Elk Shoals re-wilding

New River Conservancy River Restoration Director Chelsea Blount, on right, and volunteer Barry Clemmer plant a blueberry bush at Elk Shoals during a volunteer day Saturday, May 4.

WEST JEFFERSON — New River Conservancy is seeking volunteers to help re-wild Elk Shoals from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday, June 27, according to a press release from NRC Outreach Coordinator Summer Rich.

Volunteer activities to help the nonprofit may include continuing the removal of non-native plants, planting native species, consolidating picnic tables, trail maintenance, trail marker removal and cleaning up the campground, Rich said.

“As a part of this re-wilding effort, NRC has already held two volunteer days out at Elk Shoals — 17 volunteers planted 80 plants along the riverbank including blueberries, flaming azalea, silky willow, silky dogwood, witch hazel, ninebark, and spirarea,” Rich said. “Volunteers also made significant progress removing non-native plants from along the community room, consolidated picnic tables, removed 41 trail markers and began to clean up the campground.”

Those interested in volunteering at Elk Shoals or interested in more information about how to get involved can contact Summer Rich by email at summer@newriverconservancy.org.

“It is truly inspiring to see members of the community come together time and time again to ReWild Elk Shoals. We truly could not do what we do with the community’s support. When you volunteer at Elk Shoals you’re donating your time to reopen an Ashe County Icon.” — Communications and Outreach Coordinater Summer Rich

The conservancy also needs funding to continue its re-wilding efforts at Elk Shoals, according to Rich.

“NRC is looking to raise $75,000 to complete riverbank restoration, including the planting of 25,000 native plants across six acres of the property,” Rich said. “NRC is also looking to raise $150,000 to complete necessary demolition and renovation where possible. Finally, NRC is seeking to raise $25,000 for campground and trail maintenance.”

Donations can be made online at www.newriverconservancy.org/store.php, over the phone by calling (336) 846-6267, or via mail at PO Box 1480, West Jefferson, NC 28690.

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