Grandfather Mountain Announces Boulder Club, Forest Keepers Giving Programs

Published Friday, December 4, 2015 at 11:16 am
Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation executive director Jesse Pope stands beside a tree up for ‘adoption’ at Grandfather Mountain’s Cliffside Overlook. Photo by Jim Morton | Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation executive director Jesse Pope stands beside a tree up for ‘adoption’ at Grandfather Mountain’s Cliffside Overlook. Photo by Jim Morton | Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

A rolling stone gathers no moss, but a boulder on Grandfather Mountain can preserve a legacy.

This holiday season, the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the nonprofit organization that oversees the popular Linville attraction, is unveiling two exclusive giving programs — Boulder Club and Forest Keepers.

Designed to significantly support the organization’s mission of conservation and education, Boulder Club and Forest Keepers will allow donors to not only contribute to the cause, but become part of it.

Here’s how it works.

Boulder Club

Several noteworthy boulders on Grandfather Mountain are identified by names, like Sphinx Rock and Split Rock.

While previously named boulders are not up for adoption, donors can bestow a rock formation with a name that will serve to transform an anonymous boulder into a geographic landmark.

“It’s an opportunity to be involved with Grandfather Mountain in a real meaningful way,” executive director Jesse Pope said. “It’s a club that connects our community with Grandfather Mountain, giving them a chance to become a very important part of the mountain, our foundation and our future.”

The mountain’s most memorable boulders are being catalogued, according to GPS coordinates, so that interested supporters can select their favorite to name. Those who join will be sent a photograph of the boulder (with the person who named it standing alongside, when possible), along with details about its geologic makeup and history.

Names will not be affixed to or near the boulders. Rather, the names, locations and photographs of these natural features and their keepers will be posted on the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation website (www.grandfathermountain.org) for worldwide recognition, and a customized plaque will be sent to each sponsor.

In addition, Boulder Club members will be spotlighted in an upcoming exhibit in the Nature Museum.

Joining the Boulder Club requires a minimum gift of $5,000, all tax-deductible, and gifts can be earmarked for specific projects or funds.

“This could be a huge benefit to Grandfather Mountain,” Pope said, “allowing us to complete capital projects and educational programming that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.”

For instance, proceeds from memberships would help enhance educational exhibits in the Nature Museum and fund improvements for other areas of the park.

“It’s a great way to become part of the Grandfather Mountain legacy in a real tangible way,” Pope said.

Further, a lasting benefit of naming a boulder on Grandfather Mountain is the confidence that one’s “adoption” will never be shifted by a bulldozer or mangled by a rock crusher. Such contributions ensure that the foundation will protect those boulders — and many others — for all time.

“In other words, Boulder Club promises a legacy set in stone,” Pope said.

For more information, or to join, visit www.grandfathermountain.org/how-you-help/boulder-club-2/.

Forest Keepers

Similar to Boulder Club, but literally with more growth potential, Forest Keepers allows supporters to adopt a tree of their choosing on Grandfather Mountain.

Those whose giving levels reach $1,000 or more will be eligible for membership, and they’ll be able to adopt and name one of the mountain’s trees for its lifetime.

Each named tree will be photographed, described, located by GPS coordinates and featured in a prominent display coming soon to the Nature Museum. Donors will be individually recognized on the foundation’s website, and all will receive a customized plaque.

For more information, or to join, visit www.grandfathermountain.org/how-you-help/forest-keepers/.

The not-for-profit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain. For more information, call (800) 468-7325, or visit www.grandfather.com to plan a trip.

Bailey Bartlett visits her adopted boulder — Bailey’s Holey Rock — during a Halloween trip to Grandfather Mountain. Photo by Jim Morton | Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

Bailey Bartlett visits her adopted boulder — Bailey’s Holey Rock — during a Halloween trip to Grandfather Mountain. Photo by Jim Morton | Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

Jesse Pope, executive director of the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, stands upon a boulder at the mountain’s popular Cliffside Overlook. Photo by Jim Morton | Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

Jesse Pope, executive director of the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, stands upon a boulder at the mountain’s popular Cliffside Overlook. Photo by Jim Morton | Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

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