1) October Programs at Elk Knob State Park
- Trail Work Days: Warmer weather has finally returned along with the Volunteer Trail Work Days at Elk Knob State Park. Every Saturday running through the middle of November, staff and volunteers will meet at the Summit Trailhead at 9 a.m. and work until approximately 3:30 p.m., weather permitting. Tools are provided but volunteers should wear closed-toed shoes and bring work gloves, lunch and water. Most of the time will be spent building our new one-mile loop trail, the Beech Tree Trail, although we may include some repair work on the Summit Trail. If you would like to be involved in a fulfilling project that will fill you with a well-deserved sense of pride, join us on Saturdays at Elk Knob State Park. For more information, please call 828-297-7261.
- Fall Colors: COme learn about some of the area’s best eye candy. The trees in this area give off a spectacular show while preparing for winter. Meet at the summit trailhead on Sunday, Sept. 29 at 2 p.m. to learn the meaning behind this natural art festival and create an artistic leaf-rubbing of your own.
- “Haint” Hike: On Sunday, Oct. 6, at 2 p.m., hike the Summit Trail as a nation Appalachian tells ghost stories from way back in the hollows of Appalachia. Participants should bring hiking attire and a box of tissues, as they will be frightened. Hike is weather dependent. Meet at the summit trailhead.
- Clouds (in celebration of Take a Child Outside Week): Clouds form different shapes, sizes and colors. So what makes these clouds form this way? Join a ranger on Sunday, Oct. 13 at 2 p.m. to learn how they are formed and why there are different types. After a power point presentation we will head outside to see what clouds, if any, are in our daytime sky. Meet at the park office.
- Our Lunar Partner: Join a park ranger on Friday, Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. to learn all about the moon. You will learn about the phases and eclipses of the moon in addition to geology and general moon facts. Then, if the skies cooperate, we will look through the telescope at the full moon and other celestial bodies. There is actually a preumbral eclipse this evening. A preumbral eclipse occurs when the moon passes through a partial shadow of Earth. It will not turn red, as it does in a total eclipse, but it will darken and hopefully we will be able to see it happening. Program will be held rain or shine. Please meet in the park office.
- “Haint” Hike: On Sunday, Oct. 27, at 2 p.m., hike the Summit Trail as a native Appalachian tells ghost stories from way back in the hollows of Appalachia. Participants should bring hiking attire and a box of tissues, as they will be frightened. Hike is weather dependent. Meet at the summit trailhead.
2) Northwest Regional Housing Authority Properties Smoke Free
The Northwest Regional Housing Authority’s (NWRHA) properties are now smoke free and began to implement this policy in August. The NWRHA Board and Executive Staff made the decision to implement a smoke-free policy for each of their fifteen properties, which covers multiple counties across Northwest North Carolina. There are three properties located in Watauga, Ashe and Alleghany Counties. This smoke-free policy now extends the smoke-free area from common areas such as stairwells and hallways to all indoor areas including the resident’s unit. However, residents will be allowed to smoke outdoors. The NWRHA has worked with the Community Transformation Grant (CTG) Project which works closely with the local health departments in the region, including the Appalachian District Health Department, to assist with the process of developing and implementing a smoke-free policy. During this process, a tenant survey was sent to all residents to gauge their level of interest in a smoke-free policy. These results were compiled and shared with the NWRHA board. Smoking cessation resources have been provided to NWRHA to offer for those tenants interested in quitting smoking.
3) American Heart Association Heartsaver CPR and AED Course
Tuesday, Nov. 5 from 6-9 p.m. at the Watauga Medical Center Auditorium. The cost for the course is $40 payable to ARHS. Registration deadline is Friday, Oct. 25. Class size is limited. You must call to pre-register and prepay. This course is designed for community members who want to learn CPR for adults, children and infants; how to help a choling victim and use of an automated external defibrillator (AED). Certification card which is valid for 2 years will be provided.