Thursday, March 31, 2011

Biltmore Festivals of Flowers begins this weekend

 April 2  the  Festival of Flowers   begins on the Biltmore Estate.The gardens designed by Frederick Law Olmsted come alive with color and blossoms. The Festival is an estate-wide event with thousands of tulips and acres of azaleas.

The 2011 Festival
incorporates George and Edith Vanderbilt's passion for travel with elements referencing their journeys amid floral displays and other decorative elements throughout Biltmore House and the Estate

Activities and events happening during the Festival include:
  • Live music daily in the Conservatory and Winter Garden
  • Special menus in the restaurants
  • "Ask a Gardener" station featuring Biltmore's horticulture experts answering guest questions on the weekends
  • Festival of Flowers commemorative wines at the Winery
  • Daily complimentary seminars at A Gardener's Place in the Conservatory:
         –Culinary Herbs and Edible Flowers, 1:00 p.m.
         –A Pot for Every Plant, 2:00 p.m.
         –Celebrate Spring with Wreaths, 3:00 p.m.
  • An art show at Deerpark Restaurant
Get $15 off gate admission by purchasing tickets in advance online.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Florida's Carolina Connection gets new Wings

Vision Airlines has announced a new direct flight that connects Asheville, NC to the Fort Walton Beach/ Destin area. Flights are currently scheduled on Thursdays and Sunday with affordable rates and online booking. Vision Airlines currently flies to 21 cities in 12 states including Florida cities Destin, Ft Lauderdale, Ft Myers, Miami, Orlando and St Petersburg.They  also offer an email newsletter with specials, travel tips, etc.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education

The Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education  is a special place for all ages to explore the wonders of nature in the NC mountains. The Center is free and open to the public Monday - Saturday with exhibits and The N.C. Wild Store offering nature-oriented merchandise. A variety of educational programs including "Nature Nuts", "Eco Explorers", Fly Fishing classes, Group Programs, Educator Workshops and Special Events for ALL ages are offered throughout the year.

March 30, 1 PM - 3 PM - Eco-Explorers Program: 
Who made those tracks? What is scat? What bird left that feather? Learn the answers to these questions and more as we explore the exciting world of animal tracking. Ages 8-13.

April 9  - Be Bear Aware: learn about the fascinating black bears living here in the mountains and how you can safely coexist with them. For all ages.

April 12 - Introduction to Fly Fishing: the perfect introductory class for beginners. Topics include casting theory, mechanics and practice techniques. Our experienced instructors allow you to learn at your own pace as they teach the overhead cast, roll cast and the art of false casting. Advanced instruction is available upon request

All special programs require reservations - 828-877-4423 - check online for schedules and calendars. The Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education is located 1401 Fish Hatchery Road in  Pisgah Forest (near Brevard) NC

Monday, March 28, 2011

Attracting Wildlife Program at the Rickman Store

March 28, 7 PM at The Rickman Store, Franklin NC. Deborah Boots presents "Attracting Wildlife", a program for Cowee Community leaders and residents.The event is sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation and hosted by The Little Tennessee Land Trust (LTLT). Content focuses on improving backyard habitats by working on five basic components: food, water, places to raise young, cover and sustainable gardening.

Get more information about establishing a wildlife garden and joining
the nearly 140,000 Certified Wildlife Habitat™ sites across the country.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Flat Rock Playhouse Opens 2011 Main Stage Season

March 30 - April 17  Flat Rock Playhouse "The Music of the Night: Andrew Lloyd Webber in Concert"   Flat Rock Playhouse opens its 2011 season with "The Music of the Night: Andrew Lloyd Webber in Concert", a tribute to one of Broadway's greatest composers, Wed-Sat evenings, Wed, Thurs, Sat & Sun Matinee

The season continues with Moonlight and Magnolias, Chicago, Hairspray, The Mousetrap, Buddy - The Buddy Holly Story, Doubt and Plaid Tidings. 

FLAT ROCK PLAYHOUSE, the State Theatre of North Carolina, has  been thrilling audiences with Broadway musicals, comedy and drama for 53 years. From the Youth Theatre education program to the professional main stage performances, the Flat Rock Playhouse offers some of the best live entertainment in Western North Carolina.

The Theatre is located at 2661 Greenville Hwy, Flat Rock, NC and now has a new venue in Hendersonville NC at
at 125 South Main Street. The new space will be launched with a limited performance schedule for 2011 and will expand to six months of performances in 2012 and nine months in 2013. By expanding the programming, the Playhouse will have the opportunity to welcome an additional 50,000 to 75,000 patrons annually,

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Appalachian Vintner Hosts Special April Tasting Events

April 3rd 1:30PM-4:30PM~ Charleston Style Lowcountry Wine & Oyster Tasting. Get out your shuckers and gloves for some fresh from the docks at James Island oysters. AV will supply lemons, crackers & hot sauce. A  $10 donation and the oysters & wine will be limited so if you love oysters arrive early and get to shuckin'.

