TEDx Asheville 2022 speaker highlights the Wildlife Safe Corridor project

When Nikki Robinson took to the stage during the final dress rehearsal for TEDx Asheville last month, Diana Wortham’s stage lights twinkled in her eyes, and she thought, “That’s what it feels like to be a deer in the headlights.”

Then she smiled and relaxed a little, realizing the irony of that idea. After preparing for several months, Robinson was at the Wertham Center for the Performing Arts to talk precisely about what it means to be an animal trying to cross a busy highway.

The theme of the TEDx Asheville 2022 event was building bridges; Opening Doors, a perfect topic for a presentation on how to stop the devastating roads of North Carolina. One of nine selected speakers, Robinson is a North Carolina native inspired by the rich flora and fauna from the southern Appalachian Mountains to the coastal plains. One of her personal values ​​is to help others develop a deep connection to nature and an awareness of its fragility.

A bear looks for the best opportunity to cross as its cubs surround her at the bulkhead on I-64 in Virginia near the summit of Mount Afton where it meets Shenandoah National Park and Blue Ridge Parkway.

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