1) Junaluska Invites All to Celebrate Junaluska Jubilee on June 28
The third annual Junaluska Jubilee, celebrating Boone’s historic African American community of Junaluska and honoring a native son will be held on Saturday, June 28 beginning at 10:30 a.m. Events include an 11 a.m. Commemorative Church Service with tributes/video devoted to community honoree Virgil Greer, a community lunch at 12:30 p.m., the afternoon entertainment beginning at 1:30 p.m. plus children’s activities. All events will take place at the Boone Mennonite Brethren Church located at 161 Church St. in Boone, two short blocks from the public library. Sponsored by the Junaluska Heritage Association, admission is free but RSVP is requested to Roberta Jckson at JacksonRH@appstate.edu or 828-773-2540 for those attending lunch. Virgil Greer was a much-loved community historian, spokesman and advocate who died Nov. 7 and was devoted to preserving the heritage of Junaluska and of Boone. Performers at the Jubilee include the celebrated Junaluska Gospel Choir plus crowd-pleasing magician “Ricardo the Magnificent.”
2) Grants Available for Heritage Projects
The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership has announced its 2014 Heritage Grants Program which will provide funding for projects that preserve, interpret and promote western North Carolina’s agricultural, craft, Cherokee, music and natural heritage. These five distinctive legacies earned the region a Congressional designation as a National Heritage Area in 2003. “Western North Carolina is blessed with nationally significant heritage assets,” said BRNHA Executive Director Angie Chandler. “Our grants help preserve and promote our heritage, which leads to greater visitor spending and jobs in our own towns and communities.” Nonprofit organizations, academic institutions and units of state and local governments are eligible to apply. Applicants must provide at least an equal match. The total pool of funding for the 2014 grant cycle is $150,000. Over the past 10 years, the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership has awarded 111 grants totally $1.8 million to projects that preserve, interpret and develop the heritage resources of the region. These awards have leveraged more than $3.5 million in state, local and private matches. Grants awarded in previous cycles have supported indoor and outdoor exhibits, oral history projects, video documentaries, interpretive programs, visitor brochures, music classes and the marketing of heritage destinations. The grant projects have provided engaging and authentic heritage experiences to hundreds of thousands of visitors and residents. The deadline for applications is Oct. 1. Complete information on the grant program can be found at www.BlueRidgeHeritage.com/partners/grants.
3) Appalachian Trail Conservancy Seeks Volunteers to Help Remove Invasive Plants July 12
The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is seeking volunteers to participate in an invasive exotic plant workday beginning at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, July 12 at Lemon Gap along the Appalachian Trail (AT) on the Tennessee/North Carolina border. Carpooling to Lemon Gap will be available and those interested should meet at 8 a.m. at the ATC Southern Regional Office parking lot located at 160 Zillicoa St. in Asheville. The free event will provide participants with an opportunity to remove non-native invasive plants and protect the native biodiversity of the Lemon Gap area. Volunteers will target the highly-invasive plants Japanese Spiraea by pulling small stems or cutting and applying herbicide to larger stems. This work is a continuation of control efforts which began in 2011. The workday will begin with a brief educational workshop to train volunteers on the importance of native plant diversity, plant identification, and safe work procedures. Participants will also receive free guidebooks for the identification and control of invasive exotic plants. Afterward, the group will work along the AT to remove other invasive plants encountered. The ATC will provide all equipment needed for the workday. Volunteers are asked to wear long sleeves, long pants and sturdy hiking boots or shoes. Participants should also bring lunch and at least two quarts of water. Those who carpool will return to Asheville by 5 p.m.