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Wednesday, 24 August 2016 00:00

Outdoors roundup

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Pair scenic films with good beer

An evening of short films celebrating nature, the wilderness and outdoor adventure will raise money for MountainTrue beginning 7 pm. Thursday, Sept. 1, at Sierra Nevada’s Mills River Brewery.

The 2016 Wild & Scenic Film Festival will feature a selection of films from the annual festival held each year in Nevada City, California, with a focus on films speaking to environmental concerns and celebrations of the planet. 

The films will be shown under the open sky in an outdoor amphitheater on the banks of the French Broad River. Arrive early to grab a drink and snag a prime viewing spot. 

$15 or $10 for students with IDs.


Help beat cancer with cornhole and softball

Cornhole, a poker run and a softball game will offer a chance to have fun while raising money toward a Jackson County man’s battle with stage four lung cancer. 

From 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Qualla Fire Department, a cornhole tournament will provide a forum for friendly competition, with prizes offered for first and second place. A frybread lunch will punctuate the morning at 11 a.m. A raffle will follow.

A poker run, also on Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Qualla Fire Department, will begin registration at 11 a.m. with the last bike out by 1 p.m. The $25 entry fee includes one poker hand, a T-shirt and a meal ticket, with $10 for an extra poker hand. A raffle will follow and prizes will be given for the winning hand. 

A softball tournament will be held Sept. 2-3 at the Old Macon County Recreation Park in Franklin. Teams will be able to buy home runs before each game, at $2 per home run, and the entry fee is $200 per team. Trophies will be given to first through third places and to the home run winner. Sign up with Ron Bryson, 828.508.3409.

All proceeds will go toward the medical costs of Travis Watkins, a lifelong Jackson County resident who was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer this summer. He has completed 17 radiation treatments and is undergoing chemotherapy but has no medical insurance. 


Eat your way through the wild

Raised on natural remedies with a love and respect for nature, Swain County resident Ila Hatter will present an edible program on wildcrafting called “Mother Nature’s Secret Garden” at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30, at The Village Green Commons in Cashiers. 

Wildcrafting — collecting plant materials in their natural habitat for food, medicine and craft — is a skill Hatter has honed over the years, earning herself the nickname “The Lady of the Forest” and appearances on networks such as PBS, CNN and A&E. 

The program will include a foraging tasting, sponsored by Dargan Landscape Architects. The event is part of the Village Nature Series, sponsored by the Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust and The Village Green. 



Become a ginseng expert

Homeowners with a hankering to grow ginseng have a few upcoming opportunities to learn how. 

10 a.m. to noon Tuesday, Aug. 30, at the Swain County Extension Center. 

6-8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1, at the Jackson County Extension Center. 

10-11:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 6, at the Albert Carlton Cashiers Library. 

The program will cover state regulations for growing and hunting ginseng, plant physiology, as well as uses and differences between Asian and American ginseng. Major emphasis will be dedicated to simulated cultural practices such as site selection and preparation, sowing, harvesting, root drying and seed stratification. 

Free and organized through the N.C. Cooperative Extension. Register with Christy Bredenkamp, 828.586.4009 or 828.488.3848.


Get schooled in outdoor skills

A day full of outdoor activities and survival skills will give youth the tools they need to enjoy the outdoors on Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Fred Cook farm in Brasstown. 

Hunting, fishing, archery and firearm safety will be offered at the 12th annual Scott Hogsed Youth Day, and Alan Kay — winner of the History Channel series “Alone” — will teach survival skills. Participants and their parents will be invited to a free wild game lunch and leave the event with a goody bag and T-shirt. 

This year’s event is dedicated to Joshua Zalnurdo, who lost his battle with brain stem glioma in 2008 at the age of 15. 

Free and geared to youth 8-15. Organized by Cherokee County 4-H. Pre-register by 5 p.m. Aug. 26 at

To donate meat for the wild game dinner or cash to help support the event, contact Sam Hogsed, 828.361.2117.


Hear the history of mountain settlement

The story behind white settlement of the Tuckasegee Watershed will be told at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1, at the Swain County Regional Business Education and Training Center in Bryson City. 

Lamar Marshall, cultural heritage director for Wild South, will present the program titled “Ancient Lines.” Wild South focuses on protecting Native American cultural heritage sites on public lands, and Marshall, who lives in Cowee, has partnered with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to map out Cherokee trails, towns and sites, gathering more than 100,000 digital archives. 

Free. Part of the Swain County Genealogical and Historical Society’s regular meeting. Refreshments will follow.

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