ROBBINSVILLE – The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership has announced an award of $13,050 to the Graham Revitalization Economic Action Team (GREAT) to build a Cherokee-themed outdoor classroom with interpretive signage next door to Robbinsville High School.
The project will sustain Cherokee cultural traditions and support an increase in artisan resources through the preservation, expansion and utilization of river cane brakes located on the RHS campus, development of interpretive signage and construction of an outdoor classroom based on the principles of the Cherokee council house design.
“This is an exciting collaborative project for Graham County Schools, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, BRNHA and GREAT,” stated GREAT Director Rick Davis. “We are beginning to see some of the recommendations of the Reimagining Robbinsville and the Pedestrian Connectivity Plan that encourages healthful living being implemented.”
In this grant cycle, the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership awarded 22 grants totaling $170,000 in funding to preserve and promote western North Carolina’s heritage. All of the grant awards will be matched with local or state funding and donated services.
“We appreciate and are grateful for all the wonderful work that is being done throughout the region to preserve our heritage and improve our communities,” said Angie Chandler, executive director of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership. “This year’s grant cycle was extremely competitive—we had 52 applicants and some great projects presented, but we simply could not fund them all.”
Funded by the federal dollars the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership receives, the grant awards will help support diverse initiatives across the North Carolina mountains and foothills, focusing on craft, music, natural heritage, Cherokee traditions, and the region’s legacy in agriculture.