by Wiley Sloan

Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust has been preserving the region's treasures for over 100 years. 

Nestled on the southern end of the Blue  Ridge Escarpment, these mountains, which some believe to be the oldest In the world, ore among the most biologically diverse. A century ago a group of forward­thinking Highlands residents realized that it was their responsibility to ensure this moun­tain paradise was not developed to the point of ruin.

Thanks to the efforts of those who formed the Highlands Improvement Association back in the late 1800's and the ongo­ing dedication of those who continue to be champions for the land, to date we have conserved over 3,000 acres In our mountains.

One hundred years later, the organiza­tion that Is now named Highlands-Cashiers Land Trust continues to protect our most treasured places - conserving new prop­erties and coring for those entrusted to our care. Some of them ore open to the public like Satulah, Ravenel Park, Rhodes Big View, and Kelsey Troll. Many of our conserved lands are conservation easements that are privately owned but protected from devel­opment forever.

All of them protect wildlife habitat, rare plants and animals, water quality, scenic vis­tas, and more.

In order to achieve our land conservation and stewardship goals, we have developed programs In Education, Land Conservation, and Stewardship. The Education Program In­cludes our popular Eco Tours, the Village Na­ture Series (family-friendly community pro­grams held one evening each month during the summer), and our thriving Kids in Nature program that engages and educates over 800 youth annually. The Land Conservation Program Is on track in 2016 to conserve four new easements. The Stewardship Program keeps our trails passable, monitors our lands; and takes care of the largest living hemlock In the world, the Cheoah.

Thanks to an enthusiastic board of direc­tors, dedicated staff, and the strong support of our community, we are able to help pro­tect the quality of the air you breathe, the water you drink, and the natural habitat for all who live here. We depend on the support of people like you. To learn how you can be Involved or to become a member visit us online at hicashlt.org, email Julle.hitrust@ earthlink.net or call (828) 526-1111. Together we are saving our most treasured places. 

This article is one of a series featuring ten­ants of the Peggy Crosby Center and how they serve our community.

The Peggy Crosby Center is a non-prof// organization established to provide of­fice space for other non-profits and start­up organizations. Rental rates to the ten­ants are held as low as possible to allow the tenants to use more of their funds to serve the community. 

by Lorna Alexander 

This article is one of a series featuring tenants of the 

Peggy Crosby Center and how they serve our community. 

Here's a little known fact. Do you know  l1ow the Center for Life Enrichment got its start?

It all started in a beauty shop in Higllands. It was the summer of 1991. and a chance meeting between two women, Nell Martin and Nelda Toothman, both under hair dry­ers, unknowingly put into motion the found­ing of the Center for life Enrichment. One thing led to another and the two women, along with their husbands, Bill and Rex, so­cializing over food and drink while getting to know each other better, discovered their mutual interest in the joy of constantly learn­ing something new.

They asked themselves, "Wouldn't it be fun and rewarding to promote a group in the Highlands-Cashiers area which could offer such opportunities to people of all ages and backgrounds?"

These four energetic 'and inspirational people identified the need for new and varied learning opportunities In the mountains and what is now known as the Center for Life Enrichment came to be. Its mission is to pro­vide life-long learning programs for people throughout the Highlands-Cashiers region. 

A founding Center for Life Enrichment advisory member has said, "After college I wanted to continue learning about the world around me and it didn't seem fair that t11e kids get to go to camp and I can't."

The Center for Life Enrichment lets you be a kid again and experience life and learn­ing through the eyes and heart of a child.

The force that drives the Center for Life En­richment forward are its enthusiastic Board of Directors, 500 members and ever-grow­ing list of visitors each season.

The Center for Life Enrichment offers classes, workshops and educational trips, and meets the needs of active adults in the communities, welcoming both residents and visitors alike. We cover it all - from the arts, computers and technology, culinary arts, gardening and nature, to history, literature, music, science, and current affairs. In fact, this past year, the Center for Life En­richment offered 130 courses and events. This year promises an even more exciting and expansive course and lecture series.

