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Roany Boyz invite new stewards to the Highlands of Roan, July 19 - 21

Staff Report • Jul 10, 2013 at 10:34 AM

KINGSPORT – New volunteers are invited to join the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy’s 2013 Stan Murray Volunteers of the year - the Roany Boyz – for a weekend of camaraderie and service as they maintain grassy balds near Round Bald & Engine Gap along the Appalachian Trail on July 19 - 21.

Volunteer shifts on Saturday and Sunday are flexible, and participants are welcome to camp for the weekend.

“The Roany Boyz accomplish a good deal of work, but they have even more fun doing it,” said Carol Coffey of the Roany Boyz. “They enjoy the mountain, the work to maintain the mountain, and the comradeship of like-minded folks.”

For more than a decade, the Roany Boyz have dedicated a long weekend each summer to maintaining open grassy balds in the Highlands of Roan, along one of the most scenic stretches of the Appalachian Trail. In May the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy awarded the 2013 Stan Murray Award for Volunteer Services to the leaders and longest serving members of the Roany Boyz: David Goforth, Carol Coffey, Mike Fisher, Jamie Burnham, Bill Ryan and Bruce Byers.

"The Roany Boyz embody the best qualities of volunteerism – passion, steadfastness, inclusiveness – and fun!” said Judy Murray, SAHC’s Roan Stewardship director. “They are a joy to work with. We have been able to count on them for over a decade, and look forward to many more years of their teamwork.”

This is the 12th year that the Roany Boyz have worked in the Highlands of Roan, and they are looking for some younger folks to come and enjoy the experience with them and to carry on the tradition. All are welcome.

For more information or to sign up to volunteer, e-mail Carol Coffey, at Caroltee@aol.com.

The mission of the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy (a land trust) is to conserve the unique plant and animal habitat, clean water, farmland and scenic beauty of the mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee for the benefit of present and future generations. This is achieved by forging and maintaining long-term conservation relationships with private landowners and public agencies, owning and managing land, and encouraging healthy local communities.

To date, SAHC has protected more than 60,000 acres from the Highlands of Roan to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Now headquartered in Asheville, NC, SAHC was founded in Kingsport in 1974 to protect the incredible landscape of the Highlands of Roan around the Appalachian Trail. Over the last four decades, its conservation work expanded to cover a wider geographic region; however, the Highlands of Roan remain our flagship priority focus area. For more information visit www.appalachian.org

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