April 16th 3PM-6PM~ Slow Food Asheville Farm to Table Tasting. Featuring: Spinning Spider Creamery, Victor Chiarizia artisan cheese, Looking Glass Creamery, Simple Bread, Farm & Sparrow wood-fired breads, Carolina Ground NC wheat project, Take the Cake Desserts, Mountain Farm gateway to lavender, Sour Grapes Wine Distr
ibuting, Colin's Creatures. With more to Come. $20 with all proceeds benefiting Slow Food Asheville.

Applachian Vintner is located at -B Huntsman Place  in Asheville NC  (828) 505-7500

Friday, March 25, 2011

NC Rentals: Last Chance March Cabin Discounts

Carolina Mornings   Asheville NC  March Madness Special:  Stay 3 Nights and the 4th Night is FREE!* Choose from an exceptional selection of the finest vacation home rentals in the Asheville NC area.

On The Windfall
   West Jefferson NC   STAY ANY 2 WEEKDAYS, GET 1 WEEKDAY FREE Offer good Sun -Thur -or- STAY ANY 3 DAYS (including weekends), GET 1 DAY FREE.

Hemlock Hill Cottage
   Cashiers NC    luxury lakefront rental for only $1300 per week during the Winter Season!

Cabin Cove Farm
    Asheville NC    Get one free night with a 3+ night stay - Biltmore Estate tickets only $29 for 2 full days at the Estate.

Cabins at Seven Foxes
  Lake Toxaway NC  Stay 2 nights, take 30% off night rate or Stay 2 or more nights and get one night free.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

USA RAFT Offers Pre-season Specials

USA RAFT, Mountain Adventure Guides - Reserve your group by April 15th for Big Savings! Take an additional 5% off regular group rates for trips booked before April 15th, 2011.. Offer not good for Saturdays or holidays. Deposits required with booking: $5 per person for 1/2 day trips, camping and Crockett Cabin. $10 per person for full day trips. Remaining balance and final headcount are due 30 days prior to trip date. Get details about Groups

Multi-trip Discounts:

Book 2 or more trips and save! Mix and match to create a complete multi-day adventure!
Choose 2 activities & receive a 10% discount. Choose 3 or more activities & receive a 15% discount. Not good with any other offer or discount. Get details about Packages

Book Online and Save!
Book Online and save $3 per person! Promo Code is ONLINE. It's safe and secure. View trip details, times and availability for specific dates.  Available 24/7!  Upon booking reservations online, you will quickly receive a detailed email confirmation.  Online Reservations

USA RAFT offers the closest whitewater rafting to Asheville and Boone North Carolina. Enjoy whitewater rafting adventures on the French Broad, Nantahala, Watauga and Nolichucky Rivers. "Mild to Wild" Whitewater Rafting with half and full day guided trips. USA Raft provides everything you will need for your rafting trip - just bring a change of clothes and be ready to have fun and get wet! Also offered: Caving, Rock Climbing, Summer Teen Adventure Camps and riverside group lodging.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Upcoming performances at Diana Wortham Theatre

March 24 at 8PM:  DERVISH. In the world of high-energy Irish music, Dervish stands out as remarkable and magical, earning high praise from critics and the adulation and loyalty of fans. Its charismatic singer Cathy Jordan evokes the spirited pubs and wild beauty of Ireland. Don't miss one of the all-time great Irish traditional bands, back in Asheville for one performance only. Click here for a music sample and slide show of Dervish

Dervish's Asheville performance is presented in partnership with The Swannanoa Gathering at Warren Wilson College, and supported by Mainstage Celtic Series sponsors Don & Nancy Ackermann Cole, Arby's, and BB&T. Get details and tickets...

April 5-6 at 8PM:  The award-winning Viver Brasil brings exhilirating movement, stunning costumes, and pulsating percussion to the Diana Wortham Theatre stage.  Pre-Performance discussions at 7:00pm at The Forum at Pack Place prior to both Viver Brasil performances. Leading the discussions are Linda Yudin, Viver Brasil Company Manager; and Connie Schrader, UNC-Asheville Department of Health and Wellness. Free for ticket holders. Seating is limited; please arrive early.
Viver Brasil's Asheville performances are presented in partnership with UNC-Asheville Cultural Events & Special Academics Programs, and funded in part by the National Dance Project of the New England Foundation for the Arts, with lead funding from the Andrew W. Melton Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Community Connections Fund of the MetLife Foundation, in addition to funding from the National Endowment for the ArtsSouthern Arts FederationGet details and tickets...

