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Invasive Removal

 

Westfeldt Park Workday with RiverLink

Thursday, November 3rd 1-4pm

 

Join us in partnering with RiverLink volunteers to remove exotic invasive plants from an existing wetland along with mulching a woodland trail at Westfeldt Park in Henderson County. We are joining forces with RiverLink to ensure that this park remains in great health because it provides habitat for numerous wetland species of plants and animals and is an important tool for stormwater management. This day will be a great way to meet more impressive volunteers who are helping preserve our region!

RSVP is required: Email Madison at volunteer@carolinamountain.org


Juanita Bruce pushes her kayak off the tree-covered banks of the Green River and takes a moment to soak it all in.

The three-mile stretch that she paddles is bursting with life. River cooter turtles dip into the water. Monarch butterflies flutter around. White-tailed deer bound along the shore. She has entered a green oasis and her worries are carried away with the gentle current.

“Nature provides us with an overwhelming sense of awe, beauty, security and protection,” shares Juanita. Juanita was born and raised near the Green River at Lake Adger Dam. She has spent most of her 74 years exploring its wonders.

“I was baptized in the Green River. They don’t do that much anymore,” Juanita says with a smile. It’s where her home is and where her heart is.

In the 1920s, Juanita’s grandfather moved his family from South Carolina to become the first superintendent of the newly built Lake Adger Dam and Duke Turner Shoals power plant. Her father and uncles made their livelihood at the plant as well. “Dad met my mom, a local girl, and made our home by the river,” reflects Juanita.

 

Saving the Land

In April 2016, Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) partnered with Polk County Community Foundation to acquire 586 acres along the Green River, ensuring people like Juanita have a peaceful place to retreat and local wildlife have a safe place to call home.

The 586-acre property is separated into two tracts. CMLC protects a 155-acre tract located upstream of South Wilson Hill Road and a second 431-acre tract located downstream of South Wilson Hill Road was purchased by Community Green LLC, a subsidiary of Polk County Community Foundation.

We were able to purchase the smaller tract with a generous $225,000 gift from Fred and Alice Stanback of Salisbury and a $225,000 loan from the Conservation Trust for North Carolina. We have until April 2017 to pay off the loan and are seeking contributions to permanently secure the tract for conservation. 

Every Bit Counts

“We could never be more grateful for the substantial gifts made by our major donors and partners,” thanks Lynn Killian, CMLC development director. “But, no project is ever completed without the enormous generosity of an army of loyal, everyday conservation donors. The small gifts of many are just as critical to each conservation success.”

Combined, the tracts contain more than three miles of spectacular riverside frontage. It’s a beautifully dense and heavily forested area with south-facing bluffs steeply rising up from the banks.

“Saving lands and waters from development means ‘nature’s own’ can be shared by the masses as opposed to only a few,” says Juanita. “CMLC helps us connect to nature by creating trails leading us into the forest and protecting waters leading us down the valley.”

Over the years, Juanita’s family enjoyed tubing the river and when kayaks became popular, she opted for their speed, control and efficiency. “Outdoor activities give us great opportunities to enjoy the God-given beauty of nature,” shares Juanita. “It gives us great exercise, provides challenges to ‘try our wings’ and see what we can accomplish.”

A Place for Life to Thrive

The property boasts healthy populations of hemlocks—a rarity in Western North Carolina—as the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid has taken its toll across our region. The woolly adelgid is native to China and Japan, where hemlock trees possess immunity. Most hemlocks throughout the world are protected by some degree of resistance in their native ranges. Here, with no natural predators, the trees lack any defense. Without natural predators, the adelgids take over.

Three rare plant species, whorled horsehair, ashy-leafed hydrangea and climbing milkvine, also prosper in the area. Almost the entire 586 acres are second and third-growth forest and will provide a stronghold for plants and animals to adapt even as the climate changes. 

Exploring Nature’s Gifts

“Kayaking the Green River in my area is quiet with only the sounds of the rippling water over the shoals, the breeze, the birds and the critters,” says Juanita. “The views are saturated with overhanging trees, boulders, farmlands, dense forests... There are many flowering plants, untouched, unmarred.” 

