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BOCC designates March as
Skip the Straw Month

Skip the Straw is an initiative sponsored by the Orange County Board of Commissioners to create awareness of the impacts single-use plastics have on the environment. The initiative encourages individuals and restaurants to pledge to reduce the number of straws that wind up in landfills, storm drains, local waterways and eventually the ocean.

Hundreds of millions of tons of plastic are produced each year, most of which cannot be recycled. Petroleum-based plastic is not recyclable and usually goes into a landfill, where it is buried or ends up in stormwater, lakes and eventually the oceans. Plastic does not biodegrade and instead breaks down into tiny particles, releasing toxic chemicals that make their way into the food and water supply.

Straws are too small to be recycled and often end up as litter. To make matters worse, hundreds of millions plastic straws are used every day in the United States alone!

We encourage residents and business owners to Take Action and Sign the Pledge to eliminate single-use plastic straws from Orange County.

Take the pledge

Individuals and businesses can participate. Click the link below and pledge your support.

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Orange County Public Library celebrates World Puppetry Day


In honor of World Puppetry Day the Orange County Public Library will host a puppet show and offer puppet making sessions and puppet play stations on Sunday, March 10, from 3-4:30 p.m. at the Carrboro Branch at McDougle Middle School. The event features Orange County-based Puppet Show Incorporated, and is free and open to all ages. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 919.969.3006.

Puppet Show Incorporated is the brainchild of Kathie Guild, whose love of puppetry began when she was an elementary school counselor for the Department of Defense Dependents School in Gelnhausen and Budigen, Germany.
After retiring from 25 years with the Chapel Hill Carrboro City School, Guild launched Puppet Show Incorporated to bring educational puppet programs to diverse audiences at low, and in some cases, no cost. The group presents monthly puppet shows at the Orange County Main Library in Hillsborough and the Carrboro Branch Library.
“Puppets offer children a non-threatening opportunity to express themselves, giving them an opportunity to develop social-emotional skills important to their academic success,” said Guild. “We received grants from the Mary Duke Biddle Foundation and the Strowd Roses Foundation to reach diverse communities with our puppet shows, and we’ve found libraries to be a perfect fit for this work.”

Each performance engages the audience in learning an important life lesson or social skill, and often includes a story time and art activity, such as making paper puppets. At the Carrboro Branch Library event, attendees will make a scarf marionette and a cat clothespin marionette. The cat is the official mascot of the 2019 World Puppetry Day Celebration.

Animal Services to host low-cost rabies clinic on March 9

Orange County Animal Services will host its next low-cost rabies vaccination clinic on Saturday, March 9, 2019. These clinics ensure that cats and dogs are current on their vaccinations, while providing pet owners with substantial savings on rabies vaccinations.

The clinic will offer 1-year and 3-year vaccinations for $10. Pet owners will need to have a previous rabies certificate in hand to receive the 3-year vaccine. A tag alone is not sufficient. This upcoming clinic will take place on the following date:

  • Saturday, March 9th, from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
  • Piedmont Feed & Garden Center at 4805 NC Hwy 54 West, Chapel Hill, NC 
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Arts Commission report examines county's creative economy

Beginning in early 2017, the Orange County Arts Commission embarked on a fact-finding mission to determine the gaps in the creative economy of the county and determine its future path as the community’s Local Arts Agency. The findings have been turned into a report that delineates exactly what is missing and how filling these gaps can benefit the creative community as well as the economy.

“A healthy creative economy offers its citizens the opportunity to experience the arts while also o?ering its artists the opportunities to learn, create and exhibit their work,” the report states.
In the coming years, the commission plans to expand its role as a support service for local artists, secure more funding and physical space for the arts, and increase equitable access to the arts for all residents.  

Free Glucose, Cholesterol, Blood Pressure and BMI health screenings at senior centers

Do you know your numbers? Knowing your heart health numbers and keeping them in a safe range you can help improve your health and reduce your risk for heart disease. Come to this free screening clinic to check your numbers. Sponsored by the Orange County Department on Aging, the Orange County Health Department and Walmart - Hillsborough Pharmacy.

Passmore Center, 103 Meadowlands Dr., Hillsborough
Tuesday, March 5 and May 7, 10 a.m. – noon

Seymour Center, 2551 Homestead Rd., Chapel Hill
Thursday, March 7 and May 2, 10 am – noon

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Orange County Cooperative Extension Announces Community Garden Grant Program

The Orange County Cooperative Extension Service Community Garden grant program assists community groups in developing new sources of agricultural prosperity through the provision of cost-share grants. Community Garden Grants are for new community gardens as well as upgrades to existing community gardens. Single grant limit is $500 per grant proposal with a $1,000 cap over 3 years. Applicants must be able to demonstrate that their plan is executable with a high probability of success, well thought out, including resources, labor, timelines, and alternatives, etc. to support the grant proposal. Once grant is decided, the recipient has 6 months to implement the plan.

Previous SHARP award winners

Orange County Department on Aging accepting nominations for 2019 Direct Care Worker Awards

Orange County Department on Aging and the community group, Senior Health Advocacy and Resource Partners of Orange County (SHARP), will host the fifth annual SHARP Direct Care Worker Awards.

Nominations will be accepted from Feb. 15 – April 15. A recognition ceremony will be held for award winners on Thursday, May 9.

This event honors Direct Care Workers (nurse aides, personal care aides, companion caregivers, etc.) who affect their clients’ lives on a daily basis and make a difference in the Orange County community. Awards will be presented in the following categories: Client Impact, Longevity, Leadership, Going the Extra Mile, and Rising Star. One person will be chosen as the “Direct Care Worker of the Year.”

To be eligible, direct care workers must have served clients in Orange County within the past year. Each person may be nominated in two categories. Nominees must have provided direct care to clients and have at least six consecutive months of service in the past year.

For more information about the awards and to nominate a direct care worker, please complete the online nomination form.
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