Full stories and recent updates available on our Blog
About twenty volunteers joined us in the Highlands of Roan last Saturday to assist in trail maintenance and habitat restoration that benefits the Golden-winged Warbler, and a variety of other species. This project was made possible by a grant from Nature Valley's Preserve the Parks program and the National Parks Conservation Association - as well as the dedicication, enthusiasm, and hard work of our volunteers. We were also excited to have Andrew Evans, National Geographic Traveler's Digital Nomad, on site to tell the world about our work in the Roan. Check out his blog article and video account from the day here.
In early October, we added one more aspect — beekeeping — to our multifaceted Community Farm project site in Alexander, NC. Farm project assistant Yael Girard came across a disturbed wild honeybee swarm while out scouting the planned route of our interpretive trail. Luckily, Yael had the experience and equipment to act quickly to save the colony. Read her account of the day here.
Luckily, however, we were still able to collect a bountiful and varied assortment for our mushroom identification hike on August 14. We were fortunate to enjoy a beautiful sunny sky and clear views of the Black Mountains as we collected a bountiful and varied assortment of specimens on our mushroom identification hike in mid-August. Led by amateur mycologist Charlotte Caplan – who has spent the past 35 years learning about mushrooms – our group spent a half day scouting and gathering mushrooms on a lovely conservation easement property, then enjoyed lunch on a high mountain meadow with Mt. Mitchell clearly visible in the background. For the full story & pics, click here.
On Tuesday, August 13, SAHC was recognized at the Asheville City Council meeting for winning this year's
"Strive Not To Drive Workplace Challenge" for organizations of 11-30 employees. In May, SAHC staff competed with staff from other organizations, making a pledge use a mode of transportation other than driving alone for a week. Other award winners included: Southwings (up to 10 employees), REI Asheville (31-50 employees), Evergreen Community Charter School (51-250 employees) and Buncombe County (251+ employees). The Workplace Challenge award recipients each received original pieces of art to display in their offices for a year; we will have to compete again next year for the privilege of continuing to display our award!
This summer, our June Jamboree hikes in the Highlands of Roan were packed with a hundred people enjoying beautiful weather and spectacular views of the landscape. Our hike offerings this year included: the strenuous 14.3 mile Triple B Challenge, a moderate hike from Carver's Gap to Grassy Ridge with stunning views of rhododendron and Flame azalea blooms, an instructive birding hike with SAHC Field Ecologist Chris Coxen, family-friendly stream exploration for Kids in the Creek, and an accessible-for-everyone Roll and Stroll in the Rhododendron Gardens. Thank you to all who joined us on the Roan. And, if you missed out this year, we hope to see you on the mountain next June! Check out our photos and video collage from the event:
As part of our multi-faceted Farm and Food Project, we are working with a team of locals from the Green Opportunities (GO) labor crew to continue trail building at our Community Farm in Alexander, NC. The completed trail will eventually loop approximately 1.5 – 2 miles across the 100-acre farm property, accompanied by interpretive signs to educate visitors about the farm and our short leaf pine and stream restoration projects. Grant funds awarded for our Community Farm and Food Project enable us to employ a team of six GO Labor Crew members on the trail, an example of partnership for economic development going hand-in-hand with conservation efforts. The grant was awarded from the Conservation Trust for North Carolina &
Z. Smith Reynolds. For more information about the GO team and our trail building project, click here.
A Huge Thank You to these Participating Businesses:
|Mast General Store||Blue Spiral 1 Gallery||New Morning Gallery|
|Bellagio Art to Wear||Bellagio Everyday||Fine Arts Theatre|
|Navitat Canopy Adventures||Second Gear||The Laughing Seed|
|Jack of the Wood||Early Girl Eatery||The Weinhaus|
The natural assets we work to protect are a major economic driver, making this region an international destination for hiking, biking, camping, boating, fishing, and hunting. Our work also helps farmers preserve their farmland, so they can continue to produce locally grown food. On Land Trust Day, local businesses celebrate and support conservation through promotional partnership, placing information in stores/restaurants and donating a percentage of the day’s sales to SAHC. We sincerely appreciate everyone who participated in Land Trust Day!
Thanks to everyone who made our member event in May a success! Around a hundred guests, volunteers, and staff enjoyed beautiful weather for the afternoon at the Barn at Allandale Mansion. We were overjoyed to see so many friends and family - those new to SAHC as well as long-time supporters and founding members. A huge thanks to everyone who came out to enjoy delicious food, fellowship, and music provided by Trae McMaken & Will MacMorran for this event.
Congratulations to our 2013 Stan Murray Volunteer of the Year recipients:
Carol Coffey, David Goforth, Mike Fisher, Jamie Burnham, Bill Ryan and Bruce Byers for leadership of the Roany Boyz. The Boyz are a dedicated group of on-the-ground stewardship volunteers whose tireless efforts have dramatically advanced the restoration of the open grassy habitat at Engine Gap in the Highlands of Roan. On average, they maintain about 4 acres of grassy balds each year. We also want to give a shout of thanks to all the others who have worked alongside Carol, David, Mike, Jamie, Bill, and Bruce over the years.
Recognition of Trustees:
We thanked retiring trustees Richard Coker, Lindsay Hearn, Bill Maxwell, and David Ramsey for their dedicated service with SAHC. And, we congratulated Jim Houser, Jay Leutze, Anne Kilgore, and Mary Bruce Woody, who were each elected to serve a new first term as trustees. Buddy Tignor and Nancy Edgerton were also each elected to serve a second consecutive term.
View more photos, and read more about our volunteers and trustees, on our blog.
What's better than the satisfaction of a volunteer day well-accomplished, celebrating Earth Day by cleaning up illegal dump sites and building trails in the beautiful Highlands of Roan? Doing it with people who make working outdoors a blast! We are so thankful for our business partners, like Highland Brewing Company and REI Asheville, who partner with SAHC to help care for the special places we all love.
In April, twenty adventurous volunteers (representing SAHC, REI, Highland Brewing Company, and AmeriCorps Project Conserve) treked to our National Trails Tract to excavate long-abandoned trash troves and build a section of our new 1.5 mile loop trail through a diverse array of habitats and natural communities. Camping together at the end of the day, the group shared dinner as the sun reflected red off the top of Big Yellow Mountain and the waxing moon competed for attention as it raced to rise high into the cloudless sky. Thank you for a successful day of direct action in service to conservation and the environment for Earth Day.