The land protected by CMLC keeps those peaceful views along the river intact. We see the 155 acres as a good site for a potential future rest stop on a paddle trail that could be created along the Green River. There is legal access to South Wilson Hill Road via private roads that pass through a subdivision.

“It’s as important to protect our lands and waters for future generations as it is for the current generation—an ongoing source of livelihood, enjoyment, recreation, appreciation and education,” says Juanita. “Thank goodness CMLC works to save these awe-inspiring places.”

We plan to partner with Pacolet Area Conservancy, which has a strong presence in Polk County, to help manage the property and assist with future guided hikes and outings. Recent kayaking has stopped short of the Wilson Bridge due to lack of a safe exit. Hopes are high this acquisition will provide a safe experience for hikers, birders, photographers and paddlers alike.   

With a few easy strokes Juanita is off, drifting into a place of peace and serenity. “I love the heron leading me down the river, stopping to wait on me before flying on,” she calls over her shoulder. “This is home to me. I love it all.”

 

Read more stories of CMLC’s conserved lands.


This year, Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy is excited to welcome five new members of AmeriCorps Project Conserve. Over the next eleven months, each member will serve over 1,700 hours and help CMLC build and maintain countless trails, coordinate volunteers, steward conserved land, remove invasive species, educate the public, create and lead outreach programs, and plan events. 

In this 12th year of AmeriCorps Project Conserve, 32 individuals were placed in full-time service positions at 18 non-profit organizations across Western North Carolina. Each member serves at least 1,700 hours over their 11-month term. Service is focused on fulfilling environmental and conservation needs in the region. Read more about how Project Conserve began or visit the AmeriCorps Project Conserve Website

From Left to Right: Kate Lis, Jonathan Feldman, Adrienne Brown, Jen Adams and Madison Olle

 

 

Habitat Restoration Associate

Jen grew up in a small town in New Hampshire where her love for the environment first developed. She attended Elon University in North Carolina where she received a BS in Environmental and Ecological Science and a BA in International Studies with minors in Statistics and Biology. Her passion for non-profit work began when she joined a humanitarian aid organization at Elon called Periclean Scholars, which focused on youth and community development in Honduras and in the local Latino population. During Jen’s senior year, she worked on a project with the Haw River Trail and Alamance Recreation and Parks to survey exotic invasive plants along the Haw River and develop management plans for park staff.  She looks forward to using her passion and experience to serve as the Habitat Restoration Associate for CMLC this AmeriCorps term.

 

 

 

 

Community Outreach & Education Associate

Adrienne had a diverse childhood filled with experiences that cultivated a love of nature within her. Her combined interests in environmental protection and cultural studies brought her to Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, where she received a BA in Environmental Studies and a minor in German Studies. Her childhood spent exploring WNC drew her to service with AmeriCorps Project Conserve. As Community Outreach & Education Associate, she is looking forward to using her experience in outreach to grow the local connection to CMLC and the work our organization does. In her spare time she enjoys hiking with her family and spending time on her family’s conservation easement in Pisgah Forest with her cat Uwharrie. When she is not here in WNC, she is most likely to be found in Germany. 

 

 

 

 

Trails Associate

Jonathan was born in Florida, but has lived in many other states throughout his life. He spent the last four years in North Carolina earning his bachelor’s degree from UNC-Greensboro in Recreation & Parks Management with minors in political science and geography. Since living in North Carolina he has fallen in the love with these old rugged mountains, spending many a day hiking and backpacking throughout western NC. He started his environmental stewardship career working with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Green Mountain Club, and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks before coming to the CMLC. Jonathan hopes to put many miles of trail on the ground and inspire more people to get outside. Also, his dog is awesome. 

 

 

 

 

Stewardship Associate

Kate Lis was born and raised in central Massachusetts. She moved to Boone, NC after high school where she realized an appetite for the great outdoors. Unsure of what to study, she decided to leave Boone as a freshman at Appalachian State University and live, work, and climb the wild Midwest of Wyoming and Colorado. There she studied a little graphic design and realized that commercialized art was not for her. In Colorado, Kate first experienced conservation work with long days on the Great Thompson River removing Russian olive trees. Recognizing her love for the more welcoming western NC Mountains, and overwhelmed by the greatness of the west, Kate returned to Boone with an interest in biology and finished her studies in Ecology, some biochemistry, and GIS. In the midst of her university education Kate worked in the outskirts of the Amazon in Ecuador for a cacao pollination study, volunteered for the Blue Ridge Parkway, and spent time in both the ASU Cliff Ecology and Plant-Insect Interactions labs helping in the field, rearing plants, genetic analysis, and chemistry work. 

