The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) has designated the Town of Beech Mountain as a Certified Wildlife Habitat Community. The Town is only the ninth community within the state of North Carolina to achieve this status. Wilson King, long-time resident, community leader and advocate for wildlife and the environment in the High Country, says “this is the natural evolution of efforts on the mountain to preserve what is special about this place. We don’t want to harm the place we all love, and the Wildlife Habitat Certification process for this community gives us all the opportunity to participate in preservation of nature.”
There are several components to the process that the Town worked through to receive this recognition. Numerous areas in the community, both public and private, were submitted to the NWF for consideration. Each area that is included in the program must provide the following for wildlife: food, water, cover and a place to raise young. This can be as simple as a small bird bath, a nesting box for birds, edible plants, and shrubs for cover.
The Parks and Recreation Department has taken the lead in educational programming, creation of opportunities to enjoy nature respectfully and without disruption on the local trails. They also provide guided hikes in spring, summer, and fall. Town landscaping has been carefully created to use mostly native plants, attract pollinators, and provide cover for beneficial insects and other small creatures. Many town buildings use rain barrels to conserve water and prevent erosion from run-off. The Visitor Center helps administer the program. Stop by for tips and printed information about the program, or contact Beech Mountain Director of Tourism and Economic Development, Kate Gavenus @ 828-387-9283 or [email protected].