Rotary Club of Sylva
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2014-01-16: Jim Costa – WCU/Highlands Biological Station

January 16th, 2014 by Scott Baker

Dr. Jim Costas 011614 (2)

Dr. Jim Costa, Director of the Highlands Biological Station and professor of Biology at WCU, was the featured speaker at a recent lunchtime meeting of the Sylva Rotary Club.  The Highlands Biological Station was founded in 1927 as a private research facility.  It was acquired by the University of North Carolina in the mid 1970’s and is currently administered on behalf of the UNC system by Western Carolina University.  Situated on 25 acres in Highlands, the station is open to the general public and offers exhibits and year-round educational programming focusing on the biodiversity of the southern Appalachian region.  Of note is a 12 acre botanical garden with 450 labeled native plants.  Costas, author of the book, “Highlands Botanical Garden: A Naturalists Guide,” said that the biological richness in our region is nearly unrivaled in the temperate zones of earth, and that, for example, there are more flowering species in a single Appalachian cove forest than in all of Europe.  For more information, visit  Pictured are Costa (left) and Sylva Rotary President, Kenny Nicholson.

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