Earl B. Hunter, Jr., founder of Black Folks Camp Too, speaks of bringing people together in unity to enjoy the great outdoors. Former Vice-President of Sales at SylvanSport and a recognized speaker in the outdoor recreation industry, Earl began his company as a way to bring all people together to experience and benefit from outdoor recreation. He says they are creating an educational portal, and the campfire in their logo is a way to bring people together for discussion. We were excited to partner with Earl and Black Folks Camp Too during the summer to host outdoor recreation events for two local youth programs – Youth Transformed for Life and the YMCA Horizons program.
Each year, members of the AmeriCorps Project Conserve program contribute critical capacity to conservation programs across Western North Carolina. These five dedicated young environmentalists have committed to a year of service with SAHC, helping further conservation work through a variety of programs — from hands-on stewardship of land to leading hikes and educating youth groups. Welcome to the team! (AmeriCorps members listed below as they appear in photo, L to R)
Sam Rames: Stewardship & Volunteer Member
Haling from Charleston, SC, Sam graduated from UNC Asheville in 2016 with an Environmental Studies Degree. During college, she was honored as a University Research Scholar and McCullough Fellow. Her research and field work include stream, fish, woody plants, and wildlife ecology as well as invasive species management.
Hannah Stuart: Land Protection & Education Member
An Asheville native, Hannah graduated from UNC Asheville with a degree in Environmental Studies. She was a student athlete on the swim team, which she also managed. Her research and work experience include water quality monitoring, due diligence analysis and easement renewals.
Shaylyn Sargent: Conservation Education & Volunteer Outreach Member
Shay, or “Sarge” graduated from Mars Hill University with a major in History and a Minor in Environmental Studies. During his time at Mars Hill, he was honored as a Bonner Scholar. His volunteer experiences range from addressing food security in rural Appalachia to hosting historical talks, to trail building, and habitat restoration following hurricanes.
Hanna Peterman: Stewardship & Volunteer Member
Hanna joins us from Chapel Hill, after graduating from Washington University with a double major in Environmental Biology and Spanish. Her research includes wildlife monitoring, invasive plants management, and tick and mosquito sampling. She also spent a semester abroad in Chile, is fluent in Spanish.
Hannah Latragna: Communications & Community Engagement Member
Hannah joins the team after graduating from Canisius College (Buffalo, NY) with majors in Animal Behavior, Ecology, and Conservation & Digital Media Arts, and a minor in anthropology. During college, she was captain of the women’s cross country and track team, and her volunteer and work experiences include coaching, community outreach, and educational videography.
AmeriCorps is a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that engages more than5 million Americans in service through nonprofit and community organizations across the country.
In November, AmeriCorps member Whisper Moore led an afterschool group from Stephens-Lee Recreation Center to experience birding at the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary in North Asheville. In a previous afterschool session, Whisper had introduced students to migratory birds with the #GreatMigrationChallenge game. For this field trip, Bethany Sheffer and Simon Thompson of the Elisha Mitchell Audubon Society chapter joined us to share their expertise.
Bethany and Simon gave a brief lesson on birding and showed students how to use binoculars by spotting a particular point on a sign. Then they headed out together to spot some resident birds that stay at the Sanctuary year-round. As they ventured over to look at some Canada Geese across the waterway, one student exclaimed “Look at the mountains!” Read more
Our Project Conserve AmeriCorps members serve 11-month terms, beginning in September. Their service helps expand and enrich all of our programs. We are grateful for their commitment and welcome our new 2018-19 team! Read more
The mission of the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy is to conserve the unique plant and animal habitat, clean water, farmland, scenic beauty, and places for all people to enjoy outdoor recreation in the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee, enduring for future generations. We achieve this through long-term conservation relationships with private landowners and public agencies and owning and managing land. We are committed to creating and supporting equitable, healthy and thriving communities for everyone in our region.
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372 Merrimon Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801