The Diana Wortham Theatre is located at 2 South Pack Square  in Asheville, NC

Riverlink Needs Volunteers for Upcoming Events

Time to seriously talk about festival volunteering   
submitted by
Dave Russell RiverLink Director of Volunteer Services
Spring arrives with the Erigenia bulbosa in Western North Carolina, and with those pretty white flowers come festivals. RiverLink needs volunteers to man tables, cook hotdogs and other assorted activities this Spring.  

Here's a rundown of the things we have going on: 

Saturday, April 16 is Asheville's Earth Day celebration at Pack Square Park. RiverLink will perform a community service project in the morning (cleaning invasives from the Ross Creek raingarden from 9 a.m. - 11 a.m.) and will need volunteers for that. We'll also need some volunteers to sit with the RiverLink table. That should fun -- Food! Live music! Beer! People-watching!  

Saturday, April 23, 10 a.m. - approximately 2 p.m. is RiverLink's Earth Day Celebration at The RiverLink Sculpture and Performance Plaza. I think we'll need 20-25 volunteers and a truck to pull this one off. Anyone have any experience assembling rainbarrels? Cooking hot dogs?

Saturday, May 14, 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.  is the Fins & Gills Classic Fishing Tournament at the Asheville Outdoor Center. We will need volunteers to do everything from taking fish off hooks to cooking hot dogs to parking cars. It'll take at least 30 volunteers for this one, but it's fun.

If you are interested in volunteering at any (or all!) of these events, please get in touch. You probably get tired of me saying this, but it's true: We can't do it without you.

Contact: Dave Russell, RiverLink Director of Volunteer Services
Office: (828) 252-8474, ext. 11
Cell: (828) 545-9099

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Purple Onion Sunday Evening Music begins this weekend

March 27 The Purple Onion in Saluda NC presents the first concert of their new "Purple Onion Sunday Evening Music" (POSEM), sponsored by Dr, Mike Dennis and WNCW media. Doors open at 6 PM and light fare will be available on the patio prior to the concert. Admission is $!5.  Reservations can be made by calling the Purple Onion at 828-749-9561.
Mollie O'Brien and Rich Moore are the evening's performers. Mollie O'Brien is simply one of the best interpreters of American music with a loyal national and international following. Rich Moore is well-known and well-loved in Colorado's acoustic music family and has lived and performed there for over 25 years. He is guitarist of choice for folk legend Tom Paxton, who invariably requests Moore as a sideman for his Colorado shows. They live in Colorado and have been partners in marriage for over twenty four years, professional musicians for longer than that, Mollie O'Brien and Rich Moore began touring as a performing duo in 2007 and it has been an enriching experience for them and their audiences.
The Purple Onion is located 16 Main Street in Saluda NC

Monday, March 21, 2011

Creativity/Poetry Workshop in Sylva

March 26th from 2:00 to 3:30 PM, City Lights Bookstore will host a Creativity/Poetry Workshop by Poet and Photographer Tracey Schmidt. Asheville poet and photographer Tracey Schmidt leads a creativity workshop followed by a reading from her new poetry collection accompanied by dulcimer musician  Mary Sparksat 4:00 p.m. Schmidt's book, I Have Fallen in Love with the World,  features her photographs as well as poetry.
The hands-on workshop welcomes any writer or would-be writer of poetry, published or unpublished.
Pre-registration is required in order to assure that there are spaces available for all who wish to attend. To register for the free workshop, please call the store at 828-586-9499 before Friday, March 25th.

Return to Civil War Days in Tryon this week

March 24 - 27   Harmon Field Heritage Days.  Find out what life in a Civil War camp was really like at this annual historic fest.  See Civil War Museum displays and Harmon Field's own museum at Harmon Field Community Building. Watch soldier drills and battles with foot-soldiers, cavalry and cannons.  Take a leisurely  carriage ride and reminisce about what it was like more than 100 years ago. Bring your children and grandchildren to share in the experience! Crafters, displaying and selling wares from the 1880s, will be present on Thursday and Friday and food concessions will be available.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Asheville Tourists Baseball Announce Small Business & Community Appreciation Night

Small business ventures and the people who run them are part of what makes Asheville such a special place to live. The Small Business and Community Appreciation Night is the perfect vehicle for your small business to back the Tourists community AND get a return on your investment.

Professional Level packages start at $100 and feature a business card sized advertisement in the program insert for the select games, 20 tickets good for any of the Small Business & Community Appreciation Nights on April 18, April 19 and August 3.

The All-Star Level package is a $200 investment that includes the business card sized advertisement in the program inserts for the select games, 40 tickets good for any of the Small Business and Community Appreciation Nights on April 18, April 19 and August 3 AND a concourse table at McCormick Field for one of the nights to spotlight what your small business does for our community.

