Scheduled for Saturday, March 26 at 1 p.m. at Ashe Civic Center, the forum will offer the opportunity for folks near and far to voice their opinions and hear from people who have the park’s best interests at heart.
Jay Wild, president of the Friends of Mount Jefferson, said details are still being worked out and duties are being assigned as volunteers are needed to help with the program. The Friends are contacting potential speakers and plan to have experts speak on the natural aspects of the park and its history with the Underground Railroad.
The format will be the history and the future of the park, Wild said. A five-year general plan was approved last year but has yet to be implemented. And Mount Jefferson State Natural Area is on the General Assembly’s chopping block as legislators look for ways to fill a nearly $4 billion hole in the budget.
Wild said those to be invited to the forum include new legislators for the region, Rep. Jonathan Jordan and Sen. Dan Soucek, as well as representatives from the governor’s office, state park division, and Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and Ashe County Commissioners. They hope to have student poets reading their poems about Mount Jefferson as a slideshow of the park runs in the background.
The Friends have been meeting each month at Highlands Community Church on Ray Taylor Road in West Jefferson, across from Ashe Services for Aging. The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 21 at 6:30 p.m. and anyone interested in helping is invited to attend.
For more information, go online to the Friends website at www.friendsofmtjefferson.org or email: email@example.com.