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Local land trust celebrates conservation heroes at Allandale Mansion

Staff Report • May 10, 2013 at 8:24 AM

KINGSPORT — On Thursday, May 16, the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (SAHC) will play host to a celebratory party at The Barn at Allandale Mansion from 6 to 8 p.m., celebrating 39 years of conservation success.

The event will feature dinner by Giuseppe’s Italian Restaurant and music by local artists Trae McMaken and Will MacMorran, as well as festive recognition of local conservation heroes.

“Our annual member event is a time to congratulate members on our successes, reflect on our history, and thank the volunteers and trustees who make our conservation vision a reality,” said Kristy Urquhart, a Kingsport native and SAHC associate director. “Preserving the many-textured views and resources of these mountains requires incredible foresight. This year, we are especially thrilled to celebrate a success story almost four decades in the making — our purchase of the 601-acre Grassy Ridge tract in the Highlands of Roan.”

SAHC considered the tract a top priority because its size and location within a large network of high elevation protected lands, adjoining Pisgah National Forest near the Appalachian Trail and Grassy Ridge Bald.

“The recent purchase of this key property on Grassy Ridge is another example of our commitment to preserving the beautiful mountains of our region,” said Jeanette Blazier, former Kingsport mayor and current president of the SAHC board of trustees. “It is especially significant since the founding members of SAHC had as their primary focus the preservation of the Highlands of Roan.”

To keep toes tapping and spirits high at the celebration, McMaken and MacMorran will perform fiddle, guitar and banjo music with influences from the Celtic and Canadian Highlands. Both gentlemen are instructors with East Tennessee State University's Bluegrass and Old Time music program. Individually, McMaken tours as a one-man storytelling and music-picking entertainer, and MacMorran tours with the Celtic rock band 7Nations.

Tickets are $25 for SAHC members and $30 for non-members, and are available online at www.Appalachian.org or at the door.

For more information, call Cheryl Fowler at (828) 253.0095 ext. 209 or email cheryl@appalachian.org.

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