Your tickets can be used as giveaways to customers, clients or employees and their families to enjoy a night at the ballpark. You may also choose to donate your tickets to a worthy cause such as Eliada Homes, YMCA, Big Brothers Big Sisters of WNC, the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club or a charitable organization of your choice. All donations are tax exempt for your company. If you don't have a charitable organization you wish to donate to, the Asheville Tourists will gladly assist in your efforts to find one.

The total value of the Professional Level Package is $300 and is presented to you for only $100. The total value of the All-Star Level Package is $600 and is presented to you for only $200. Call (828)258-0428 and speak to a member of the Tourists' Sales Staff to reserve your spot today!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

St Patrick's Day Events: The Luck of the Irish Invades Brevard

March 17  downtown Brevard NC hosts its 1st Annual Block Party.  The festivities take place along West Main Street and all the other stores and restaurants are offering specials! Save green while going green!

The White Squirrel Shoppe  - 20% off Store wide. 2 West Main Street, Brevard NC. Enjoy the sound of water falling from a 12 foot waterfall, while shopping in the 4,000 sq ft retail shop. Largest selection of candles in the area including YANKEE CANDLES,  white squirrel products and more. A great place to shop if you want something special!

Go on a Pot of Gold Treasure Hunt:
Start At The Eclectic Cottage For the First Clue! Shop for specials while you enjoy  complimentary refreshments at The Continental Divide, The Eclectic Cottage, Gravy, and Hunters & Gatherers.   Find Green Spring Items for 15% off at Lilly T’s Clothing Co.
Sample gourmet foods at The Proper Pot  or get 25% OFF Celtic Jewelry at Local Color  with several styles of Sterling Silver Claddagh, Celtic Knot and birthstone rings, pendants and earrings.

There will be paintings with green stickers and 15% off at Red Wolf GalleryLucky Dog Celebration & Raffle at  Pure Pets and Jim Shore 20% off & Chamilia bracelets 50% off (with purchase of 3 beads) at My Favorite Season.

Continental Divide provides Live Irish Music by “Skeeziks” and Celestial Mountain Music chimes in with live mountain music.

Keep up your energy throughout the day and evening with food and drink specials fit for a hungry Leprechaun:
Mayberry’s ~ Corned Beef Platter w/ Irish Potatoes, Sautéed Apples & Cabbage. Check out their Beer Specials!
The Square Root Restaurant ~ Offering Irish Fare & $2 Green Beer!
The Hobnob ~ Irish Food and Drink Specials
Marco Trattoria ~ Italian-Irish Specials
The Quarry Restaurant ~ Traditional Corned Beef & Cabbage with all the traditional sides (potatoes, carrots, etc)
and for dessert:
Kiwi Gelato - MARCH flavors:  Irish Coffee Gelato, Guiness Beer Gelato, & Nutty Irishman Coffee Concoction. They're also having a First Anniversary Give-Away! You can enter to win this great prize in Kiwi Gelato or on-line at between March 14-28th. The winner will be announced live on WSQL on March 29th.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Friends of the Rickman Store host " Attracting Wildlife" Program

March 28,  7 PM at The Rickman Store, 251 Cowee Creek Road, Franklin NC. Deborah Boots presents "Attracting Wildlife", a program for Cowee Community leaders and residents. Sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation, the program works with communities to improve their backyard habitats through five basic components: food, water, places to raise young, cover and sustainable gardening. Families and Communities can reach Habitat Certification by learning and working on a variety of habitat restoration projects.

The series of lectures and workshops on "Gardening for Wildlife" organized by the Friends of the Rickman Store this year will support these efforts by providing monthly lectures, field trips and workshops at the Store the second Monday of each month, from 6 to 8 pm from May to November. More information can be found here.

Saluda Hikes Celebrate the Town's 130th Birthday

In celebration of Saluda's 130th birthday, the Saluda Community Land Trust has scheduled two guided hikes:

April 2 at 10 AM (rain date set for April 3 at 2 PM) Hike to Pacolet Falls.   Located along a ridge in a cove of the North Pacolet River, this hike is on private property and is only open with special permission.  The first half of the hike is on an old roadbed and the second half is considered steep, and may be rough for some. Using caution, all hikers should be able to do the whole hike which is about one mile round trip.

There is a spot about half way to rest if you choose to let the group go on and then rejoin them on the way back.  This time of year many wild flowers should be visible in their blooming state. Among them are the Hepatica, Toadshade and other Trillium (Catesby's, sweet white and large-flowered), Bloodroot, Mayapple, and Sessile Bellwort.  This is a beautiful walk with much more flora than you would imagine. It is a wonderful experience to remember for a lifetime.

