Make a difference by joining great volunteers in cleaning up our river! Volunteers are asked to meet in the lower parking area at Big Bear Park in Franklin, wearing clothes and shoes suitable for picking up trash in the river. Locations will be assigned and volunteers can choose to pick up in floodplain land, along the riverbanks, or in the water itself. Canoes and boats would be helpful but are not necessary to participate. Gloves, bags, and a pizza lunch will be provided.
Cowee School Heritage Center is sponsoring a series of programs called “Where We Live: History, Nature, and Culture”, to give people an opportunity to learn more about our local area from many different angles, and to enjoy a pleasant, informative evening together.
The series will resume on January 21, with a presentation based on Mainspring Conservation Trust’s Shade Your Stream program, featuring:
- An illustrated talk by local resident Dr. William O. McLarney, who has studied the Little Tennessee watershed for 29 years, suggesting how you can promote healthy streams and clean water.
- A short film, “Stewarding Streams in the Little Tennessee”, produced by the world renowned conservation film company Freshwaters Illustrated.
- Remarks by local landowner Tammy Stanfield, featured in the film, who has put some of Mainspring’s ideas to work on her property in Ellijay.
The program will begin at 6:30 at Cowee School. There will be time for discussion and questions, and light refreshments will be served.
Future programs include:
February 18- Barbara McRae, historian and author, will speak on “Three Women of Cowee.”
March 18- Paul Carlson, former director of Mainspring Conservation Trust, forester, and historian, will speak on “The History and Context of the Needmore Tract.”
April 15- Mary and Stan Polanski, author of the Franklin Press column Grow Native, will speak on growing native plants.
May 20-Lamar Marshall, research director for Southeast Heritage, will speak on “Cherokee Wars of the Cowee Valley.”
All programs are on the third Monday at 6:30 pm at the school.
Mainspring will have a table at this school event.
Enjoy the wildflower blooms in Panthertown Valley on this moderate 5.5-mile wildflower hike. Mainspring’s Kelder Monar, who is an expert in wildflower identification, will lead the hike. Mainly level, with some steeper climbs and descents. The hike will take us past a variety of wildflower habitats and a waterfall. Expect to see spring ephemeral wildflowers such as trilliums and jack-in-the-pulpit, and early-blooming shrubs, including azaleas and mountain myrtle. Bring a sack lunch and plenty of drinking water.
Hikers will meet at Mainspring’s Salt Rock entrance property adjacent to Panthertown Valley at 10:00 a.m. Directions from Franklin: Highlands Road ~10.4 miles, left onto Walnut Creek for ~12.8 miles (road changes name to Pine Creek Road). Right onto 107S, go 2.0 miles (pass first entrance to Bee Tree Road at .7 mile). Turn left onto Bee Tree Road, go. 4 miles. Right only Cedar Creek Road, go 3.2 miles. Turn left onto 3243 Breedlove Road, go 3.6 miles to end. Parking area will be on the right.
This hike is on one of Mainspring’s earliest conservation easements on historic family land at the head of Tellico Valley in northern Macon County. The first half of the hike will visit a recent timber harvest done to regenerate mature timber stands and comply with the Present Use Value Program. The second half will pass through 2 miles of majestic older growth forest with ample spring flowers. Goals of the day include discussion of strategies to preserve family land across generations and to understand silvicultural and logging impacts on forest regeneration.
Moderately difficult with a 900′ elevation gain and 900′ drop over a 3 mile loop hike.
Bring water, lunch, sturdy boots and walking sticks and weather appropriate clothing.
Meet at historic Cowee School at 10:00 am to carpool or caravan to Tellico. Will return to Cowee School by 4:00 pm.
Limited to 20 people.
Join us on the Annual Stewartia Flower Walk led by Jack Johnson.
Meet at 9 a.m. at Mainspring’s Queen Branch property. We will caravan to the different locations and will be done around noon. Please wear comfortable shoes, as we will walk through the woods and potentially some muddy areas.