Kingsport Times-News: Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy marks 45 years with Spring Celebration
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Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy marks 45 years with Spring Celebration

Angela Shepherd • Apr 28, 2019 at 10:30 AM

ERWIN - On Thursday, May 16, the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (SAHC) will celebrate its 45th anniversary with the Appalachian Spring Conservation Celebration from 5 to 8 p.m. at the USA Raft Adventure Resort on the banks of the Nolichucky River, in Erwin, Tennessee.

Pre-event outdoor adventures and recreation activities, including discounted raft trips for event guests, will be available in the afternoon.

“We are thrilled to celebrate our 45th anniversary surrounded by beautiful mountains and a gorgeous river we work so hard to protect,” says Kingsport native Kristy Urquhart, who serves as SAHC’s associate director. “We are deeply grateful to all the members, volunteers and partners who make land and water conservation possible, and to our generous friends at USA Raft Adventure Resort for offering an exciting afternoon of outdoor recreation activities to help us celebrate.”

Some pre-event activities begin at 3 p.m. and are offered free for Appalachian Spring ticketed guests; rafting trips are offered at a 25 percent discount for ticket holders.

There will be:

• Stand-up paddleboard with instructors on site and boards of all different shapes and sizes, for kids to adults.

• One-wheel lessons and demo on site for all ages.

• Self-guided hikes on any of three different hikes to discover nature’s beauty along the Nolichucky or Appalachian Trail

• Fly fishing with a guide on hand for demos and equipment use. No license required.

• Rafting at a discounted rate (must be booked separately through USA Raft, using links and discount codes).

The Appalachian Spring Conservation Celebration begins at 5 p.m.

Guests will enjoy a stunning setting surrounded by lush mountains and the scenic Nolichucky River, with music performed by the East Tennessee State University Old-Time Ramblers. Participants can bid on silent auction items to help support ongoing conservation efforts.

The Appalachian Spring Conservation Celebration will also honor the 2019 Stanley A. Murray Volunteers of the Year: the Tennessee Eastman Hiking and Canoeing Club (TEHCC). In 1989, the Stanley A. Murray Award for Volunteer Service was created to honor persons who have made outstanding volunteer contributions to the work of SAHC emulating the lifelong dedication of our founder, Stanley A. Murray.

“This year, we honor the Tennessee Eastman Hiking and Canoeing Club for its extraordinary volunteer help in 2018, managing Golden-winged Warbler habitat,” says Marquette Crockett, SAHC’s Roan Stewardship Director. “TEHCC members made numerous trips to open up 2.5 acres of new habitat for Golden-winged Warblers. They donated fuel, equipment, and more than 383 hours cutting locusts, then spent another 403 hours de-barking and transporting the locust to be used in repairing sections of the Appalachian Trail across the Roan Highlands. In addition, several members of the club participated in trail planning and building on SAHC’s Elk Hollow preserve. We appreciate their commitment and dedication to the Roan.”

Sponsors for the Appalachian Spring Conservation Celebration include: USA Raft Adventure Resort, Eastman, Highland Brewing Company, Mast General Store, Samsel Architects, Wicked Weed Brewery, Witherspoon Platt & Associates, White Oak Financial and Wilson Worley Attorneys at Law.

Tickets to Appalachian Spring, which include a BBQ dinner (with veg options) and beer, wine or drinks, are $35 for SAHC members and $40 for non-members in advance, or $50 at the door. SAHC is offering $25 discounted tickets for students. To learn more, visit www.Appalachian.org.

Or you can purchase tickets online directly at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/appalachian-spring-2019-tickets-59593416513.

Those interested in the discounted raft trips should visit www.appalachian.org and follow the links to Appalachian Spring 2019 to find more details and links to booking the discounted excursions.

The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy is a non-profit, accredited land trust serving 10 counties across the Southern Appalachians. SAHC was founded in Kingsport in 1974. Since then, SAHC has protected over 75,000 acres of unique plant and animal habitat, clean water, farmland, scenic views, and places for people to enjoy outdoor recreation of the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina. More info at Appalachian.org.

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