In 1989 the Stanley A. Murray Award for Volunteer Service was created to honor persons who have made outstanding volunteer contributions to the work of SAHC emulating the lifelong dedication of founder Stanley A. Murray. This year’s award winner is Diane Edwards. Read more
Congratulations to Carolinas’ Nature Photographers Association, 2020 Volunteers of the Year!
In 1989 the Stanley A. Murray Award for Volunteer Service was created to honor persons who have made outstanding volunteer contributions to the work of SAHC, emulating the lifelong dedication of our founder, Stanley A. Murray. This year’s Stanley A. Murray Volunteer of the Year Award goes to the Carolinas’ Nature Photographers Association (CNPA). Read more
Our Community Farm continues to serve as a model — balancing agricultural production with environmental responsibility while providing educational opportunities.
Farmer Incubator Program
Will Salley and Savannah Salley of Headwaters Market Garden use a unique French method of bio-intensive vegetable production on small acreage. Currently in their first year of full-time farming, they have wholesale and restaurant accounts. They will return to the downtown Asheville City Market in the Spring, to host a booth on Saturday mornings. Next year, they plan to expand their operation with mushroom and egg production. Read more
We had a wonderful time with all of our members, friends, and guests last night at Yee-Haw Brewing Company in Johnson City, TN. Congratulations to our new/returning Trustees — David Erwin, Rick Manske, John Mason, Laura McCue, and Cynthia Poortenga. Thank you to our outgoing Trustees — Courtney Blossman, Jack Hamilton, Bill Lowndes, and Kathy Singleton — for your years of dedicated service to land and water conservation on behalf of Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy. Congratulations to Kirk Watson of Causeway Interactive, the recipient of our 2017 Stanley A. Murray Award for Volunteer Service, and a big thank you to all our sponsors and raffle item donors for helping make our event a resounding success. It was a wonderful night for our annual Appalachian Spring conservation celebration, benefit, and member event.
Saylor and Bettye live in the Valley of the Roan community near Carvers Gap. Before retiring to the Roan, Saylor worked as a hearings officer for the South Carolina Department of Justice and Bettye was a high school teacher at Chapin High School in SC. They also owned an herb farm in South Carolina, and Bettye has put her green thumb to work building raised beds at their new home on Herbert Spell Road.
They are avid volunteers who eagerly participate in workdays across our focus areas, from the Highlands of Roan to our Community Farm near Asheville. Both Saylor and Bettye have demonstrated extraordinary commitment and effort to help SAHC accomplish our land-stewardship mission.
Thank You and congratulations to Saylor and Bettye!
Anne Kilgore, SAHC Trustee and Director of Sustainability at Eastman, presented this year’s Stanley A. Murray Volunteer of the Year award to Craig Thompson, for outstanding service in the Highlands of Roan. In 1989 the Stanley A. Murray Award for Volunteer Service was created to honor persons who have made outstanding volunteer contributions to the work of SAHC, emulating the lifelong dedication of our founder, Stanley A. Murray.
Craig lives in Jonesborough, TN. Recently retired, he is an avid hiker and photographer and has traveled extensively throughout the US. He has served SAHC as a model volunteer in key capacities. Craig cares passionately about the Roan Highlands and participates in almost every habitat management workday we hold there — assisting in coordination of the NC BRIDGE crew, Grassy Ridge mow-off, Roany Boyz, and other workdays. Read more
Our Stanley A. Murray Award for Volunteer Services this year went to a father & son team — David Smith and his son Otto.
David was introduced to SAHC as the Seasonal Ecologist in 1997 and since then has been a volunteer leader in many different capacities. He served as a Trustee from 2004-2010, and was a leader in SAHC’s Land Protection Strategic Planning process. He served on the Land Protection Committee and continues to serve on the Land Management Committee. For the past 17 years, David has participated in the annual Grassy Ridge Mow-Off and led guided hikes at the annual June Jamboree.
David’s son Otto has recently joined him in volunteer adventures in the Roan. For the past three years Otto has worked along side David at the Mow-Off, lopping and pulling brush to help conserve this globally imperiled habitat. After they returned home from the Mow-Off last year, David was putting Otto to bed and noticed that he was sad. When David asked what was wrong Otto said, “I think I miss Roan Mountain, Papa.”
What better pair to honor than a father and son team for their volunteer efforts to SAHC. Congratulations to David and Otto!
The Roany Boyz began as a group of friends who liked to hike and camp together. One of the group — former SAHC president Carol Coffey — was involved with our annual Grassy Ridge Mow-off, in which volunteers spent the third weekend of July cutting back invasive plants to protect the quality of the Grassy Ridge Bald. The Appalachian Trail in this area crosses Round Bald, Engine Gap, Jane Bald, and a shoulder of Grassy Ridge. Hiking out to Grassy Ridge, Carol noticed that Engine Gap and the Southwest side of Jane Bald were rapidly being overgrown with blackberries. Judy Murray, SAHC’s head of Stewardship for the Roan Highlands at the time, agreed to provide tools, primarily weed eaters, if Carol could form a volunteer group to work at Engine Gap. So, in 2001 the Roany Boyz began volunteering to manage grassy balds habitat at Engine Gap. 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