11th Annual FRANKLIN FOLK FESTIVAL :: Saturday, July 19 from 9am - 4pm in Historic Downtown Franklin

- published 3/27 (Larry) - unpublished ?

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Outdoors

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) announces this year’s recipients of Appalachian Trail (A.T.) Specialty License Plate grants for projects that enhance the Trail in North Carolina. This spring, $35,000 was granted to 11 partner organizations, including A.T. maintaining clubs, schools, botanists, ecologists and environmental and conservation groups. This year’s recipients include the Carolina Mountain Club, Friends of the Smokies, Nantahala Hiking Club, North Buncombe High School Adventure Club, Hot Springs Tourism Association, Southern Appalachian Raptor Research, Tennessee Eastman Hiking & Canoeing Club and The Wilderness Society’s Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards.

The grant funds will also support additional ATC programs and projects in North Carolina, including a schoolwide Trails To Every Classroom immersion program for Summit Charter School in Cashiers; Wilderness First Aid courses for A.T. club volunteers; the Roan Mountain Ridgerunner program; and a workshop to construct a pollinator garden and monitor Monarch butterflies at the Wesser Nantahala Outdoor Center.

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The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is inviting volunteers, ages 18 and older, to join trail crews that will help repair and construct new sections of the famous Appalachian Trail (A.T.). No previous experience is necessary – just a desire to work hard, live in the backcountry and have a great time among new friends.

The ATC’s all-volunteer trail crews are led by paid trail crew professionals who teach volunteers trail construction, stewardship and Leave No Trace skills during the multi-day adventure. The ATC provides food, tools and the equipment necessary to get the job completed. Multi-week volunteers are welcome to stay at various base camps between sessions. Trail crews tackle projects such as relocation, reconstruction, and bridge and shelter construction along the A.T. The crews are active every year, from April through October, on projects located from Maine to Georgia. Trail crew projects, which may last for a week or more, are planned and completed in cooperation with trail-maintaining clubs and agency partners such as the National Park Service and the U.S. Forest Service.

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The Land Trust for the Little Tennessee (LTLT) and Friends of the Greenway (FROGS) in celebration of N.C. Invasive Plant Awareness Week, will host an educational event at the Tassee Picnic Shelter on the Little Tennessee River Greenway at the corner of Wells Grove Road and Ulco Drive, Franklin Monday, April 7.

This event will host experts who will give brief presentations and answer questions about the identification, control and prevention of exotic invasive plants, animals and pathogens.

This event is open to the public between 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. More than 200 students from Franklin High School, Macon Early College, Southwestern Community College and Oconoluftee Job Corps will also be attending this event.

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Franklin will again celebrate its appreciation of Appalachian trail hikers with the town’s first festival of 2014, April Fools Trail Days, on Saturday, March 29. This day-long event will take place in Historic Downtown Franklin and bring together AT hikers, locals and visitors for a great event featuring informative and educational workshops, hiking related vendors and exhibits.

“April Fools Trail Days was conceived in part by our designation as an Appalachian Trail Gateway Community,” said Linda Schlott, Franklin Main Street Program executive director. “We encourage everyone to come out and support the hiking community that makes such an impact on our town each year.”

Franklin was the first town to receive this designation along the 2,181-mile trail stretching from Georgia to Maine. 2013 marks the fifth year for April Fools Trail Days in Franklin.

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published: 10/18/2013
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