1) Woolly Worm Festival Volunteers Needed
It’s almost Woolly Worm time again, and we are again on the hunt for a hundred or more volunteers needed for the Oct. 18-19 festival. If you are someone, or know someone, who has worked in the past and would like to work this year, please let us know your availability. Remember that your donation of time helps foster the hundreds of thousands of tourism dollars that come in to all corners of Avery County as well as the festival charitable dollars that are raised and turned right back to programs in our community. The Kiwanis Club of Banner Elk is one sponsor and that group gives every dollar it earns back to organizations which work to improve the lives of children. The Avery Chamber of Commerce, the other sponsor, uses its earnings to promote businesses and tourism interests in the county. Please contact the Avery Chamber office at 828-898-5605 or email [email protected] or [email protected] or contact volunteer coordinator Ann Swinkola at [email protected]
2) Hoe Down for the Humane Society held Sept. 27
Join us for a hoe down on Saturday, Sept. 27 from 7-10 p.m. The cost will be $75 per couple, $40 per person, $15 for teens and $8 for children 4-12. Children under three get in for free. All proceeds benefit the Avery County Humane Society. There will be food, drinks and good times for all at the Chapman Center. Music will be provided by Doug Gragg’s Golden Strand Band with square dancing called by Roy Krege. Barbecue, desserts and beer and wine will be available.
3) October Programs at Grandfather Mountain State Park
Fall Colors: This program will be held on Sunday, Oct. 5 and 12, from 2-3 p.m. at the Boone Fork Parking Area. Did you know you can predict what color leaves the trees will change to during the fall season? When you see trees during the summer months in their lush green stages of growth typically you do not think about what color the leaf will become in the fall. But what if you could? Join Ranger Sicard to learn about the process which makes the trees’ leaves change to the colors they do, and how you can predict what colors you will have where you live. Please dress appropriately for the weather conditions. Please no pets. For more information please call Andy Sicard at the park office 828-963-9522.
To Build a Fire: This program will be held on Sunday, Oct. 12 from 4-5 p.m. at Lowes Foods Parking Lot. Fire is one of the cornerstones of human civilization that many of us take for granted in today’s modern lifestyle. Could you build a fire if necessary? Join a Park Ranger at Grandfather Mountain State Park to learn techniques on fire building and emergency fire starting for camping, heating or survival. Participants will learn about fuel sources, alternative fire starters and some of the science behind fire. This program will last approximately one hour. Children must be accompanied by an adult and please leave pets at home. Please dress appropriately for the weather conditions. For more information, contact Luke Appling at the park office 828-963-9522.
Volunteer Trail Work Day: This program will be held on Saturday, Oct. 18 from 9:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. Join the Park’s staff for a day of trail maintenance and get a feel for what goes into managing a highly popular hiking destination. Volunteers will learn how to safely and effectively use tools, be shown sustainable trail design techniques and become familiar with trail labor. Work will be based on experience and skill level of volunteers and will range from easier low level physical activity to advanced highly physical trail construction. This volunteer day is suitable for adults and children above 12 years of age. All volunteers under the age of 18 must have a parent or legal adult guardian present. Volunteers should be dressed in appropriate clothing for outdoor work, bring work gloves, wear closed toed shoes and bring food and water for refreshment during the day. If you have any questions, please contact our office at 828.963.9522.
Fall Color Hike: This program will be held on Sunday, Oct. 19 from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. at the Boone Fork Parking Area. Join a Ranger for a leisurely walk and talk to see some of the area’s beautiful fall color. The hike will cover approximately 2 miles and take about two hours. Wear hiking boots or similar outdoor footwear; the trail is rocky but not strenuous. Children must be accompanied by an adult and please leave pets at home. Please dress appropriately for the weather conditions. For more information, contact Luke Appling at the park office 828-963-9522.
Winter Weather Hiking: This program will be held on Saturday, Oct. 25, from 2-3 p.m. at the Profile Parking Lot. Have you looked out your windows in the winter when the snow is softly falling on the ground and said to yourself this would be a great day to be out hiking on the trails; only to follow it up with, “But it’s too cold,” or “I don’t know how I would make it with all the layers of clothes and big pack on”? Winter hiking doesn’t have to be dreaded. Join Ranger Sicard to learn what to carry with you and how to dress properly so that a negative experience doesn’t ruin the moment or interest to pursue it again. Participants will learn how to layer properly for weather conditions, what and where to carry items in a pack, and some safety measures to take to make the hike enjoyable. Please dress appropriately for the weather conditions. Please no pets. For more information, contact Andy Sicard at the park office 828-963-9522.
