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Wilma Dykeman reaches a new generation
Wilma Dykeman and her father in 1929. | Photo via Special Collections, D. H. Ramsey Library, UNC Asheville
Writer and environmentalist Wilma Dykeman grew up in Asheville and spent nearly all of her life in the vicinity of the French Broad River, whether here in WNC or in Eastern TN. Even now, her legacy is all around us, including in the release of a new children’s book.

Throughout her life, Dykeman wrote 18 books (along with plenty of short stories, articles, and columns), covering not only environmental activism but social justice, particularly in the areas of race and gender. “Neither Black Nor White,” co-written with her husband James Stokely, received the Sidney Hillman Award in 1957 for the best book on world peace, race relations, or civil liberties.

A trailblazer in the environmental conservation movement popularized in the 1960s, Dykeman penned one of her most widely known works, “The French Broad,” in 1955, sharing a history of the river, the region, and the people who inhabit it.

One of the book’s chapters boldly (and initially against the wishes of her publishers) asks, “Who killed the French Broad River?” The chapter and its question not only posit the idea that it is everyone’s responsibility to protect the river from pollution, but also stress the relationship between environmental sensitivity and economic development. Hence, the naming of the Wilma Dykeman Greenway in the River Arts District.

of words and water book cover

The cover of “Of Words and Water” by Susan Hitchcock.


Photo via Golf Leaf Literary

Teaching Dykeman’s legacy

You’re never too young to learn about Wilma Dykeman’s impact. Just yesterday, Asheville author Shannon Hitchcock’s children’s book “Of Words and Water: The Story of Wilma Dykeman—Writer, Historian, Environmentalist,” hit the shelves. The biography, complete with illustrations from Sophie Page, documents Dykeman’s tenacity and dedication in protecting the French Broad and her encouragement of others to follow suit.

You can pick up the book now from Malaprop’s downtown — but put Saturday, May 25 on your calendar because author Shannon Hitchcock, Dykeman’s son Jim Stokely, and RiverLink are coming together at The Wrong Way River Lodge at 11 a.m. to give you a chance to celebrate Wilma Dykeman’s legacy (and get your hands on a copy of the book).
Wednesday, April 17
  • Spring Craft Extravaganza | Wednesday, April 17 | 3-5 p.m. | Pack Memorial Library, 67 Haywood St., Asheville | Free | Unleash your creativity by crafting pressed flower bookmarks, suncatchers, and garden pinch pots.
  • Intro to DJ Workshop with Mike Martinez | Wednesday, April 17 | 6-7 p.m. | LEAF Global Arts, 19 Eagle St., Asheville | Free | Young artists can join the songwriter, MC, DJ, and radio announcer to get a firsthand look into the world of DJing.
  • Spring Clearing Sound Bath | Wednesday, April 17 | 6:30-7:30 p.m. | Center for Spiritual Living Asheville, 2 Science of Mind Way, Asheville | Free | Delve into peace and tranquility during this atmospheric, vibrational experience.
  • Asheville FM Live Music Sessions | Wednesday, April 17 | 9-11 p.m. | The Getaway River Bar, 790 Riverside Dr., Asheville | Free | See Wife Island and Aunt Vicki take the stage, or tune in to 103.3 Asheville FM to hear the performance broadcast — plus, be there for the Spring FUNDrive Kick-Off Party.
Thursday, April 18
  • Third Thursday | Thursday, April 18 | 5-9 p.m. | Asheville Art Museum, 2 S. Pack Square, Asheville | Free with admission | Get late-night entry into the museum for music with DJ Lil Meow Meow, a screening of Robert Williams “Mr. Bitchin’,” cocktails at Perspective Café, and a public tour of the “Discovering Art in Asheville” exhibition.
  • Improv Jams | Thursday, April 18 | 7-9 p.m. | Story Parlor, 227 Haywood Rd., Asheville | Free | Test out your improv skills in this welcoming setting, presented by the Speakeasy Improv school.
Friday, April 19
  • Downtown After 5 | Friday, April 19 | 5-9 p.m. | Downtown Asheville, 97 N. Lexington Ave., Asheville | Free | Jam out with Magenta Sunshine and Empire Strikes Brass, grab food and beverages, and check out the offerings from local makers.
  • “Matilda the Musical” | Friday, April 19-Sunday, May 5 | Times vary | Asheville Community Theatre, 35 E. Walnut St., Asheville | $18-$37 | Unleash your imagination for this adaptation of Roald Dahl’s story of a young, sharp-witted heroine with psychokinetic powers.
Saturday, April 20
  • North Asheville Library Bird Walk | Saturday, April 20 | 8-9:30 a.m. | North Asheville Public Library, 1030 Merrimon Ave., Asheville | Free | Sign up to tour the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary with the Blue Ridge Audubon Society — you can check out binoculars from the North Asheville Public Library, if needed.
  • Haw Creek Hustle | Saturday, April 20 | 8-11 a.m. | Charles Bullman Park, 719 New Haw Creek Rd., Asheville | $10-$40 | Lace up your sneakers for a fun run or 5K in Charlie Bullman Park — proceeds benefit Haw Creek Community Association projects.
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3 game-changing benefits of cannabis edibles + flower
A group of friends sit on a picnic mat enjoying Best Buds products together.
Best Buds Premium Cannabis prides itself on cultivating a community based around educated cannabis consumption. | Photo by Shelby Erin Photography
Looking to try CBD or legal THC products but not sure where to begin? We’re breaking down the benefits these products can provide with help from the experts at Best Buds Premium Cannabis. Here’s the 4-1-1:

