June 2017 View this email in your browser
National Heritage Area Designation Update
Phyllis Baxter
AFHA Director

Congressman David McKinley (R-W.Va.) has introduced H.R. 3142 - the Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area Act of 2017 - in the U.S. House of Representatives, bringing national recognition for Appalachian Forest Heritage Area one step closer to reality.  Introduced with co-sponsorship by Rep. Evan Jenkins (R-W.Va) and Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.), the bill will designate the 18-county region in the highlands of West Virginia and western Maryland as a National Heritage Area.

“West Virginia’s mountains and forests give our state an unmatched natural beauty,” said Congressman McKinley. “We must celebrate and promote the beauty of our state, preserve our heritage, and plan for the future. Creating a National Heritage Area will ensure that the people who live, work, and visit our beautiful state can enjoy our natural splendor.”

The previously introduced Senate Appalachian Forest National Heritage Area bill has been combined with other National Heritage Area designation bills into S. 713, and has been approved out of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. With the bill now in both Houses, and recommended by the Senate committee, this is the most progress AFHA has ever had toward achieving this important designation.
 
New Deal Festival Features Events and Activities for All Ages
See Arthurdale from a different perspective on the horse drawn carriage rides or vintage tractor hay ride

Laura Michelson
AmeriCorps Member

Step back in time for Arthurdale Heritage’s New Deal Festival. The festival opens at 10 am Saturday, July 8th with live music, antique car, truck, and tractor show, craft show, homemade food, kids activities, museum tours, a visit from Eleanor Roosevelt and much more.

“Arthurdale was the first federally built community during the Great Depression and construction began in 1933. Our activities are not just fun but also show life in the 1930s and tell the important history of Arthurdale. Visitors get a chance to meet Eleanor Roosevelt plus talk with people whose parents were original homesteaders,” said Darlene Bolyard, Arthurdale Heritage Executive Director.

One of the most popular events at the New Deal Festival is the antique car, truck, and tractor show. Guests can check under the hood of some of Detroit’s classiest machines from the 1920s all the way to hot-rods and muscle cars from the 1960s and ‘70s. The show, hosted by the Arthurdale Tirekickers Club, also features antique tractors, including a restored tractor manufactured at the Reedsville Co-Op Tractor Factory.

Meet Eleanor Roosevelt as she visits her "Little Village." She loves to answer questions and talk about her involvement in Arthurdale

Youngsters can enjoy old fashioned games and activities in the festival’s supervised kid’s area. There is also a farm petting zoo with friendly farm animals including donkeys, chickens, a calf, and the famous Arthurdale goats. The barn cats and Great Pyrenees dogs will be excited to make new friends! Have a wild and wonderful time with the Avian Conservation Center of Appalachia’s Bird Ambassadors and Friends of Decker’s Creek fun hands on activity. Climb aboard a horse-drawn wagon and travel through Arthurdale for a look at the history of the community. Or choose an old-fashioned hay ride.

Step back in time and meet First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt (portrayed by History Alive actor Patty Cooper) and take historic selfies with the 1930’s photo booth including vintage tools, clothing, and hats. Visit the temporary exhibit on Depression era feedsacks in the E-15 Homestead with WVU Librarian Anna Schein. Four bands play throughout the festival – 18 Strings, Soup Camel, Aurora Celtic, & Matt Fields – with music ranging from the blues to country to folk-rock to jazz. Details and performance times are on the website www.newdealfestival.org. Gates open at 10 am.

Tickets are sold at the gate: $10.00 for adults and $5.00 for children 5-11. Kids under 5 are free. Parking is free. Advance tickets can be purchased online at: http://www.newdealfestival.org. The festival is presented with financial assistance from the WV Division of Culture and History and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the WV Commission on the Arts.

Join the AFHA AmeriCorps Team
The 2016-2017 AFHA AmeriCorps team
Come be a part of Central Appalchia's most dynamic program serving the needs of our  
highland communities

Program Associate

 
AFHA is still hiring (until filled) for one staff position to help administer our AmeriCorps program.  http://afha.us/docs/Position_Hiring_Program_Assoc_AFHA_17.pdf
 
AmeriCorps Members
 
AFHA is actively recruiting for multiple AmeriCorps members, in community development, cultural heritage and tourism, conservation, and historic preservation positions. See www.afha.us/americorps.htm for more details. 

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Experience the heritage of your area! Sites of the Month spotlights events and locations within the region, based on AFHA's four themes: forestry, history, culture, and nature.

Deep Creek Lake State Park in Garrett County, Maryland includes the largest inland body of water in the state made up of 3,900 acres and 69 miles of shoreline. Originally constructed in the 1920s by the Youghiogheny Hydroeletric Company, the lake was purchased by the state of Maryland in 2000 with public access being provided by the park. Though the area was heavily logged around the turn of the century, 95% of the park's northern hardwood forest has returned. There is a boat launch and the fishing is good as the lake is stocked with trout, walleye, bass,and perch among others. There is also a discovery center with exhibits on Western Maryland's natural resources and interpretive programs are available.

The Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad is based in Elkins and operates refurbished historic excursion trains out of Elkins, Durbin, and most recently, Cass. The trains travel through mountain wilderness and include stopovers at destinations including the High Falls of the Cheat, one of the highest waterfalls in the state, and the abandoned logging town of Spruce, once the highest town East of the Mississippi and accessible only by rail. Starting in 2015, the company will begin operating Cass Scenic Railroad, which runs on historic Shay locomotives and includes a stop at Bald Knob overlook, the third highest point in West Virginia at 4,842 feet.
Arthurdale Heritage Inc. will be celebrating its annual New Deal Festival on Saturday, July 8th. The celebration includes live music, food, children's activities, an antique car show, and much more. This year's festival marks the 80th anniversary of the homestead community, which was built in 1934 on approximately 1200 acres in rural Preston County, WV. Originally there were 165 homes and several community buildings, many of which stand today and are part of the New Deal Homestead Museum. 
The Woodbine Picnic Area of the Monongahela National Forest is located six miles from Richwood along Forest Service Road 76 and was originally known as Woodland Park. It was created in the 1930s by members of a CCC camp, Camp Woodbine,
which existed for nearly two years from 1933 to 1935. CCC member projects included road building, timber stand improvement, and fire fighting. The site is now a popular location for CCC reunions as well as family gatherings as there are two large group shelters on-site. Located long the Cranberry River, trout fishing is plentiful. 
Do you have a suggestion for Sites of the Month? Email us at: info@appalachianforest.us and let us know your favorite sites throughout AFHA!
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