April 9 at 10 AM (rain date set for April 10 at 2 PM) "Hike to Missing 40". This hike will be on the "Missing 40," which is an area just above the new concrete bridge on Pearson Falls Road. It has recently been leased to the Saluda Community Land Trust by the town of Tryon for 10 years. Permission was granted for the creation of trails for the public's enjoyment.

This hike, at times, takes you along steep slopes and crossing the North Pacolet River along with Joel's Creek and several smaller streams. Trails have been made and volunteers have worked hard to make it a safe and enjoyable hike.

There are places for parents to rest while their children play in the water. The whole family is welcome to come and experience this wonderland. Traveling beneath and through Laurel and Rhododendron with all of nature spread out before you is to know why you live in this great county.

Remember to wear appropriate clothing for both walks, especially shoes. Bring water and perhaps a walking stick. There will be Saluda Community Land Trust volunteers along to help with each hike. Both hikes start by meeting at the Saluda Library and perhaps car-pooling. If you have any questions please call SCLT at 828-749-1560.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Super Saturday 2011 in Tryon NC

March 19, 9:00 - 3:30 PM, Tryon NC.  33rd Annual Children's Theater Festival with a variety of professional entertainment for children and families with venues at local churches, the movie Theater, the Tryon Fine Arts Center and on Melrose Avenue. Food Court in Baptist Church Parking Lot.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Artisan Bread Bakers Festival in Asheville

April 2, Greenlife Grocery at 70 Merrimon Ave in Asheville NC. Artisan Bread Bakers Festival. More than a dozen local artisan bakers will be showing, sampling and selling their bread at this year. This "first of its kind" event, now in  the 7th,  is sponsored by the local bakeries, the Bread Bakers Guild of America, Greenlife Grocery, Slow Food Asheville, Lindley Mills (an organic flour mill in Graham, NC), and the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project.

The two-part event begins with a bread tasting and sale at the Greenlife Grocery in downtown Asheville from 10am to 2pm, followed by hands-on workshops and lectures from noon to 6pm. More than a dozen local artisan bakers will be showing, sampling and selling their bread this year.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Action Alert from Foothills Conservancy

Take Action NowUrge NC legislators to maintain current funding levels for the conservation trust funds

North Carolina’s four conservation trust funds are at serious risk as the General Assembly writes the next state budget. These trust funds - Clean Water Management, Natural Heritage, Parks and Recreation, and Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation - have preserved hundreds of thousands of acres of family farms, forests, stream banks, game lands, parks, greenways and scenic vistas.

Land protection plays a major role in our state’s economy, boosting agriculture, the military, tourism, forestry, hunting, fishing and wildlife-watching. For every one dollar the state has spent on land conservation, North Carolinians have received four dollars in natural goods and services such as clean drinking water, flood control and clean air.

State conservation funding has already been reduced by almost 50 percent. Key legislators are considering zeroing out funding for the Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF) and the Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund (ADFPTF). Now is not the time for further reductions. Please contact your legislators today and urge them to maintain current funding levels for CWMTF and ADFPTF.

High priority conservation projects across North Carolina hang in the balance, including:

  • Protecting a 180-acre farm in the Gilbert Town National Historic District in Rutherford County, ensuring that the farm remains a productive part of our state’s vital agricultural economy and preserving a culturally significant Revolutionary War site that was critical to the formation of our country.   
  • Conserving over 500 acres and several miles of headwater streams in McDowell County that empty directly into the Catawba and Broad rivers.
  • Protecting 4,225 acres in Onslow County, buffering Camp Lejeune against incompatible land use encroachment.
  • Conserving the 128-acre Heffner Gap tract in McDowell and Mitchell counties, preserving the view along a popular section of the Blue Ridge Parkway and critical sections of the historic Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail.
  • Saving the Huneycutt Family Farm in Randolph County, ensuring that the farm remains a productive part of our state’s vital agricultural economy.
  • Adding 250 acres to Fisher Farm park in Mecklenburg County, increasing recreational opportunities for people in the northeast corner of the county
  • Preserving the last largest tract of privately owned old growth longleaf pine in Montgomery County.

These conservation opportunities are available here and now. They can’t wait a year or two. That’s why it is critical that the state’s conservation trust funds receive funding in this year’s budget.

Click here to take part in Land for Tomorrow’s action alert. Use the form provided to contact your state senator and representative today, and tell them that they should maintain current funding levels for the Clean Water Management Trust Fund ($50 million) and Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund ($2 million).
To learn more about these important funds: CLICK HERE
The Foothills Conservancy is a nonprofit land trust dedicated to serving the Blue Ridge Foothills region - an eight-county area in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina - and includes the headwaters of three major rivers in the area: Catawba, Broad and Yadkin.