Better sleep
Research suggests that cannabis products can help reduce anxiety and improve sleep quality.

Improved workouts
Consuming cannabis before a workout can keep you calm so you can focus on breathing and control your movements accurately. After a workout, it helps speed up recovery by reducing muscle inflammation + swelling.

Boosts mood
Studies also show that cannabis may help improve mood.

Headquartered in the Carolinas, Best Buds derives all products from hemp, and is compliant with the 2018 Farm Bill and federally legal.

Bonus: Use promo code 420 to get 25% off their bestselling edibles + hemp flower.
†Please note: Legalities in your state may vary. Best Buds Premium Cannabis advises consumers to read the company’s terms and conditions, consult a physician before trying products, start only with small amounts, and to not consume products before driving or before a drug test. The information about providers and services contained in this newsletter does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by AVLtoday.
News Notes
  • This spring, Flour will become the latest addition to The S&W Market. The menu from Chef Gordon Gibbs will feature breakfast and pastry options, as well as lunch favorites like sandwiches stacked on fresh-baked focaccia. (Asheville Citizen-Times)
Coming Soon
  • Remnants Thrift & Sew, a nonprofit community sewing space and thrift store, is set to open on Wednesday, May 1 at 745 Carl Eller Rd. in Mars Hill. Before its official opening, you can drop off donations of clothing and sewing supplies on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
  • In the summer of 2021, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians approved the growth, sale, and use of medical marijuana. And this Saturday, April 20, NC’s first marijuana dispensary, Great Smoky Cannabis Company, will open at 91 Bingo Loop Rd. on the Qualla Boundary. Get the details on who can make purchases. (Asheville Citizen-Times)
  • More on marijuana. Slice of Life Comedy and Rezonance are hosting two dank comedy shows on Saturday, April 20, complete with a Delta-9-infused menu by Infuso. See what’s on the menu for the dinner and dessert shows and get tickets.
  • Think you’re good at gaming? UNC Asheville’s esports teams might be out of your league. They earned several titles at the Big South Conference Esports Championship — but its League of Legends team was declared champions after a five-hour game. Learn more about the Esports program, which launched this past fall.
  • Asheville Parks and Recreation is hosting a screening of “Theirs is the Kingdom” tonight from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Stephens-Lee Community Center. The documentary follows the creation of the fresco inside Haywood Street Congregation, which represents community members facing homelessness, addiction, and mental illness.
  • The NC Arboretum just planted its new quilt garden for the season — can you guess the pattern from this sneak peek?*
Plan Ahead
Try This
  • It’s springtime in Asheville — which means Biltmore’s gardens are bursting with vibrant blooms. See the bounty of benefits offered with an Annual Pass + secure yours at a $90 discount now through Tuesday, April 30.*
  • Did you know you could finance your fixer-upper with home equity? You could get up to $50K with a HELOC — calculate your payment.*
✍️ Shall we compare thee to a poet?
shelves of colorful books at malaprop's books and cafe
Drumroll, please. | Photo by AVLtoday
This month, we ran a poetry contest to celebrate National Poetry Month. We challenged our readers to craft a poem using only the words that appeared in one of our newsletters (here are the original contest guidelines, if you want to give it a try).

While prose is our newsletter’s bread and butter, it turns out that you all certainly aren’t op-prose-d to verse; we received several creative, intriguing, and beautiful poems that we narrowed down to our top four finalists. Give them a read by clicking the button below, then vote on your favorite + we’ll announce the winner next week.
  • “Poiema” by Ruth Ann S.
  • “Dearest April” by Leah S.
  • “Ode to Mushrooms” by Susan P.
  • “Cinquain for the Sun” by Laura W.
The Buy
Briton Court’s new spring collection. Enter the new season with one of these unique printed dresses.
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The Wrap
Grace Powers.JPEG Today’s edition by:
From the editor
With plenty of festivals headed our way this spring, it looks like I have a tough decision to make. Fae Nectar is presenting MayFaire, a medieval and fantasy festival with axe throwing, music, lawn games, and more on Saturday, May 18 — the only problem is that it falls on the same day as the WNC Bigfoot Festival. So for this next month, I’ll be weighing my options (or making a game plan to be at both).
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