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  IN THIS ISSUE: June 2016
Grandfather Mountain eScape : Wonders Never Cease



Changes underway at the Grandfather Mountain Cougar Habitat will allow the Stewardship Foundation to "walk the walk" in our commitment to providing our animals with an existence as close to the wild as possible.

Grandfather's first two cougars, Rajah and Terra, came to us with their claws removed and their canine teeth cut down. The industry practice of declawing cougars continued into the 21st century and Aspen, the Cougar Habitat's current resident, also had his claws removed and canines cut down. 

Today the zoo industry standard is to give cougars the most natural existence possible, so claws and teeth are no longer modified. In response, the Stewardship Foundation is currently upgrading our enclosure to safely hold cougars with claws. READ MORE

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


The A.J. Fletcher Foundation, philanthropic arm of Raleigh's Capital Broadcasting Company (owners of WRAL-TV), has awarded a grant of $120,000 to the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation to underwrite the building of an Elk Habitat at Grandfather Mountain.

As the opportunities to see wild deer roaming about Grandfather Mountain increased and the number of deer in Grandfather's Deer Habitat dwindled from attrition, the decision was made to begin preparing to convert that acreage into a habitat for elk.

"Interest in elk has grown in the 15 years since the National Park Service began reintroducing the species to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park," said Jesse Pope, executive director of the Stewardship Foundation. "Grandfather Mountain is perfectly set up to nurture that interest by educating the public about the life cycle and habitat requirements of another of North Carolina’s historically important species."  READ MORE

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


After a three-month search, the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation board of directors has named Shelly Johnston the director of development for the nonprofit organization. Johnston will be the first to serve in this newly created position, the duties for which include managing the engagement of donors and supporters of Grandfather Mountain.

Johnston, who previously worked as a volunteer at Grandfather Mountain, has 10 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She first served as a volunteer manager assisting with marketing and development for Hospice & Palliative Care Charlotte Region in its Lincoln County office. Later, she worked as the director of the Arts Council of Lincoln County.

In coming to work for the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, Johnston is returning to her naturalist passions. Johnston holds a bachelor's degree from Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer and a master's degree from N.C. State University in parks, recreation and tourism management with a focus in environmental education. Johnston originally planned for a career as a naturalist, but instead began work in the nonprofit sector.   READ MORE

Grandfather Mountain eScape : Wonders Never Cease
Your 2016 Bridge Club membership card is now made from plastic!
Grandfather Mountain eScape : Wonders Never Cease
Grandfather Mountain eScape : Wonders Never Cease


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 our guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain.  Learn more.

Upcoming Events

Jun 15- Animal Birthday Party
Grandfather Mountain celebrates the birthdays of all the animals in the park with games, contests, crafts and surprises.

Jun 23 - Will Johnson, Teenage Educator & Bird Artist
Fifteen-year-old birder and Grandfather Mountain volunteer Will Johnson talks about his birding adventures and the highly-acclaimed watercolor paintings he creates from what he sees.

Jul 28 - Randy Johnson, Evening with Author The author of the new volume from UNC Press, Grandfather Mountain: The History and Guide to an Appalachian Icon

Aug 3 -  Animal Enrichment Day
Enrichment is an integral part of how the mountain cares for its habitat animals every day. Enjoy watching enrichment demonstrations, talk directly with keepers and participate in family-oriented games and crafts.

Aug 5 -  Photographer Benjamin Walls – High Country Mixer
Renowned wildlife and landscape photographer.

Aug 13-14 - Grandfather Mountain Amateur Professional Camera Clinic
Top photographers gather to share on the nuts and bolts of making good photograph. Online registration begins July 13.

Aug 18 - Boone / Blowing Rock Chamber After Hours

Sep 10 - Kidfest
Guided hikes, games, storytellers, music and fun designed to get kids excited about mountains.

Sep 17 - Girl Scout Day
All Girl Scouts are invited for a fun-filled learning adventure, including special scout activities, presentations and a closing ceremony. The theme for 2016’s event is plant life. All Girl Scouts and troop leaders are admitted for free with proof of membership,

Sep 25 - John Muir Day
Celebrate the legacy of John Muir, renowned naturalist, conservationist, Sierra Club founder and "Father of the National Parks." Special programs highlighting Muir's life and career will take place throughout the day, and all Sierra Club members will be admitted free with valid proof of membership

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