Some of the best dirt of the week from around the Blue Ridge and beyond…

Former President Clinton Visits Atlanta’s Boxercraft active apparel

Based in Atlanta, Ga., Boxercraft (a growing fashion-forward activewear and spiritwear manufacturer) welcomed former President Bill Clinton this week to Industrial Revolution II (www.irii.com, IRII), its manufacturing facility in Haiti. Founded by Rob Broggi (former analyst at Boston-based Raptor Capital), and backed by designer Donna Karan, actor Matt Damon, and Joey Adler (CEO of Diesel Canada), IRII started production at its 35,000 square-foot facility in Port-au-Prince last September. Through its unique “shared- value business model,” the factory invests 50 percent of its profits back into its workers, their families and the local community through health and wellness programs, training and education initiatives. For more information, visit www.boxercraft.com.

American Rivers Announces Dam Removal Stats

American Rivers announced this week that communities in 18 states — working in partnership with non-profit organizations and state and federal agencies — removed 51 dams in 2013. Outdated or unsafe dams came out of rivers in Alabama, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Vermont, Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming, restoring more than 500 miles of streams for the benefit of fish, wildlife and people.

Pennsylvania topped the list for the eleventh year in a row. The top three states for river restoration through dam removal in 2013 were:

  1. Pennsylvania – 12 dams removed
  2. Oregon – 8 dams removed
  3. New Jersey – 4 dams removed

American Rivers will add the information on these 51 dam removals to its database of nearly 1,150 dams that have been removed across the country since 1912. (American Rivers is the only organization maintaining a record of dam removals in the United States and uses the information to communicate the benefits of dam removal, which include restoring river health and clean water, revitalizing fish and wildlife, improving public safety and recreation, and enhancing local economies.)See the full list at AmericanRivers.org/2013DamRemovals.

North Face Launches Mountain Athletics Virtual Training Program

The North Face launched a digital training platform (along with its new Mountain Athletics training apparel and footwear collection) called the Mountain Athletics Training Program (thenorthface.com/mountainathletics), designed to help everyday athletes and serious competitors establish a goal within three sports: running, climbing and skiing. Based on a six-week timeline, athletes get a playlist of instructional videos led by The North Face Athlete Team members along with a downloadable training plan that will help you accomplish your outdoor goals.

Light & Motion Factory to Be Featured in Discovery Channel Program

Fans of bike-light manufacturer Light & Motion will want to tune into the Discovery Channel this Fall, as the company’s fully integrated factory in California will be featured on the channel’s “How It’s Made” program. The show’s crew is currently filming at Light & Motion’s new California factory in Marina, Calif., where they are documenting the manufacturing and assembly of the LED-based Seca and Vis360 bike lights, the Bluefin G-30 underwater camera housing, and the company’s flagship dive light, the Sola 1200. “How It’s Made” takes viewers behind the scenes in factories around the world to show how raw materials are transformed into finished products. The show airs in 130 countries and is broadcast in more than 30 different languages.