Wonders never cease at Grandfather Mountain—even after business hours.

The Linville, N.C.-based nonprofit nature preserve and attraction is bringing back its Grandfather Presents evening lecture series for 2018, along with numerous other educational opportunities for visitors of all ages.

“On the mountain, we like to bridge outdoor fun with education,” said Frank Ruggiero, director of marketing and communications for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the nonprofit organization that oversees and operates the park. “With our Grandfather Presents series, guests can enjoy presentations from some of the country’s foremost experts on conservation, including professors, naturalists, scientists, photographers, writers, historians and artists.”

Grandfather Presents topics include:
Grandfather Presents: Tom Butler, Foundation for Deep Ecology
Thursday, June 21
Limit: 165 · $20/Free for Bridge Club Members

In this richly illustrated lecture, Tom Butler, the Foundation for Deep Ecology’s vice president for conservation advocacy, will describe the evolving arguments for wilderness protection in American conservation history and offer a vision for rewilding the landscape and human communities in the coming century and beyond. A Vermont-based activist and writer, Butler is the board president of the Northeast Wilderness Trust and the former longtime editor of Wild Earth journal. His books include “Wildlands Philanthropy,” “Plundering Appalachia” and “ENERGY: Overdevelopment and the Delusion of Endless Growth.”

 

Grandfather Presents: Julia Roberson, The Ocean Conservancy
Thursday, July 19
Limit: 165 · $20/Free for Bridge Club Members

Julia Roberson is the vice president of communications for The Ocean Conservancy. Her passion is taking complex issues that affect our ocean and figuring out how to make them real and relevant to people. Her favorite sea creatures? On any given day, it could be oysters, fishermen or manta rays. This lecture will find connections between the global systems that define our ocean and mountain ecosystems.

 

Grandfather Presents: Amy Greene, Best-Selling Appalachian Novelist
Thursday, Aug. 16
Limit: 165 · $20/ Free for Bridge Club Members

Amy Greene was born and raised in the foothills of the Smoky Mountains and began writing stories about the people of Appalachia from a very young age. Her debut novel, “Bloodroot” (2010), was named among Booklist’s Top 10 Debut Novels and received the Weatherford Award for fiction. Greene will speak about her writing process and what gives character to her Appalachian novels.

 

Registration and More

Each Grandfather Presents event runs from 6 to 8 p.m., with refreshments being served at 6 p.m. and the program beginning at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $20 per person and free for members of Grandfather Mountain’s Bridge Club program. Lectures are limited to 165 attendees each, and registration is required by contacting Judi Sawyer at judi@grandfather.com or (828) 733-2013.

 

Environmental Educator Certification Workshops

Also in 2018, Grandfather Mountain will host another series of free environmental educator certification programs in conjunction with the N.C. Office of Environmental Education.

“This is an opportunity to learn and have fun, while earning your certification as an environmental educator in North Carolina,” said Amy Renfranz, GMSF’s director of education and natural resources.

Grandfather is offering Criteria I, II and III programs, which include complimentary admission to the park for those attending the course.

The workshops are as follows:

 

All About Black Bears Workshop
Monday, March 26, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Hosted by Kevin Hining, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission

This workshop focuses on black bears in North Carolina. A majority of the workshop will be spent learning about the life, history and current research on black bears, as well as activities that can be incorporated into educational programs. Information on how to coexist with black bears will also be provided. Participants will have the chance to tour the wildlife habitats at Grandfather Mountain with Grandfather Mountain staff and observe black bears up close. The workshop provides six hours Criteria II or III credit toward the N.C. Environmental Education Certification, or 0.6 CEU credit.

 

Methods of Teaching Environmental Education
Saturday and Sunday, May 19-20, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 3-4, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Hosted by Amy Renfranz, GMSF Director of Education

The focus of this 10-hour workshop is to prepare participants from a variety of educational backgrounds and experiences in both the formal and non-formal sectors to use exemplary environmental education teaching methods. Participants will learn about a variety of teaching techniques, methods and instructional strategies, and the workshop will include multiple interactive components. This is a required workshop for all N.C. Environmental Education Certification candidates who enrolled in the program after Jan. 1, 2009 as Criteria I credit. This workshop may also count for continuing education for those educators who are already certified.

All About Elk Workshop
Monday, Nov. 5, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Hosted by Kevin Hining & Tanya Poole, N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission

This workshop, led by N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission educators Kevin Hining and Tanya Poole, will focus on elk in North Carolina. A majority of the workshop will be spent learning about the life history and current research on elk, as well as activities that can be incorporated into educational programs. Information on how to coexist with elk will be provided. Participants will also tour the wildlife habitats at Grandfather Mountain with Grandfather Mountain staff to observe elk up close. The workshop provides six hours Criteria II or III credit toward the N.C. Environmental Education Certification, or 0.6 CEU credit.

 

More Information

The workshops will be held at high elevation (4,500 feet and above) and will include some walking, so attendees are encouraged to bring appropriate footwear and be prepared for inclement weather. Participants are asked to provide their own lunch, but there is a restaurant on site (Mildred’s Grill) in the Nature Museum.

Courses are limited to 24 participants each, meaning registration is required. For more information, or to register, email judi@grandfather.com, or call (828) 733-2013.

The not-for-profit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain. For more information, call (800) 468-7325, or visit www.grandfather.com to plan a trip.

 

021918_GFM_yonni_bear_MC: Yonahlossee, one of Grandfather Mountain’s resident black bears, enjoys the view from a treetop in her environmental wildlife habitat. On March 26, the mountain will host a black bear workshop in conjunction with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. Participants will learn about the life, history and current research on black bears, as well as visit the park’s habitats for a face-to-face encounter with Yonni and her friends. Photo by Monty Combs | Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation