On Tuesday, December 5th, the Southwestern NC RC&D Council held our annual Holiday Gathering, bringing together partners from across the seven counties we cover. Brio Tuscan Grill in Cherokee provided not only a delicious meal, but an ideal middle ground for those coming from Murphy, Fines Creek, and more.
The evening also provided an opportunity to discuss RC&D projects, and inform attendees on work being done across Western North Carolina. Council members from each county, including Randy Collins of Graham County Extension and Eric Romaniszyn of the Haywood Waterways Association, were invited to give a brief overview of RC&D projects in their area. RC&D Treasurer Karen Hammett and Executive Director Lynn Sprague also took the time to give a financial organizational update, respectively.
But perhaps the most important part of the evening was the opportunity for Council Chairman James Ferguson to recognize an amazing partner in conservation-Leslie Smathers, the retired Director of the Haywood County Soil and Water Conservation District. As the Director, Leslie worked closely with our RC&D on projects ranging from water quality improvements on the Pigeon River to facilitating conservation easements for farm families. Even in retirement, Leslie has continued to work on conservation projects, including facilitating the acquisition of a 10-acre wetland easement that will, when completed, become an educational location.
The Southwestern NC RC&D is blessed to have an abundance of partners, Council members, Board members, and friends across our seven counties. We thank each and every one of you for your contribution, and look forward to continuing to work with you in 2018. Merry Christmas!