 

 

 

Volunteer & Community Engagement Associate

Madison grew up in Charlotte, NC, but was ready for a change of scenery and ventured off to the Blue Ridge Mountains to attend the University of North Carolina at Asheville. She knew she wanted to save animals and the environment, but wasn’t sure how to do so. The road to her major changed constantly – Photojournalism, Creative Writing, Environmental Studies, New Media... She finally decided to take advantage of UNC Asheville’s option to create your own major. Through the Interdisciplinary Studies program option she received a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with an Individual Degree Concentration in Environmental Non-Profit Communications. During her senior year of college, she joined Brother Wolf Animal Rescue as their Operations and Outreach Intern. Madison is passionate about protecting animals, but she also wants to adventure further into the natural world as a whole. She is excited to serve as the Volunteer and Community Engagement Associate with CMLC and hopes to experience more of Western North Carolina with the great people she will meet. 

 

 


Hiking for Beginners

September 28th 6:30pm-8:00pm

Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy Office

This presentation is for those who have gazed longingly at pictures of mountain top views and tree-lined rivers but never stepped foot on a trail. During this session, you'll learn what to bring, where to go, and what to do once you get there. The presentation is being held by Cheryl Cawley. Cheryl  is an avid hiker who has presented similar classes at REI Asheville. She is also a frequent CMLC volunteer, as well as a Pardee and CMLC White Squirrel Hiking Challenge participant.

This event is going to be held at the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy office and is FREE to the public. The event is capped at 15 participants, so be sure to RSVP today! 

RSVP is required Click Here to access the RSVP form. Visit our Facebook Page for more information! 

Location: 847 Case St, Hendersonville, NC 28792         Time: 6:30-8:00pm 

 

 


Interested in volunteering with CMLC? Come to a Volunteer Information Session!

Join CMLC's Volunteer and Community Engagement Associate (VCEA) on Tuesday, September 27th from 5:30-6:30 PM at the CMLC office located at 847 Case Street in Hendersonville, NC.

At the session, you'll take a tour of CMLC and meet staff, AmeriCorps members, and fellow prospective volunteers in the office. You'll learn all about CMLC, our mission, and how you can get involved through a short presentation given by the VCEA.

This information session counts as a volunteer orientation for new volunteers, so you'll be ready to get started!

Contact Madison, the VCEA at volunteer@carolinamountain.org or sign up online here if you'd like to attend this or another information session!

 

Help us celebrate and maintain the beauty of Pisgah National Forest!

CMLC is partnering with the Pisgah Conservancy and many other organizations for Pisgah Pride Day 2016. 

What is Pisgah Pride Day?

Pisgah Pride Day is a new event focusing on volunteerism in the Pisgah Ranger District (PRD) on National Public Lands Day. The Pisgah Conservancy is sponsoring this day in hopes to instill a new pride in how the public owners and users of Pisgah take care of the forest and the facilities within it. As a public land, it's our forest, and it's our responsibility to take care of it!

Volunteers will be working at various sites within the PRD with a team leader from 9AM-2PM on Saturday, September 24th. All volunteers will receive a goody bag courtesy of The Pisgah Conservancy and a T-Shirt for the event!

Following the service day, volunteers can get together afterward for a post-service gathering at Oskar Blues Brewery. 

All are welcome! 

For more information or to sign-up, please see The Pisgah Conservancy's FAQ and sign-up page. Please put "CMLC" in the comments section of your sign-up!

For other questions or concerns, please contact the Volunteer and Community Engagement Associate at volunteer@carolinamountain.org. 

 


Get outdoors with CMLC on Saturday, September 17th from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm in the beautiful Upper Hickory Nut Gorge.

We will be working in Florence Nature Preserve in Gerton, NC. This property is owned by CMLC and monitored and maintained by CMLC staff and a group of volunteers.

