North Carolina, I’m Coming Home Again

Eleven years ago today I started a journey here at North Carolina Mountain Dreams that had actually started a few years earlier in the real world. Today I’m continuing, after a long absence with that journey. I hope you’ll join me once again…

How a Granite Quarry Made Mount Airy Famous Before Mayberry Did

It is the world’s largest open-faced granite quarry. On the surface alone, the quarry encompasses about 60 acres, or roughly the equivalent of 66 football fields. Mount Airy lore maintains that astronauts spotted The Rock from space as they orbited the Earth. That’s how large this rock is, and that’s just the part you can see. The mother mass — the block you can’t see — is about 7 miles long and 1 mile wide, north and south. And it’s 8,000 feet deep. “Geologists tell us we’ve got enough to last for a while

 

We visited Mt. Airy on one of our earliest trips to the mountains. But we didn’t make it out to the Rock. We are planning another trip this summer, this looks like a day trip in the making.

Source: How a Granite Quarry Made Mount Airy Famous Before Mayberry Did – Our State Magazine

Blue Ridge National Heritage Area announces grant awards | CITIZEN-TIMES.com | Asheville Citizen-Times

Sequoyah with a tablet depicting his writing s...
Image via Wikipedia

From the web…

ASHEVILLE – The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area announced 19 grants totaling more than $250,000 in funding designed to preserve and promote Western North Carolina’s heritage.

Funded by the federal dollars the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area receives, the grant awards will help support diverse initiatives across the North Carolina mountains and foothills, focusing on craft, music, natural heritage, Cherokee traditions, and the region’s legacy in agriculture.

via Blue Ridge National Heritage Area announces grant awards | CITIZEN-TIMES.com | Asheville Citizen-Times.

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In the News…

The Blue Ridge Parkway snakes around Grandfath...
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Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation receives grant to fight childhood obesity

With a unique blend of talent and resources, the National Park Service, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation are focusing on a national epidemic – childhood obesity.

A grant of $200,000 over two years will pilot a multi-dimensional program expected to eventually span the entire length of the 469 mile long Blue Ridge Parkway.

The objective is to engage children and their families in activities that increase physical activity, improve nutritional choices, and increase awareness of the Blue Ridge Parkway as a recreational resource. The program will pilot initially in the Asheville, spearheaded by Olson Huff, M.D., who has a distinguished career in children’s health. He also co-chairs the Task Force on Obesity and Nutrition of the N.C. Health and Wellness Trust Fund Commission. Huff, the NPS, and the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation have convened a regional advisory board to maximize the program’s effectiveness with Dr. Huff serving as board chairman.

Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation receives grant to fight childhood obesity | CITIZEN-TIMES.com | Asheville Citizen-Times.

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TN Editorial: A big win for clean air

North Carolina’s federal court victory requiring the TVA to reduce emissions from its dirtiest coal plants is not only good for folks in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s an important precedent that could force Congress and federal regulators to address the issue of pollution that crosses state lines.

“This certainly is a groundbreaking case and one that is important for the health and economy for our state,” North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper said. “Many people will also view this as a positive step nationally because it holds a public utility accountable for its pollution.”

The case is a big victory for North Carolina, and nowhere bigger than here in the mountains. We have said many times in these columns that clean air is critical not only to our physical health; it’s crucial to our economic health.

TN Editorial: A big win for clean air | BlueRidgeNow.com | Times-News Online | Hendersonville, NC.

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The Conservation Trust for North Carolina | CharlotteObserver.com

From the Web…

The Conservation Trust for North Carolina purchased a 538-acre property on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Spruce Pine, which will keep a segment of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail open to the public.

The Rose Creek property in Mitchell County has more than a mile of frontage on the Blue Ridge Parkway and is visible from The Loops Overlook. It contains about 1.5 miles of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, which traces the route taken by colonial militia to the pivotal battle of Kings Mountain during the American Revolution, according to a news release from the Conservation Trust.

This segment of trail, which has not been accessible to the public, will now be open to hikers.

(Raleigh) News & Observer

Quizno’s employee shot during robbery | CharlotteObserver.com.

North Carolina Visitor Attraction of the Year

From the Web…

The Blue Ridge Parkway was tapped the North Carolina Visitor Attraction of the Year for exemplifying excellence, innovation and setting the standard for an exceptional visitor experience. Having just commenced its 75th Anniversary Celebration, the Parkway is considered one of the great public accomplishments of Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal. The 469-mile parkway, which winds through the high mountains of the southern Appalachians and joins Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains national parks, has since after World War II been the most visited site in the National Park System. It was built over a 52-year period from the turning of the first shovelful of dirt in September of 1935 until its completion in 1987.

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Saving mountains

Grandfather Mountain
Image via Wikipedia

From the Web…

Grandfather Mountain moved one step closer to becoming a state park when the Council of State on Tuesday approved North Carolina’s purchase of a large chunk of the property. That’s a win for the state and the Morton family, which will continue to operate its popular tourist attraction on the mountain through a private, nonprofit organization.

In Surry County, the Piedmont Land Conservancy announced last week that it has bought a second tract on Fisher’s Peak. Stunning views have been preserved, as well as flora and fauna. The peak is home to bears, as well as mountain laurel, rare grasses and chestnut trees.

Saving mountains.

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Reynolds Plantation developer acquires N.C. golf community – The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area:

News from the Web

Greensboro, Ga.-based Reynolds Signature Communities, a subsidiary of Linger Longer Communities LLC, said in a news release late Tuesday it has acquired Laurelmor, a 6,200-acre master-planned golf and equestrian community west of Blowing Rock, N.C. A purchase price was not released.

According to published reports, Ginn Development Co., the former owners of Laurelmor, nearly lost the community to foreclosure earlier this year when it failed to make principal and interest payments on a $675 million credit facility on the development and other properties.

The sale is part of an agreement with Ginn Development’s lenders, including Credit Suisse, according to a report in the Winston Salem Journal.

Reynolds Plantation developer acquires N.C. golf community – The Business Journal of the Greater Triad Area:.

A path through these tough times | BlueRidgeNow.com | Times-News Online | Hendersonville, NC

News from the Web

Last month at an event commemorating the Blue Ridge Parkway a Depression-era federal project, Virginia’s Governor Tim Kaine said, “Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.” It’s a message embraced by conservationists across the Southeast. This time of economic difficulty is also one of opportunity for land trusts.

A path through these tough times | BlueRidgeNow.com | Times-News Online | Hendersonville, NC.