TEDx Asheville 2022 speaker highlights wildlife Safe Passage project

Nikki Robinson, North Carolina project manager for Wildlands Network, spoke at TEDx Asheville 2022 on Feb.  27 at the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts.

When Nikki Robinson walked out onto the stage during the final dress rehearsal for TEDx Asheville last month, the spotlights of the Diana Wortham Theater shining in her eyes, she thought, “This is what it feels like to be a deer in the headlights.”

And then she smiled and relaxed a bit, realizing the irony of that thought. After having prepared for several months, Robinson was at the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts precisely to talk about what it’s like to be an animal trying to cross a busy highway.

The TEDx Asheville 2022 event theme was Building Bridges; Opening Doors, a perfect topic for a presentation about how to stop roadkill in North Carolina. One of nine chosen speakers, Robinson is a native North Carolinian who is inspired by the rich flora and fauna from the Southern Appalachian Mountains to the Coastal Plains. One of her personal values ​​is helping others develop a deep connection to nature and an awareness of its fragility.

A female bear looks for the best opportunity to cross as her cubs surround her at the guardrail on I-64 in Virginia near the top of Afton Mountain where the Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway meet.

Word from the Smokies: Keys to wildlife crossing success on I-40 in the Pigeon River Gorge

Robinson is also the North Carolina Project Manager for Wildlands Network, which strives to restore wildlife habitat in order to reestablish wildlife corridors throughout North America. In this role, she works with community partners, state agencies, and NGOs to promote wildlife habitat connectivity initiatives across the state.

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