4) Appalachian Earns Tree Campus USA Certification
Appalachian State University has received Tree Campus USA certification from the Arbor Day Foundation. The certification process was a collaborative effort between the Department of Biology, Department of Geography and Planning, Physical Plant and New River Light and Power. “This certification demonstrates Appalachian’s commitment to environmental aspects of sustainability,” said Mike Madritich, an associate professor of biology and member of the university’s certification team. The Tree City USA program is a national program that provides the framework for community forestry management for cities and towns across the United States. Tree Campus USA started in 2008 and since then 110,785 trees have been planted on university campuses. There are currently more than 135 million Americans living in the 3,400 Tree City USA communities. Appalachian’s Tree Campus USA discussions started during the 2009-10 academic school year. The tree campus committee developed a management plan and organized outreach and planting efforts. “Our urban forests also provides economic and social benefits to the campus, and achieving and maintaining Tree Campus USA recognition requires long-term planning and continued efforts to properly manage our trees,” Madritch said. “Each year we will undergo a recertification process to make sure we are making good progress towards our short- and long-term goals. The benefits are well worth it, we’ll make progress toward carbon neutrality, and our students, staff, and faculty will have a great campus to live and work on.” Other members of the team who oversaw the certification process were facilities superintendent in landscaping services Eddie Hyle, plant heath care professional Chris Erickson, physical plant horticultural specialist Jason Harkey and physical plant landscape superintendent Jim Bryan. As part of his graduate studies in biology, Harkey also surveyed every managed tree on campus. “The Tree Campus USA certification expresses Appalachians dedication and commitment to our urban forest which shows we have made a commitment to support, maintain and grow a sustainable urban forest, thus reducing our carbon footprint,” Hyle said.
5) Bassoonist Jon Beebe Performs Sept. 28
Works for bassoon will be performed Sept. 28 at Appalachian State University. The faculty recital presented by Hayes School of Music faculty member Jon Beebe will begin at 8 p.m. in Broyhill Music Center’s Rosen Concert Hall. Joining Beebe will be Lynn Beebe, clarinet, Karen Robertson, horn, Rodney Reynerson, piano, and Christina Hayes, piano. The recital begins with “Monolog No. 5” by Erland von Koch. A Swedish composer, von Koch wrote works for symphonies, solo concertos, solo instruments and even films. His motto was to “always keep the melody” and once remarked “aim for a simple, clear, melodic style, often with elements of folk tone and with a definite rhythmic profile. I want the harmonies to be uncomplicated.” Beebe and the ensemble also will perform “Landscapes” by Daniel Baldwin, which is based on paintings by 19th-century artist Frederic Edwin Church. Baldwin said the composition’s first movement, “Of Tomorrow’s Promise; West Rock, New Haven, 1849,” was based on the painting of the same name but also is a commentary on his early professional life. The music has a “new frontier” feel to it with beautiful melodies, and broad, grand and sweeping gestures in the winds and piano. The second movement, “Of Pain and Sorrows; Twilight: Mount Desert Island, Maine, 1865,” is based on a difficult time in Church’s life. With the Civil War ravaging around him, his two children contracted diphtheria and passed away one week apart. In the weeks after their deaths, Church painted “Twilight,” which exudes a feeling of deep sadness and exhaustion. The final movement, “Of Quiet Reflection; Mount Katahdin from Millinocket Camp, 1895,” depicts Church at the end of his life. Crippled by arthritis, he attempts one final painting in what, Baldwin believes, is a quiet reflection on his life. The music is quiet and introspective, but also includes a restatement of themes from the first and second movements in different keys representing Church’s reflection on different parts of his life. Beebe also will perform “Thème et Variations,” a bassoon solo by Pierre Petit and “Partita No. 2” by Bill Douglas. A Canadian musician and composer, Douglas’ work is inspired by classical music, jazz and ethnic music.