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  IN THIS ISSUE: January 2017
Grandfather Mountain eScape : Wonders Never Cease

New Interactive Exhibit Honors Donors

interactive-donor-exhibit2The next time you enter the Nature Museum, to your right you will find a massive, 65-inch touchscreen display that celebrates the patrons who have made donations at the Forest Keeper and Boulder Club levels.

By simply reaching out and touching the display, guests can see a picture of each boulder and tree that has been adopted by a Stewardship Foundation patron, many with the donor included in the photograph.  Another touch of the screen turns the photograph over to reveal details about the boulder or tree, including its GPS coordinates, its geologic/biologic classification and its contribution to Grandfather’s unique ecology.

The display also allows guests to learn the personal stories of each animal in Grandfather Mountain’s menagerie, from Ajax the Eagle and Aspen the Cougar to Taz the Skunk and Yonahlossee the Bear.

Still another option allows guests to run through a timeline chronicling the people and events that have marked the mountain’s history and directed its future.

Grandfather Mountain eScape : Wonders Never Cease
Grandfather Mountain eScape : Wonders Never Cease

An Insider's Introduction to Judi Sawyer

judi-sawyer2The office staff at GMSF welcomes Judi Sawyer to fill the newly created position of Accounts Payable/ Administrative Assistant. Judi, who recently relocated to the high country from Austin Texas is as an avid birder, hiker and photographer. She resides in Roan Mountain, TN, with her Border Collie, Pippin. Judi began her tour of service in October 2016, welcome Judi!

Grandfather Mountain eScape : Wonders Never Cease
Grandfather Mountain eScape : Wonders Never Cease

100+ Solar Panels Added to Roof of Nature Museum

solar-panels2Crews were busy in late December installing 119 photovoltaic solar panels that will generate 38.8 kW of electricity and bring the capacity of the total solar production on Grandfather to 50 kW.

This expansion of Grandfather’s renewable energy production represents a partnership between the Stewardship Foundation, Collaborative Solar, LLC of Boone and Heartwood Farms Properties, LLC of Hickory. Grandfather Mountain leased space on the roof of the Museum to Heartwood Farms, who with the expertise of Collaborative Solar installed and owns the solar panels.  (More)

Grandfather Mountain eScape : Wonders Never Cease

Cougar Habitat Renovations are funded!

Thanks to a successful summer appeal campaign, a wonderful Giving Tuesday endeavor and a grant from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, renovations to the cougar habit have been fully funded. Up-fits to the habitats include upgraded fencing, pruning of perimeter trees, extension of rock walls flanking the viewing area and a new run to assist with safely shifting the cats between their overnight lodgings and the outdoor enclosure. The cougar house is currently under construction and will shelter the big cats at night and during severe storms. The cougars received special gifts from donors on Giving Tuesday that included resting benches for the new cougar house and a heated, automatic water for the habitat. The cougars, including the two cubs, should be back on display by March 2017, enjoying their new cougar house and up-fitted habitat.   

Grandfather Mountain eScape : Wonders Never Cease
Grandfather Mountain eScape : Wonders Never Cease


Volunteer at Grandfather Mountain!

Make friends, make memories and make someone's day when you share your knowledge and love of Grandfather Mountain with our guests. You demonstrated your love for the Mountain when you purchased your Bridge Club membership.  As a volunteer you can demonstrate your commitment to the Stewardship Foundation's mission by helping others explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain.

Upcoming Events

Jan. - The Wonders of the Winter Stroll

Meet at the Nature Museum for a short stroll exploring the wonders of Grandfather Mountain and how they are shaped by the mountain's extreme weather. 2 PM weekends thru Jan. 15. (Details)


Who is Hibernating at Grandfather This Winter?

Many people believe that bears hibernate in order to survive Grandfather’s harsh winters. However, most scientists agree that bears are not true hibernators. 

Bears do have the ability to slow their body in order to survive with far less food. Body temperature and metabolism drop slightly and they do not defecate or urinate for the entire time they spend in their dens. 

In contrast, the groundhog is a true hibernator who can lower its heartbeat from 100 beats per minute to 4. His breathing rate slows to 1 breath every 3 to 4 minutes and body temperature decreases from 98 degrees to 40 degrees. 

So don't look for groundhogs at Grandfather in winter, but you might catch a quick glimpse of a bear coming outside for a drink of water on a very WARM, SUNNY day!

Grandfather Mountain eScape : Wonders Never Cease
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Grandfather Mountain eScape : Wonders Never Cease