/ People and Nature,

Spring Lady Slipper Award

Introducing Ford Smith our Spring Lady Slipper Award recipient!! Ford has been involved in Conserving Carolina (previously Pacolet Area Conservancy) for over 20 years. He became more regularly involved after attending one of Pam Torlina’s guided hikes. He helps with a variety of volunteer roles including serving as a Board member, the Education Committee President, and a Kudzu Warrior. He is always willing to help in any way that he can. He’s helped lead environmental education activities, assisted in leading hikes, removed hillsides from non-native invasive plants in Norman Wilder Forest, and has planted hybridized American Chestnut trees on Conserving Carolina property.

His most rewarding volunteer experience has been meeting others with similar goals and seeing the slow changes of projects like Kudzu eradication and growing Chestnuts. He hopes that Conserving Carolina will maintain the fiscal health of the organization to enable perpetual conservation of significant tracts. And he hopes that Conserving Carolina continues to create corridors between conserved lands working towards a continuous connection of conserved land.

Ford was brought to WNC after traveling with his late wife for 10 years living in a tent across public lands in North America. Tryon was one of the locations along the way that they decided that they could settle down in after their traveling days were over. We couldn’t be luckier that he decided to settle in our region and stumbled upon our organization! When he is not volunteering with us you can find him taking photos, camping, hiking, gardening, reading, tinkering with electronics, or doing home fixup projects.

We appreciate all he has done for Conserving Carolina! Thank you Ford!!

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