 11 school grounds, one church's grounds and 10 parks also have been certified.

Numerous lake-area habitat-restoration projects, educational events, speeches and booth displays helped educate residents about the importance of preserving wildlife habitat, federation officials said.

The effort was led by the all-volunteer Lake Norman Wildlife Conservationists. The group is a chapter of the N.C. Wildlife Federation, the state affiliate of the National Wildlife Federation.

"At a time when communities are faced with the problems of losing habitat to development, Lake Norman stands out as a model for other communities to emulate," Roxanne Paul of the National Wildlife Federation said in a statement. "The knowledge and inspiration that this project has generated will lead Lake Norman residents and visitors to take better care of their natural world."

Members of Lake Norman Wildlife Conservationists celebrated the designation at Saturday's Wildlife Festival at North Harbor Club, a restaurant off Interstate 77 Exit 30 in Davidson.

College installing two solar panel arrays

Davidson College is installing two arrays of solar panels on its Baker Sports Complex, potentially saving the college about $25,000 a year in energy costs, project manager Kris Krider said.

The $600,000 cost of the two solar panels is being funded by the college and a state grant that's part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

One project will feature solar thermal collector panels that will use glycol to heat the water for Cannon Pool and the showers in the Knobloch Tennis Center. The project will include 64 4-by-10-foot top panels weighing 153 pounds each.

The other project will create a separate photovoltaic system to generate electricity to meet part of the energy needs for Baker Sports Complex. The project includes installing 378 panels weighing 42 pounds each.

Southern Energy Management of Morrisville is scheduled to complete the work by Dec. 31. Panels for both projects will cover 75 percent of Baker's flat roof surface and 60 percent of the pool roof surface facing the Baker parking lot.

Trail grant for Mooresville

The Mooresville Board of Commissioners unanimously agreed last week to accept a $20,000 planning grant from the Carolina Thread Trail for the proposed 6.3-mile Dye Creek and Rocky River trail corridors.

The grant will pay a consultant to begin preliminary planning and get the public involved.

The project will extend from the N.C. 115-Gray Street intersection to Mecklenburg and Cabarrus counties, as part of the multicounty Carolina Thread Trail project. No local financial match was required for the grant.

Town wants sidewalk rebuilt

Mayor Chris Montgomery will write the N.C. Department of Transportation requesting the department rebuild a sidewalk on Williamson Road that was removed during the state's Brawley School Road widening project.

The Mooresville Board of Commissioners unanimously agreed last week to have Montgomery write the state.

Town to plant 200 donated trees

Fletcher's Farm has donated 85 willow oaks and 115 maple trees to the town of Mooresville, which is scheduled to plant them at various town parks Nov. 15, Town Manager Erskine Smith announced at last week's Mooresville Board of Commissioners meeting.