Friday, March 11, 2011

NC Statewide Fresh Food Guide Book Launches

"Fram Fresh North Carolina"
March 11 - 12, Asheville NC. Farm Fresh North Carolina by Diane Daniel gets a weekend of introductory activities in Asheville. The publication is the first statewide guide of its kind and includes 425 farms, produce stands, farmers' markets, wineries,  pumpkin patches and corn mazes, pick-your-own orchards, restaurants, bed and breakfasts and agricultural festivals. The author has personally visited each one of the open-to-the-public places.

This weekend's festivities begin at
Laurey's Café, 67 Biltmore Ave at 7 PM, with a Western Launch Party. Both Farmers and fans gather for food and beverages provided by the University of North Carolina Press.

Saturday's events find Diane Daniel at The Grove Park Inn until 1 PM for signings and book purchases, and at Malaprops
by 3 PM hosting the conversation "From Farm to Fork" with chef William Dissen of Market Place in Asheville and Missy Huger of Jake's Farm in Candler. The formal activities are followed by veggie nibbling and book signing.

Get more information about Farm Fresh North Carolina or purchase the book online here...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Appalachian Voices needs help to Protect Waterways

Submitted by Willa Mays, Appalachian Voices
In the fall of 2010, Appalachian Voices launched a new initiative, Appalachian Water Watch, in order to more effectively defend our waterways from the ravages of coal pollution. After finding over 20,000 violations of the Clean Water Act, we intiated legal action against Frasure Creek and ICG Coal- the two biggest mountaintop removal coal companies in Kentucky- to bring this injustice to light.

Today, Appalachian Voices is bringing another coal company to justice- Nally and Hamilton- for more than 10,000 violations of the Clean Water Act.
We are sending a strong message to coal companies that their polluting ways cannot continue- but we cannot do this work without your help.

Please donate to Appalachian Water Watch today and help us hold these coal companies accountable. We need to raise $25,000 to continue our legal actions.
Our journey literally began with a trip to Kentucky to review the Clean Water Act records submitted by coal companies, and what we found was astounding- stacks of dust-covered reports left unreviewed by state agencies. Once we blew the dust off, what we uncovered was even more disturbing.

In this video, Donna Lisenby, our Director of Water Programs, recounts this tale of blatant disregard for clean water and citizens’ health.
Come to the defense of Appalachian waterways- donate today.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Riverlink hosts "French Broad River Paddle Trail Development" Presentation

March 15th at 5:30 PM, 170 Lyman Street, Asheville NC - RiverLink will host a presentation about the French Broad River Paddle Trail.  Scott Ogletree will be presenting research and analysis for the Paddle Trail,  public comments will be reviewed, as well as river access in the Town of Marshall and camp site development.

Ogletree is working with Nancy Hodges, RiverLink Watershed Resources Manager and Steve Hendricks, retired RLA with the US Forest Service and chairman of the French Broad River Paddle Trail Advisory Council, to create development guidelines and design standards for the 219 miles of trail from Rosman to Tennessee. Maps for the French Broad River Paddle Trail will be up for review and public comment at the Orange Peel from March 11th through the evening of March 27th.

RiverLink, through grant funds from the Pigeon River Fund has been working on collecting Input from the Local Community for use in the development of the French Broad River paddle Trail. The French Broad River Paddle Trail concept grew from RiverLink's River Access Guide. The trail will establish paddle in-paddle out, "leave no trace" camp sites along the river through North Carolina. RiverLink is in the trail development phase, with a handful of camp sites already identified through meeting with the local communities. Roll out of the design plans and alternatives are scheduled for the late spring of this year.

RiverLink has been soliciting public comment for the development of the French Broad River Paddle Trail, posting maps at local businesses. Please contact Nancy Hodges at or 828-252-8474 ext 14 if you would like to post maps at your place of business.

RiverLink, is a regional non-profit spearheading the economic and environmental revitalization of the French Broad River and its tributaries as a place to live, work and play. Since 1987 we have engaged in simultaneous efforts to address water quality concerns throughout the French Broad River basin, expand public opportunities for access and recreation, and spearhead the economic revitalization of Asheville's dilapidated riverfront district.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Stay 3 Nights and get the 4th Night FREE at Asheville's Carolina Mornings

March Madness Special is happening at Carolina Mornings: Stay in an Asheville cabin or luxury vacation rental for 3 nights and get the 4th night FREE. With warmer weather and spring already beginning in the Asheville area, March is a great time to take advantage of the March Madness Special.

At Carolina Mornings you'll find an exceptional selection of some of the finest vacation home rentals in and near  Asheville NC. Choose a captivating Blue Ridge Mountain chalet, a Smoky Mountain log cabin, an elegant downtown loft or a luxury vacation villa located at the center of Historic Biltmore Village and you will be showered with free exclusive activities with our Mountain Discovery Pass as well as personal attention, exceptional service and superior amenities.