An important part of Center for Life Enrich­ment's mission in curriculum development is to respond to the interests of its attendees and values input from its participants to plan courses for the future. To that end, 2016 is offering more extensive interactive trips like "Chocolate & Orchids: An Exploration on Botany, Foods and Culture of Mexico" in November, and "Exploring the Wines of Or­egon's Willamette Valley" in September.

Discover the Center for Life Enrichment this season and join in the pure fun and ad­venture of learning. We invite you to renew your membership or become a member. To learn about membership benefits, call us at (828) 526-8811 or stop by our office at 348 Fifth Street, in the Peggy Crosby Center in Highlands. 

by Wiley Sloan

The Peggy Crosby Center relies upon the generous support of the twin communities she serves.

The Peggy Crosby Center - affection­ately known as "Tl1e Peggy" - is not Just another pretty face in Highlands. She's got history, heart, beauty, and a lot of soul!

In 1990, Philip Crosby had a vision for the former hospital building (built in 1948) whereby it could serve the community. His desire to honor his wife's legacy In the Highlands community led him to cre­ate and partially fund the "Peggy Crosby Center." He envisioned a specific pur­pose for the Center. Since then, "The Peggy" has provided multiple non-profits and start-up companies with affordable, desirable office space so that they can more efficiently serve their clients.

Since 2010, the building systems hove been mode more energy efficient - win­dows. doors. lighting, plumbing, emer­gency generator and HVAC. The infra­structure has been Improved · internet, plumbing, electrical. parking lot. retain­ing walls. and walkways. Her beauty treatments consist of new flooring, point, ceilings, furniture, artwork. refurbished tenant spaces and, of course the beau­tiful landscaping that has been installed with the invaluable support of our local garden clubs and arborists. Her soul Is the hundreds from the community who walk the halls of "The Peggy" - learning to read, obtaining international assistance, receiving counseling, preserving our pre­cious lands and those who just want to ex­pand their horizons.

The transformation of "The Peggy,” is possible because of generous donations. Her doily operations ore funded entirely by tenant rents, but oil building enhance­ments, renovations and upgrades ore funded by donations and grants.

There's still work to do to "The Peggy· so that the citizens of Highlands and Cashiers can continue to utilize and enjoy this uniquely wonderful facility. If you haven't seen her in a while, stop by to see the old girl - she's looking pretty fine! 

by Wiley Sloan

For Holly Roberts of The Kitchen 

CarryAway and Catering, her work is both a passion and a ministry.

Hoily Roberts began her cooking ca­reer right out of college. After liv­ing in Boston, Washington DC, and Atlanta, she moved to Highlands in 1996 with her two young sons, helping to open the Rosewood Market with Donna Woods and Marty Rosenfleid, the former owners of Lakeside Restaurant. 

In 2000, Holly went out on her own as a private chef, calling her business "Let Holly Do The Cooking." The business and its name have evolved over the years, and are now called The Kitchen CarryAway and Catering.

Wl1at has remained constant is Holly's de­sire to feed people. Holly has never viewed food preparation as an art but more as a ministry.

As many of you know, the Peggy Crosby Center was once the Highlands Hospital. In 2002, Holly took over the old hospital kitch­en, bringing it up to current health depart­ment standards and began her catering business. In 2005, part of the cafeteria was converted into retail space for the Carry­Away aspect of her business.

Being a for-profit tenant in a building of mostly non-profit organizations always challenged Holly to look for opportunities to give back. In 2012, The Kitchen began shar­ing a portion of the profits of the five main dish casseroles with organizations that feed the hungry, including the Highlands Food Pantry and MANNA Foodbank. To date $10,413 has been shared. In this way, Holly has combined her love of food, feeding people and giving back. 

The Peggy Crosby Center has been a great place to operate her business for the last 14 years! The Kitchen CarryAway is open Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 5:00 P.M. Catering and shipping of frozen food is done throughout the week by prior arrangement.

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