Written by Eliza Laubach


Eliza Laubach

Eliza Laubach hails from the Midwest though her heart was captured by the Blue Ridge Mountains. She worked with AV from 2014-2016, first as an AmeriCorps Outreach and Communications associate and then as an Energy Savings coordinator, communicating the benefits of energy efficiency to residents of WNC.


Getting Started Gardening

Make 2020 a year of new growth by starting a garden.

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oak tree at sunrise

Threats to the Tree of Life

Magnificent, strong and once thriving in Appalachian forests, oaks now struggle to regenerate. As deadly diseases spread in other regions, a new alliance is emerging to protect this key species.

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people by pond

Permaculture Ponds

The Todds use permaculture principles to create sustainable systems that can improve water quality, treat wastewater and provide other benefits.

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Lichen: The Story of a Soil-Maker

Lichen, a symbiotic combination of fungi and algae, has helped create soil for billions of years and serves as an indicator of air quality.

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snail shell

Snail Tales

Did you know Appalachia has the most snail species out of any region in North America? Discover the important role our slimy little friends play in the ecosystem in this issue’s Naturalist’s Notebook.

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