Our vacation rentals offer spectacular mountain views, hot tubs, fireplaces, WIFI (wireless Internet), pool tables, pet friendly rentals and more.
Call 828.398.0712 to book or search our rental options.   *March Madness Special Applies to most Carolina Mornings properties.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Writers for the Red Cross

What is Writers for the Red Cross? This online event celebrates Red Cross Month (March 1-31). It is intended to raise funds and awareness for the Red Cross and its work in communities across the country. The project is auctioning off publishing-related items and services donated by authors, publicists, agents, and editors. They’ll also have daily guest posts from authors about “What the Red Cross Means to Me.” All donors who give over $25 will also be able to select one free book from a range of books donated and shipped by publishers for the event.

How can you help?
To learn more, visit the website at:
Give blood. Here's how for western North Carolina

Sunday, March 6, 2011

John C Campbell Folk School makes Capital Improvements

John C Campbell 2011 catalogue
The campus of the John C Campbell Folk School has been alive with activity lately. The expansion of the Jewelry Studio is well underway, doubling the size of the studio and providing more work space and storage areas. The drywall went up last week and plumbing and electrical work will begin soon.
Local contractors, Mike Wallace and Steve Coleman, have begun restoring Hill House, which is nestled in the woods next to Hubbell House. Built in 1935,  Hill House was home to Brasstown Carvers' mentor, Murray Martin, until her death in 2005.
The restoration of Hill House falls under the historic preservation initiative of the School's Capital Campaign. The house will provide five bedrooms with private bathrooms, a cozy living room, and a wide, comfortable front porch with a gorgeous mountain view.
Solar panels have just been installed on the Dining Hall, which will save an estimated 75% of the cost of heating water. Seven buildings on campus are scheduled to receive these energy saving solar panels, which is a part of matching grant awarded to us by the Windgate Foundation. 

Get information about ways to help make the Folk School a stronger, better-equipped place for folks to live, learn and work. Whether you choose to make an outright gift of cash or securities or you think long-term, and formalize a bequest in your estate planning, you are enriching the lives of our students and our community.  The John C. Campbell Folk School is a tax-exempt organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and all donations are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law. Thee School is located at One Folk School Road, Brasstown, NC

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Ahseville Celebrates Mardi Gras

March 6 at Pack's Tavern Century Room, 20 South Spruce Street in Asheville NC the Mardi Gras Parade & Ball is a FREE event. The parade will be full of dancers, roller skaters, drummers and "krewe's" of colorful characters. The parade begins in front of Asheville Community Theater on Walnut Street and will dance and march its way towards Lexington Ave., turn left and then right on to College St., loop around Pritchard Park, up Patton Avenue to Pack Square where the parade ends and the Mardi Gras Ball begins. At the conclusion of the parade is over,  the fun and revelry continues at the Mardi Gras Ball in Pack's Tavern's elegant Century Room. Enjoy festive libations and  live music performed by Sirius B.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Great Smoky Mountains National Park needs Volunteers

The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is now recruiting volunteers to participate in two essential programs that help Park staff maintain the resources in the backcountry for a better visitor experience and reduce potential human/animal conflicts.

The Adopt-a-Trail (AAT) and Adopt-a-Campsite (AAC) programs are long-established activities in the Park and new recruits are always needed
to cover the half-million acres within its boundaries. A training/orientation session has been scheduled for each of the programs to instruct on the specific duties associated with them.

AAT volunteers will aid in the Park’s 800-mile trail system, covering everything from picking up litter to removing treefalls and reporting trail problems to the Park. Specific trail assignments include collecting and removing litter; cleaning waterbars and drainage systems; performing brushing and removal of small windfalls or branches (hand tools only) and minor trail tread maintenance; removing illegal campsites and fire rings found along trail; and inspecting trail signs.

AAC volunteers will perform a variety of duties associated with the Park’s 100 backcountry campsites.
These duties involve removal of litter and garbage in and around the campsites and dismantling illegal fire rings, as well as monitoring the condition of the food storage cables. Light rehabilitation of the site and removal of fallen debris are also part of the responsibilities.

Another important function for both programs will be to assist visitors with needed information and promote Leave No Trace outdoor ethics. AAT and AAC volunteers must be 18 years of age or older and in good physical condition. They are expected to hike/patrol their trail(s) and visit their campsite(s) at least eight times per program year-- March through October and complete a written report to the Park after each site visit.
All training is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and information regarding the training location will be provided once registered. In order to attend, participants must register with Christine Hoyer, Trails and Facilities Volunteer Coordinator (828-497-1949 or For the April training, the registration deadline is March 25. For the June training, the registration deadline is May 27.

