Up & Coming Weekly

May 30, 2023

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 17 of 24

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM MAY 31 - JUNE 6, 2023 UCW 17 SPORTS & RECREATION NC Wildlife Federation calls for Governor's Award nominations, wildlife photo submissions and scholarship applications a STAFF REPORT Since 1945, North Carolina Wildlife Federation has worked for all wildlife and habitats, bringing together out- door enthusiasts, hunters and anglers, government and industry to protect the state's natural resources. eir work is centered around conserving wildlife, restoring habi- tats, connecting people with nature, conservation policy, climate resiliency and celebrating conservation. "Celebrating Conservation" season is open now, with statewide calls of the wild for conservation award nomi- nations, college scholarship applica- tions and wildlife photo submissions. Conservation Award Nominations NCWF seeks conservation heroes from across the state for its 59th annual Governor's Conservation Achievement Awards. e prestigious awards have honored individuals, associations, businesses, and govern- mental bodies that have exhibited an unwavering commitment to conserv- ing North Carolina's natural resources. Citizens nominate conservation leaders, professionals and volunteers of all ages and backgrounds. A committee of scien- tists, environmental educators and conser- vation activists select award winners. e online nomina- tion deadline is June 15 at 6:00 p.m. Award recipients will be honored at a banquet on Sept. 9. Catego- ries include Conservationist, Wildlife Conservationist, Sportsman or Sports- woman, Land Conservationist, Water Conservationist, Forest Conservation- ist, Marine Resources, Environmental Educator, Young Conservationist, Legislator, Conservation Organization, Business Conservationist, and Natural Resources Agency or Scientist of the Year. College Scholarship Applications Since the 1970s, NCWF has awarded scholarships to college students study- ing and working in the wildlife and conservation fields. Applicants must be enrolled full-time at an accredited North Carolina college or university with a major related to wildlife, fisheries, forestry, natural resources, conserva- tion or environmen- tal studies. NCWF will provide up to seven grants, which may include one $2,500 Conservation Leadership grant for a student of outstanding merit. Socio- economic elements, extra-curricular involvement and academic perfor- mance all impact final decisions. Students must submit scholarship applications and supporting docu- ments online by June 16. Visit NCWF's scholarship page to learn more or apply. For questions, email Lacy Kegley at lacy@ncwf.org. Wildlife Photography Contest NCWF's 5th Annual Wildlife Pho- tography Contest for professional, amateur and youth photographers runs from July 1 through September 1. Images must be taken in North Caro- lina and highlight the beauty of the state's nature and wildlife, whether in a backyard or across the state. Catego- ries are Carolina Critters, People in Nature, Scenes of North Carolina and Pollinators & Insects (new category). Entry donations start at $15 for 12 photos (3 images max per category), with all proceeds supporting the con- servation and restoration of wildlife and habitat in North Carolina. Visit NCWF's photo contest page for entry requirements and contest rules. Pho- tographers can submit entries elec- tronically from July 1 through Sept. 1. Email photos@ncwf.org for questions. To learn more about the North Car- olina Wildlife Federation visit https:// ncwf.org/ or call 803-608-0019. Despite global financial uncertainty, many people are still planning to spend on travel in 2023. A recent survey from Booking.com found that 73% of respondents were more optimistic about travel than they were in 2022. e survey also studied why people are looking to travel, and the most popular type of vacation was a nos- talgic getaway, which 88% of travelers planned to take in 2023. at's likely due to people looking back to the days before the COVID-19 pandemic with a strong sense of appreciation. Individu- als also seem to see travel through a somewhat therapeutic lens, as 42% of survey respondents indicated they want a break that focuses on their mental and physical health. Summer is peak travel season. Whether vacationers plan to travel in- ternationally or domestically, they can expect to pay top dollar as they head off for parts unknown. Much has been made of inflation over the last year-plus, as the cost of seemingly everything has risen considerably since early 2022. And the cost of travel has seemingly increased by an even greater percentage than the cost of groceries. Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' Consumer Price Index indi- cates the cost of airfare increased by more than 25% between January 2022 to January 2023. ough travel has never been inex- pensive, the rising costs noted in the Consumer Price Index have scared many consumers into staying home. However, consumers who want to travel but don't want to break the bank can try various strategies as they seek to get out of the house this summer. Travel domestically. With airfare costs skyrocketing, now might not be the most budget-friendly time to travel overseas. ankfully, would-be vacationers can still get away. Average gas prices in early spring 2023 hov- ered around $3.43 per gallon, which is nearly $1 less per gallon than the year prior. By driving to their destinations, vacationers can save substantial sums of money and also maintain greater control of their trips, something that isn't always so easy in an era marked by routine flight delays and cancellations. Change your timeline. If a faraway dream destination beckons, travelers might still be able to make it work if they have the flex- ibility to alter their time- lines. Rather than taking a Monday through Friday off from work, consider starting and ending a vacation in mid-week. It's generally less expensive, and sometimes significantly so, to fly mid- week compared to flying Friday-Monday. Cash in your credit card points. Another way to en- sure summer travel doesn't put a big dent in your sav- ings is to utilize cash back rewards or airline miles linked to your credit card account. If you have a lot of cash and/or miles saved up, the coming summer of expensive travel could be the ideal time to use them. Consider a homestay over a hotel. Homestays, which includes book- ing through sites such as Airbnb and VRBO, are typically much less expen- sive to book than hotel rooms. But homestays also save travelers money on food, as many listings feature fully operational kitchens that can help travelers avoid dining out three times per day over the duration of their trips. Travel is a significant expense as consumers continue to confront sharp increases in prices on various goods and services. However, it's still pos- sible to vacation without breaking the bank. Driving to a vacation destination rather than flying can save travelers money on costly airfare. How to make summer travel more affordable a STAFF REPORT

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