Graham Revitalization Economic Action Team

Committee Reports - March 10, 2016


Education and Workforce Development Committee

·        Graham County Schools is involved in a partnership with Region A Partnership for Children and was recently awarded a grant for the Parents as Teachers program. Grant funds are from the Sisters of Mercy. This program serves birth-to preschool age children and their families and assists them with critical developmentally appropriate skills.

·        The contract has been signed for the next RHS Carpentry house project, with construction to begin in fall of 2016.

·        The western regional Special Olympics games will be held at Robbinsville High School on Friday, April 22. Approximately 400-500 athletes from western NC will be in attendance. Please join us that day and be a “Fan in the Stands”.

·        The Lego FIRST Robotics teams have had their initial inter-squad scrimmage. They will compete with other western NC teams on April 2 at Cherokee Central High School.  Approximately 40 GCS students are participating on this STEM team. The teams are continuing to look for sponsors.  Anyone interested in sponsoring this activity, please contact Myra Waldroup at 828-735-0041.

·        Friday, March 11- GCS will hold a dedication ceremony for the new RHS baseball field. The name of the area will be called the “Loudon Orr Memorial Sports Complex”.  The ceremony starts at 3:45 pm. T-shirts and hotdogs will be given out to the first 200 fans.

·        On March 3, GCS hosted Science Night.  Agencies, groups, and individuals provided interactive STEM projects for the community, particularly for children.  This event was a huge success, serving over 600 participants.

·        GCS was presented with a check for $1,750 from Champion Credit Union as a result of their savings incentive program for customers. GCS joined 8 other LEAS in western NC to receive these funds.

·        Graham County Big Brother/Big Sister Program is underway and was given a huge financial boost last weekend with RHS Senior, Case Hooper, raising over $5,000 in several events as part of his Senior Project.

·        Tonight, March 10, is “Rock and Read” Parent Night at Robbinsville Elementary School. 

·        Dolly Parton Imagination Library - DPIL Numbers:

o       246 currently registered

o       477 graduated

o       826 served

Tourism and Mountain Culture Committe

·        Committee meetings have started to begin implementation of the Graham County Asset Map project

·        An Emerging Opportunities Grant proposal has been approved at the state level in the amount of $20,000. It is now being reviewed at the Washington ARC office.

Recreation, Natural Resources and Water Quality Committee

·        Volunteers cleared down trees, limbs and litter (10 bags) on the Long Hungry 3+ mile section of the Santeetlah Bike Trail. County employees cleared the remainder of the trail.

·        Multiple volunteers completed First Aid and CPR Certification administered by the US Forest Service.

·        Volunteers have cleared approximately 3 miles of the Belding Trail with 2 miles remaining.

·        Volunteers completed 2 ,1/2 days, of work clearing trees, brush and cleaning up litter (17 bags) at the Nantahala Gorge Overlook on highway 129.

·        Checked 8 overlooks and cleared view obstructing saplings and brush from 3 overlooks on the Cherohala Skyway.

·        The Partners of Joyce Kilmer created and staffed a booth at the high school science fair.

·        The Partners of Joyce Kilmer and the Benton-MacKaye Trail Association led multiple hikes.

·        Upcoming Activities

o       3/16 Cherohala overlook litter removal (weather permitting). Meet at the Forest Service

             District Office on Massey Branch Road at 10:00 am to carpool. Snacks and drinks

             will be provided.

o       4/1-4/16 Roadside litter clean sweep. Email for more information.

o       4/8 10:00 am Lake Santeetlah clean up. Email for more info.

o        7/30 Joyce Kilmer 80th Anniversary Event, reserve your booth or activity soon. Contact Joe Bonnette at .


Revitalization and Infrastructure Committee

·        Work continues on the Graham County Internet Access project with BalsamWest funded by the Appalachian Region Commission (ARC) for increased internet access to serve the Tapoco/Meadow Branch area of the county.