Sustainable Agriculture and Local Food Systems Workshop

Submitted by Bob Bowles, Slow Food Asheville
An Appalachian Regional Commission Workshop on Sustainable Agriculture and Local Food Systems March 18, 2011 · 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. · Pilot Mountain, North Carolina
Interest in sustainable agriculture is putting the Appalachian Region’s rich agricultural life and diverse food assets on the map. Across the Region, communities are developing partnerships to take advantage of the economic opportunities this approach offers. The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is convening a series of workshops to help develop strategies to grow local food networks through regional collaboration. ARC welcomes your participation in the third of these workshops, in Pilot Mountain, North Carolina, on March 18.

Workshop presenters will include:
Charlie Jackson, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project, Asheville, North Carolina
Tom Philpott, Maverick Farms, Boone, North Carolina
Susi Gott Seguret, Seasonal School of Culinary Arts, Madison County, North Carolina
Jerry Moles, New River Valley LandCare, Grayson County, Virginia
Space is limited; register soon!

When: March 18, 2011, 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m.  At
The Pilot Center, 612 East Main Street, Pilot Mountain, North Carolina. Cost: $10; includes an “Appalachian Foodways Luncheon” provided by the Pilot Center in partnership with Pilot Mountain Pride.
How to Register: Reply to this email at with the following information: Participant name, email address, and phone number. Workshop participants are asked to contribute $10 via check or money order (payable to the Surry County Economic Development Foundation) to defray the cost of lunch and refreshments. Registration ends March 14, 2011.

Buncombe County Extension office. You MUST pre-register by calling 255-5522.
• March 5 & 6 Organic Growers School, UNC-Asheville.
• March 16 Gardening in the Mountains, Spring Lawn Care,
10:00 - 11:30am at the Buncombe County Extension Office. Free, no registration
• March 21 Backyard Small Fruit, 5:30 -7:00pm at the Buncombe County Extension Office.
$5. Pre-registration required. Space is limited.
• March 28 Starting a Vegetable Garden, 5:30 -7:00pm at the Buncombe County Extension
office. $5. Pre-registration required. Space is limited.
• April 9 Spring Garden School: Presented by Extension Master Gardeners - AB Tech
Ferguson Auditorium. Pre-registration required.

March 12&13— Beginners Bee School, Introduction to Beekeeping. At the Folk Art Center, Blue
Ridge Parkway, Asheville. Pre-registration is required at: $20.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Celebrate Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest 75 th Anniversary with a POEM - of course!

The 75th Anniversary Celebration for Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest will take place on July 30, 2011. What could be more appropriate to mark the event than a Poetry Contest? 2011 is  the 75th Anniversary of the dedication of the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, a living memorial to writer/poet Joyce Kilmer, best known for the poem, “Trees.” Learn more about Joyce Kilmer here...
The poetry contest is open to school children in grades K‐12, as well as to adults and professional writers. The contest requires poems submitted to be about a tree, trees, or forests.  Entry categories are divided by grade levels (K‐4, 5‐8, High School) and adult/professional. All poems  submitted will be received by the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center and judged by a panel consisting of teachers, writers, and the general public.

First, second, and third place winners plus one honorable mention will be chosen from each category. The winning poems will be displayed during the 75th Anniversary and their authors will be recognized at the 75th Anniversary Celebration event on July 30, 2011. Once the judging has been completed and the winners notified, submissions will be publicly displayed at the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center. Complete information and entry forms can be found online or at the Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center and will son be available in local schools.

Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest is located in Graham County, North Carolina just outside of
Robbinsville, in the far western corner of the North Carolina Mountains. The 3,800‐acre Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest is now a part of the 14,000 acre Joyce Kilmer‐Slickrock Wilderness. The area was once a hunting ground of the Cherokee Indians with trees as old as 450 years and 100 feet tall. In addition to the Forest's remarkable trees, an outstanding variety of shrubs, vines, ferns, mosses, lichen, liverworts and herbaceous plants complete the pristine scenery.

The Partners of the Joyce Kilmer‐Slickrock Wilderness, in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service, are planning the 75th Anniversary celebration. A rededication ceremony will be held at Rattler Ford campground, outside of Robbinsville, NC on July 30. This celebration will include a 5K road race through a portion of the Nantahala National Forest, exhibits of the area’s rich natural and cultural heritage, guided tours of the Joyce Kilmer National Recreation Trail and speakers highlighting both Joyce Kilmer’s life and the U.S. Forest Service’s stewardship of wilderness.
The Stecoah Valley Cultural Arts Center is located at
121 Schoolhouse Road, Stecoah (Robbinsville), NC