Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund Protects Key Pisgah National Forest and Blue Ridge Parkway Tract

Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina has completed transfer of the Buck Creek Gap tract in McDowell County to the United States Forest Service. The Forest Service competed for funding at the national level and ultimately received $330,000 in Recreational Priority Access funds from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) program in order purchase the key inholding property from the conservancy.

Foothills Conservancy 2016 Blue Ridge Foothills Protection Challenge Underway

Foothills Conservancy announces that its 2016 Blue Ridge Foothills Protection Challenge is underway, and this year the goal has been raised from $60,000 to $75,000. 

Gifts to Foothills Conservancy between now and August 31 will be matched dollar-for dollar. Two generous donors—the von Drehle Corporation of Hickory and an anonymous individual—have pledged to match up to $37,500 during the challenge to help donations go even further. So far the 2016 challenge has raised $22,873, and one month remains to raise the remaining $14,627 in order to achieve the full match of $37,500 and reach the total goal of $75,000.

Internationally acclaimed singer-songwriter Dougie MacLean makes stop at DWT on short U.S. tour

Announcing the return of crowd favorite, Dougie MacLean, in a special performance on Wednesday, August 17 at 8:00 p.m. at Diana Wortham Theatre. Making Asheville one of only three stops on a short U.S. tour prior to his appearance at the Rocky Mountains Folks Festival in Colorado, MacLean performs a stunning selection of his new songs along with much loved classics. Tickets/Info: (828) 257-4530 or

The Wilderness Society Hosts Guided Hike in the Black Mountains, Aug. 6

On Saturday, August 6, The Wilderness Society’s Southern Appalachian Office based in Sylva will host a guided hike in the Black Mountains Inventoried Roadless Area led by Hugh Irwin, Landscape Conservation Planner for The Wilderness Society. 

Participants may meet at the Folk Art Center in east Asheville on the Blue Ridge Parkway at 8:00 a.m. to carpool to the trailhead, or meet directly at the hike site at 9:30 a.m. The 7.5-mile hike will be on difficult terrain. Hikers should wear sturdy walking boots, bring rain gear and sun protection, plenty of water, and pack a lunch. A walking stick is recommended.

Guided Hike at Wildacres Retreat Center

On Saturday, July 9, Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina, Conservation Trust for North Carolina, and Wildacres Retreat Center will co-host a public hike on the beautiful Wildacres Retreat Center trail network. Beginning at 10:30 a.m., the moderate hike will be led by Foothills Conservancy Land Protection Director Tom Kenney and naturalist Kevin Caldwell.

Following the hike, the land trusts will host a picnic lunch and presentation about the retreat center and its lands.

Asheville’s Diana Wortham Theatre Announces Leadership Transition

The Diana Wortham Theatre is pleased to announce an upcoming leadership transition. After 20 years as Managing Director, John Ellis will retire in June 2017 and Rae Geoffrey, the theatre’s current Associate Director, has been named the organization’s new Managing Director effective July 1, 2017.

Asheville Furniture Maker Appalachian Designs Creates Benches for Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site

Local rustic furniture maker Appalachian Designs recently crafted two replica benches for the lawn of the Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site located in the town of Hyde Park, New York overlooking the Hudson Valley.

 According to the curator of the site’s museum, Frank Futral, it was common for the Roosevelts to take furniture out of the main house out onto the lawn to enjoy the scenery around them. In this vein, Appalachian Designs’ benches are situated on the sprawling lawns of the home and allow visitors to take in a full view of the Hudson River Valley as the Roosevelts once did.

Wilderness Society Southern Appalachian Office Hosts Open House

On Tuesday, July 19, The Wilderness Society’s Southern Appalachian Office hosts an open house in its new office at 474 West Main Street in downtown Sylva, North Carolina. From 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. the public is invited to drop in to meet the regional staff and enjoy light refreshments. Regional Director Brent Martin will make brief remarks at 6:00 p.m.