Primarily, workdays at FNP involve removing non-native invasive plants by cutting with hand-tools and then applying herbicide or by hand-pulling small invasives. Other forest management projects are also undertaken depending on the needs of the property at that time, such as debris clearing from trails, stream monitoring, or weed-whacking of the meadow area.

This preserve has around 6 miles of public access trails and provides a great opportunity for people to get out into nature!

Training will be provided on site. All protective equipment and some light snacks and drinks (such as granola bars and tea or water) will be provided.

What to bring: 
Lunch or snacks 
Water bottle 
Long pants and sleeves
Closed toe shoes 
Hat (optional)
Work gloves (if you have them) 
Rain gear (just in case) 
Emergency contact information (also, just in case!)

To sign up, please contact Madison, the Volunteer and Community Engagement Associate at volunteer@carolinamountain.org


Go outside with CMLC on Friday, September 16th from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm!

The primary purpose of the monthly Lewis Creek workdays is to restore habitat, remove non-native invasive species, and maintain the walking trail at CMLC's Lewis Creek Nature Preserve near Edneyville, NC. These volunteer service days are held monthly, and the specific projects undertaken are determined closer to the event date.

Lewis Creek is owned and monitored by CMLC.  It is maintained by CMLC staff, AmeriCorps members, and volunteers who come out monthly to help maintain this beautiful preserve. This property is special, consisting of a large field and a southern Appalachian mountain bog. 

At this volunteer day, you will be given a tour of Lewis Creek property and background information on CMLC's involvement and management strategies to this date. You will also learn more about what CMLC has in store for this property.

Frequent projects out at Lewis Creek include removing non-native invasive plants by cutting with hand pruners and then applying an aquatic safe herbicide,hand-pulling of smaller non-native invasive plants, and other habitat restoration activities such as bog bridge building and maintenance, bird house building and installation, and clearing of the grass trail.

 Occasionally, volunteers may also engage in other activities.

The workday will be a great chance to meet others interested in improving and maintaining the lands we love, and it will be a wonderful opportunity to learn more about invasive species management, nature preserve management, and other potential volunteer opportunities at CMLC.

Training will be provided on site. All protective equipment will also be provided along with light snacks and beverages (granola bars and water or tea). 

What to bring: Lunch (or a snack), water bottle, long pants and sleeves, closed toe shoes, hat (optional), work gloves (if you have them), Waders or tall rubber boots (if you have them), Rain gear (just in case), emergency contact information (also, just in case!).

If you would like to sign up for this event, please contact the Volunteer and Community Engagement Associate at volunteer@carolinamountain.org


Interested in volunteering with CMLC? Come to a Volunteer Information Session!

Join CMLC's Volunteer and Community Engagement Associate (VCEA) on Thursday, September 15th from 8:00-9:00 AM at the CMLC office located at 847 Case Street in Hendersonville, NC.

At the session, you'll take a tour of CMLC and meet staff, AmeriCorps members, and fellow prospective volunteers in the office. You'll learn all about CMLC, our mission, and how you can get involved through a short presentation given by the VCEA.

This information session can count as a volunteer orientation for new volunteers, so you'll be ready to get started!

Contact Madison, the VCEA at volunteer@carolinamountain.org or sign up online here if you'd like to attend this or another information session!

 

Thank you to everyone who made our 16th Annual Conservation Celebration a success! More than 350 folks joined us on Saturday, August 27th at

Grand Highlands at Bearwallow Mountain Lodge to celebrate and share our beautiful lands and waters saved by YOU!

 

Help us make our 2017 event even better. Please take five minutes to complete this confidential survey

Event Featured:

Live and silent auctions

Click here to view auction items.

2016 Trip Raffle Drawing 

Click here to learn more about the trip raffle

Music by Grammy-nominated White Water Blue Grass Co.

Food by Chef Michael Catering

Guided pre-celebration hike around Grand Highlands 

 

Click here for driving directions to Grand Highlands at Bearwallow Mountain Lodge

(Now including directions from Brevard!)

Become a Sponsor or Donate an Auction Item for CMLC's Conservation Celebration:

Guardians of the Green Business Membership and Pledge Form

Individual Sponsorship Opportunities & Individual Sponsorship Pledge Form


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