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Today’s Email Announcements

Grandfather Mountain Earns 2016 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence

The Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation isn’t about moving mountains.

It’s about moving people.

And the people have spoken.

Grandfather Mountain has received the 2016 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence. This marks the fifth consecutive year that the Linville-based attraction has been recognized with the achievement.

Now in its sixth year, the award celebrates hospitality businesses that have consistently earned outstanding traveler reviews on the TripAdvisor travel website during the past year. According to TripAdvisor, award recipients represent the upper echelon of businesses listed on the “world’s largest travel site.”

“We’re honored and proud to receive this accolade for the fifth year in a row,” said Frank Ruggiero, director of marketing and communications for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the nonprofit organization that oversees the attraction. “I can’t think of a greater measure of our success than receiving such feedback from our guests. The fact that they took the time to put their experience to words means mountains to us here.”

To qualify, a business must maintain an overall TripAdvisor bubble rating of at least four or five, have a minimum number of reviews and must have been listed on the site for at least 12 months.

Grandfather Mountain currently holds a 4.5 overall rating based on its 1,302 visitor reviews. Approximately 250,000 people visit Grandfather Mountain each year. The park is open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas, weather permitting.

During the summer, the nonprofit nature preserve offers a wide variety of special events and daily programs, including habitat animal enrichments, naturalist programs and guided hikes. To learn more, visitwww.grandfather.com.

For more information about TripAdvisor, visit www.tripadvisor.com.

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.

Concert at St. John’s on July 3 with Joseph Sobol

Concert at St. John’s.  Sunday, July 3rd., 5:00 pm  Joseph Sobol, nationally acclaimed scholar, teacher, writer, musician and balladeer will present an evening of music, song and storytelling of folklore of Appalachia and the Celtic influence.  Bring a covered dish and join in a potluck supper after the concert.  St. John’s is located on Herb Thomas Rd., off Mast Gap Rd., in Valle Crucis (signs will be posted)  Admission $5.00, children free.  For more information call 828-963-4609

High Gravity Adventures Hosts Summer Sunrise and Sunset Yoga

Looking to add a little “om” to your weekend? Head to High Gravity Adventures for Sunrise Yoga and Sunset Yoga, held on select mornings and evenings throughout the summer from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Revive your weekend routine with these all-levels yoga flow classes taught by High Country Yoga, focused on increasing strength, flexibility and balance. Tucked in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains, High Gravity Adventures provides a peaceful, scenic place to re-focus your mind, body and spirit. After completing your practice, enjoy a 20% discount on High Gravity Adventures’ aerial adventure park! The park offers 75 different aerial challenges, allowing you to climb, balance and swing from heights of 15 to 50 feet in the air.

Sunrise Yoga and Sunset Yoga classes are $5 for High Country Yoga members and $7 for non-members. Check out High Gravity Adventures’ events calendar for all upcoming dates.  See below for some photos of recent yoga classes and feel free to contact me for more photos or details to share with your readers.

ASU Library Summer Author Series Begins June 30

BOONE – High Country Sustainability is the theme of the 2016 University Libraries Summer Author Series to be held at Appalachian State University. The series is sponsored by the Richard T. Barker Friends of the Library.

Janet Larsen, co-author of 2015’s “The Great Transition: Shifting from Fossil Fuels to Solar and Wind Energy,” kicks off the series with a talk Thursday, June 30, at 3:30 p.m. in Parkway Ballroom of the Plemmons Student Union.

Other speakers in the series are Jay Leutze at 3:30 p.m. July 14, also in the student union’s Parkway Ballroom, and Chris Arvidson, Julie Townsend and Scot Pope at 3:30 p.m. Aug. 4 in Room 114 Belk Library and Information Commons.

Janet Larsen

Larsen is an environmental analyst working to connect the dots between climate, energy, water, agriculture and security. She led the research efforts of the Earth Policy Institute (EPI) from its inception in 2001 until 2015. Prior to the creation of Earth Policy Institute, Larsen worked at the Worldwatch Institute. Her research has covered a range of topics, from bike sharing and bottled water to food security, forest cover and crop yields.

In addition to “The Great Transition,” Larsen also co-authored “The Earth Policy Reader.” She managed the research for all of EPI’s books, including the “Plan B” series and “Full Planet, Empty Plates.” She holds a degree in earth systems from Stanford University.

Jay Leutze

Leutze was born in Virginia and now lives in the Southern Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. Trained as an attorney, he has become a leading voice for state and federal conservation funding for investment in public lands. He is a trustee for Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, one of the nation’s most established land trusts.

He is the author of 2012’s “Stand Up that Mountain: The Battle to Save One Small Community in the Wilderness Along the Appalachian Trail,” winner of the Reed Environmental Writing Award. Leutze’s book tells the true story of a North Carolina outdoorsman who teams up with his Appalachian “mountain people” neighbors to save treasured land from being destroyed.

Chris Arvidson, Julie Townsend and Scot Pope

These three writers edited the 2015 anthology “Reflections on the New River: New Essays, Poems and Personal Stories.” Arvidson is a writer who has worked in land and water conservation. She lives in West Jefferson. Pope is a photographer, musician and writer who lives in Creston. Townsend has taught writing for 23 years at UNC-Charlotte and Appalachian State University. She lives in Fleetwood.

For more information about the series, contact Lynn Patterson at 828-262-2087.