The Key Note - A Town Blog

August 28, 2020

Maybe you've seen the herd of goats grazing on the hill at West Park recently, and thought "what's going on here?' Well, let me explain.

First, we recently said goodbye to our summer intern and blogger, Sierra Watson. I guess you could say she moved on to greener pastures, as Access Coordinator for Wilkes Fresh, a mobile produce market for local fruits and vegetables. Wilkes Fresh is a project of the Healthy Wilkes Action Team under The Health Foundation and in collaboration with several other local agencies.

The Health Foundation owns and manages West Park Medical Park and that brings us to the goats. 

Several years ago The Health Foundation received a planning grant from the NC Forest Service to beautify West Park. They offered suggestions about how to replant with native species and remove non-native, and invasive plants, specifically on the hillside behind Village Inn Pizza. In order to do that, they needed to clear the way, but that posed a bit of a challenge.

Health Foundation Executive Director Heather Murphy explained, "The steep, rocky terrain makes it challenging for human landscapers and their equipment to navigate safely. West Park is adjacent to the river, and so the use of chemicals that could adversely affect the water system was something we wished to avoid as well, since protecting the watershed is essential to the health and well-being of our community."

Introducing...The Goats. They're are environmentally friendly, hard-working, natural landscapers. They are built for rough, uneven terrain and are known to be especially effective at taming kudzu. Living in North Carolina, you know well the struggles we have with kudzu.


Murphy had to seek variances from the town to allow goats within the city limits and to be protected from predators by the electric fencing that surrounds their workspace.That variance was adopted by the North Wilkesboro Board of Commissioners on February 4, 2020

The Goat Squad out of Chapel Hill, NC is providing the workforce. Since 2012, The Goat Squad's Mission has been to offer vegetation removal, educate people about native plants, and introduce our herd as useful and friendly.

Are you curious about getting a little help from goats? Town Planner, Meredith Detsch says you'll need a zoning permit, which can take a couple of weeks to process. There's also a limit on how many times you can emply them throughout the calendar year. But what a green way to clean up, and it's entertaining too.


Pause the Netflix, it’s time to plan a day in Downtown North Wilkesboro

June 26, 2020

1. Visit Wilkes County Farmers’ Market on a Saturday morning and Tuesday afternoon

The Wilkes County Farmers’ Market is located in the heart of downtown at the Yadkin Valley Marketplace, just across the street from the Old Train Depot on Saturdays 7:30am-noon and Tuesdays 3:30-5:30pm. Visit Wilkes County Farmers’ Market and support local vendors. Vendors in the region provide locally made and produced food, art, music, and crafts. It is truly a community gathering place and source of pride for the county. Visit Wilkes County’s oldest farmers market at 842 CBD Loop. Find them on Facebook for up to the minute details. 

2. Grab lunch at Talia’s on Main

Talia Espresso is a bistro-style coffee house featuring gourmet lattes, espresso, cappuccinos, smoothies and more delicious hot and cold beverages along with fresh homemade lunch options such as chicken salad croissants, spanikopita, quiche, fresh homemade bread, and salad dressings, as well as, seasonal options including gazpacho,strawberry summer salads and, when available,farm-to-table options from local growers. Jim and Kathy Kozak are owners and operators of Talia Espresso Main St. and Talia Espresso Drive-thru. Since 2005, the Kozaks have been pushing toward excellence in the coffee service industry as well as fresh sustainable foods. Taila’s Main Street location hours are 7am-4:30pm.

Talia’s is taking extra precautions to ensure the safety of their customers. Under Phase Two, restaurant dining rooms can open at 50% capacity, which allows for greater physical distancing within the restaurant. If you’re ready to finally leave the couch for some fresh air, Talia’s offers outside patio-dining!

3. Take an afternoon stroll or family bike ride on the Yadkin River Greenway

The Yadkin River Greenway is a linear pedestrian park and biking trail running along the river from Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir, through the towns of Wilkesboro and North Wilkesboro, NC to Smoot Park, a distance of 10 miles. Much of the greenway is included in the Overmountain Victory Historic Trail, a U.S. National Park.The Yadkin River Greenway Council’s mission statement is to “ enhance the quality of life by ensuring the creation of riverside greenway that connects the major institutions and neighborhoods of our community. ” For more information about upcoming projects, visit here

We would love to know what your #dayindowntownNW looks like! Use the hashtag #dayindowntownNW to share your photos with us! Follow our Facebook

Walk on the Yadkin River Greenway

Bringing you the good news during hard times.

June 19, 2020

Hello North Wilkesboro! 

First, I would like to introduce myself. My name is Sierra Watson, and I am the Town of North Wilkesboro’s intern for the summer. I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte in 2018 with an undergraduate degree in Business Marketing and Innovation and a minor in American Studies. Upon completing undergrad, I applied to Appalachian State University to learn more about the public sector through pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Not-For-Profit Management. I quickly realized I had a passion for serving others, and I went on to receive my Master’s in Public Administration in May. 

As a native of Alexander County, I empathize with the hardships Western North Carolina communities are facing. Amid COVID-19, my goal is to provide the Town of North Wilkesboro with timely general information of interest, where we round up the good, surprising, and inspiring things that have happened around North Wilkesboro’s community. I’ll share these in a weekly blog to lift spirits! 

Kindness and uplifting moments are coming to light, and if you wish to hear more, please stick around. I will provide up-to-date stories about our local businesses and safe activities to engage in (other than hours of binging Netflix). I hope this blog can help us stay positive and optimistic during the challenges fate can throw our way.

No matter what you’re feeling or experiencing, I hope this blog will bring you some joy!



Sierra Watson, Intern

Sierra Watson