Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Serving the Community in September

Springhouse Farms

Mountain Alliance took two trips to Springhouse Farm in September. Max Maling, a junior, went on both of the trips. "We hopped on Fran the Van and headed out to the farm," said Max. "At the farm we fed some adorable piglets and their equally awesome mothers. [We] went to go shovel horse manure and then harvested the last of the tomatoes and pulled the plants. By the time we did all this it was time to go! The next week we pulled out old pepper plants and harvested what was left - with close to 100 plants this took quite some time!" Springhouse Farm is a local farm located in Zionville, NC. Max said he really enjoyed getting to meet the owner and working on the farmer. 

Horse Helpers

Horse Helpers of the High Country is a local non-profit in Zionville, NC. It was established in 2004 and has been rescuing horses and other equine ever since (they also take in a variety of other abandoned animals). Horse Helpers took in a huge number of animals this summer - they have 26 horses and just adopted a hog and eight goats. We sent three groups of students to Horse Helpers in September to help them with all of the work that needed to be done. Students that went on the trips helped with the care of the animals, building fences, and mucking out stalls among other things. They got to interact with the various "residents" of Horse Helpers and help them out with the tons of work they have to do!

Hospitality House

Our monthly trip to the Hospitality House was another success. The weather was great, students were engaged, and there was a lot to do! The helpful and interactive Hospitality House staff put students to work on a variety of tasks and they got a lot done. The Hospitality House is a non-profit crisis agency that serves seven counties (Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes, and Yancey) in northwestern North Carolina helping those living in crisis, poverty and homelessness rebuild their lives. The organization provides housing, nutrition, and prevention in a safe, nurturing and healthy environment through a variety of programs including emergency shelter services, family housing, long-term transitional housing, their Bread of Life Community Kitchen, a food box pantry, and more. Mountain Alliance brings students once a month to the Hospitality House to help in the kitchen and garden as well as other projects around the organization.

Trail Building 

With weather great for a day on the trail, a group of students drove over to Boone United Methodist Church to help with the ongoing project of the Boone United Trail. The trail is located on the church's  property, but is open to the public. The project was created in an attempt to offer more easily accessible, in-town hiking options. Eric Heistand, our main contact for trail building work at Boone United, gave the students background information on the trail and instruction on the tools that they would be using before they set to work. We have been helping with this project for quite a while now and it has been great to see the progress that has been made on the trail.

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