Oct 1, 2009
The National Park Service and the Overmountain Victory Trail Association are pleased to announce that the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail is a recipient of the 2009 National Parks Foundation “Active Trails” grant. The Wilkes-Surry Chapter of the OVTA assisted by Elkin JROTC will host an OVTA Field Day on Friday Oct. 9th for Elkin students in the 4th and 8th grades with the proceeds from this NPF grant funded by the Coca-Cola foundation and with donations from local supporters.
Special guest, Senator James Broyhill will address the students at 12:00 pm in Elkin City Park about the efforts to establish the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail, as a part of the National Park Service in 1980.
There are eight National Parks that will receive the grant this year and this is the first time a National Historic Trail has been selected. The purpose of the “Active Trails” program is to provide funding to National Parks to bring people to trails.
The National Park Service and the National Overmountain Victory Trail Association formed a partnership comprised of Paul Carson, Alan Bowen, Fran Dahl, R.G. Absher of Elkin, Marc Bowen and Mike Dahl to put this grant to work. This committee developed and submitted a plan to the National Parks Foundation on June 19th . It was approved later this past summer.
The plan specifies that OVTA will manage the grant and support the communities to plan these events that will bring people to the Trail during the annual OVTA March in September and October and again on National Trails Day on June 5, 2010.
The National Parks Foundation Active Trails grant will be used to assist and support communities in starting new events and programs, or to expand existing events and programs, that will attract visitors to enjoy the recreational opportunities and learn the historic significance of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail in their community.
The communities that were specified in the grant request to receive funding are Abingdon, Virginia, Bluff City, TN, Spruce Pine, NC, Morganton, NC, Rutherfordton, NC, Polk County, NC, Elkin,NC and Cowpens National Battlefield.
The anticipated benefits derived from employing the grant will include increased community awareness of improved health derived from outdoor activities, an increased sense of ownership by the communities for their heritage, a stronger community willingness to expand and grow the events and programs in future years and increased membership in the OVTA.”
The grant has a provision that allows matching funds up to $10,000 with the National
Parks Foundation. If successful, this could increase the grant up to $70,000. Elkin has received a financial donation from Member’s Credit Union in support of this match. In addition, All-Star Rentals, Comb’s Hometown Butcher Shop, and the North Carolina Forest Service in Dobson have provided in-kind donations in support of this event..
Students will spend one school day walking between stations to meet period re-enactors and to participate in hands-on learning experiences. The stations explain how people lived in the Yadkin Valley during 178O. Students will accomplish activities incorporating math, science, history, writing, visual and performance arts when they encounter colonial soldiers, long hunters, women, and militia. They will discuss loyalists, patriots, African-Americans, Native Americans and Surry families; explore textile creation, candle making, cooking, games, blacksmithing and other necessary colonial skills; and experience modern trail discovery by walking the original path followed by Yadkin Valley men to the battle of Kings Mountain. Each child will accomplish walking approximately two miles during this focus on Active Trails.
This is the fourth event of this type in Elkin since 2003. Modeled after an award-winning event in Abingdon, Va., this year’s event is intended to create and grow an annual program in Yadkin Valley counties.
We appreciate your interest in this story and in the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail.
The Schools are prepared for you to join us. We invite you to attend and report as you wish. The events will primarily take place in Elkin City Park at the trailhead of the OVNHT and continue along the trail by the Yadkin River. Fourth graders will work in activity stations in the morning and walk the trail after lunch. Eighth graders will walk the trail in the morning and participate in activities after lunch. Sen. Broyhill will speak at noon. www.nps.gov/ovvi, www.ovta.org, www.ovta-org.blogspot.com