Anniversary celebration salutes Joyce Kilmer

A celebration honoring the 75th anniversary of the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest in the Nantahala National Forest will be held Saturday, July 30, starting at 10 a.m.

There will be guided walking tours, presentations by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and outdoor exhibits by various conservation groups. A rededication ceremony at 1 p.m. will include Congressman Heath Shuler, Cherokee Chief Michell Hicks, Joyce Kilmer’s descendants and a keynote speech by a biographer and author who has written about Joyce Kilmer.

The event commemorates the dedication of 3,800 acres of Forest Service land in Graham County to poet Joyce Kilmer, author of the poem “Trees,” who was killed in World War I. Congress later designated over 17,000 acres of land in the area as the Joyce Kilmer-Slickrock Wilderness.

BBQ will be available for sale and bluegrass music will start at 2 p.m.

Parking will be directed by attendants, with shuttles running through the day in the area. Bring your own lawn chair.

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