|National Trails Day Volunteers||
The Friends of Hemlock Bluffs is a volunteer based non-profit, support organization created to further the mission, environmental education programs and facilities at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve. Members provide financial support, volunteer assistance and aid in promoting the nature preserve and nature center as valuable community resources.
|Who We Are|
|What We Do|
|Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve|
|Town of Cary Links|
2015 National Trails Day
Saturday, June 6, 2015 there were 80 volunteers that joined the staff of Hemlock Bluffs for the annual National Trails Day volunteer workday. The morning began with the opening of the Children’s Nature Trail at Hemlock Bluffs. The trail donors, REI and The Jandy Ammons Foundation, were in attendance. Along with Tullie Johnson, Past President of the Friends, Gail Renegar, a lifetime Friends member and donator of the trail’s balance beam, and Susanne Portanova, our local artist who provided bird silhouettes in the nature trail area, were also in attendance. Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, volunteers mulched Chestnut Oak Loop Trail, re-graveled the stairs on Swift Creek Loop Trail, decorated new stepping stones, and refreshed the Recycle and Children’s gardens. A special thanks to REI for their continued support of the National Trails Day workday at Hemlock Bluffs and to the Friends of Hemlock Bluffs for providing lunch for the volunteers following the workday.
Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve
Assist staff in ongoing trail and preserve projects. Bring work gloves and wheel barrows if you have them. You can pre-register through the Town of Cary. Call (919) 387-5980 or visit classweb.townofcary.org.
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Place Your Order for a Custom Engraved Paver!
Memories and Messages Saved in Stone
With a $35 donation, you can save those special memories, messages or dedications to that special person in stone. This personalized concrete paver will be a lasting symbol for years of enjoyment. Engraved Pavers make a unique gift idea. Order your paver today!
Dedication scheduled to occur on Sunday, November 22, 2015. Invitation to follow with more details, so save the date!
Friends Receive Grant from Jandy Ammons Foundation
Nature Center Supervisor Retires
The Friends of Hemlock Bluffs would like to thank Laura White for her 22 years of service and dedication to the Stevens Nature Center at the Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve. She put her heart and soul into the well maintained facilities, excellent environmental education programs and unique natural resources of the preserve.
Thank You to our Past Board Members!
Need a Gift Idea for anytime of the Year?
All you have to do is go online to amazon.com and search Friends of Hemlock Bluffs or click on the link below and you will be taken to the "Wish List" for the Stevens Nature Center! Purchase an item to donate on behalf of a friend, family or co-worker! This is a wonderful opportunity to give a gift in so many ways!
All purchases will be used to enhance the environmental education opportunities at the Stevens Nature Center!
Check out the needs of the nature center and donate today:
Thank you to the Eagle Scouts
Eagle Scout candidate, Zack Merim, his troop, family and friends recently installed a new fence around the backyard wildlife garden at the Stevens Nature Center. This updated and attractive fence makes the area safe and beautiful. Thanks Zack!
Donation of iPad
For the latest news about the Friends of Hemlock Bluffs, check out our 2015 Friends Newsletter.
For previous news, check out last year's Friends Newsletter.
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In the 1970's, a group was formed to protect the land known today as Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve. With lots of determination and hard work, the Hemlock Bluffs Preservation Society was successful in their plan to protect the nature preserve under the jurisdiction of the State of North Carolina. In 1995, the Cary Women's Club provided infrastructure and officers to create a support organization for the Preserve and the Stevens Nature Center. The founding members of the Hemlock Bluffs Preservation Society approached the Cary Women's Club and suggested that they use the original group name and articles of incorporation, since the group had never officially disbanded. With the consistent support of the Cary Women's Club, the Hemlock Bluffs Preservation Society funded exhibits, resources and equipment, and support for the organization grew.
President: Christina Sorensen Hester
Other Board Members and Committees
Fundraising Committee: Jim Mason (Chair), Tullie Johnson, Erin Nicholson, Laura White
Membership Committee: Christina Hester (Chair), Rob Ferrall, Rob Trickel
Social, Scholarship and Paver Committee: Erin Nicholson
Cary Teen Council Representatives: Ramya Kolagani and Sindhura Maale
Nature Center Staff Representatives: Mark Johns, Operations and Program Supervisor and Morgan Bosse, Program Specialist
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The Friends provide financial and volunteer support to Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve and the Stevens Nature Center. Some of our past accomplishments include:
On the Right Path to Board Development: The Friend’s Board Creates a Strategic Plan, 2013
Your Friends of Hemlock Bluffs Board of Directors spent the winter working to create a Strategic Plan for the future of the Friends. Christina Hester applied for the Every Day 2012 Grant from the National Environmental Education Foundation for the purpose of developing a strategic plan for the Friends of Hemlock Bluffs, and was awarded $4,980 to pay for a consultant to facilitate the sessions and serve as consultant. After a thorough search, the Board selected the True North Consulting Company, headed by David Halley.
The all-day sessions were well-attended by Board members and the managing Staff of Hemlock Bluffs: Tullie Johnson, Christina Hester, Meg Ketron, Joanne Wainwright, Joyce Wester, Jim Mason, Laura White and Mark Johns. The meetings were held at the Middle Creek Community Center in January, the Cary Senior Center in February, and at the Stevens Nature Preserve in March.
Consultant David Halley used standard business processes and tools to compile our vision for the organization. We started with a broad array of possibilities and narrowed them down to a practical plan. Many topics were discussed exhaustively, including: needs of the Preserve, the role of the Friends, increasing membership, fundraising, grant-writing, scholarship provisioning, amending bylaws, and board development. The resultant decision were always determined by a consensus vote, and we were all satisfied with the practical results.
We had several choices as to the direction of the group and all were widely discussed. At the conclusion of the exercise, it was unanimously agreed that our Friends of Hemlock Bluffs Board of Directors requires a more robust number of personnel in order to continue effectively. For the many exciting activities ahead, we need more people. Our primary focus for the coming year will be to develop the Board by adding active and diverse Board Members. By doing so, we believe that we will re-invigorate the organization, and become more viable.
The first order of business of our Strategic Plan is to nominate a slate of potential new Board Members. We will approach them individually and for those who apply and accept, we will train them through an orientation class, and provide them with a “New Board Member Packet.” Our goal is to bring them up to speed quickly, so that they can contribute to the group very soon.
Our next goal in the Strategic Plan is to organize and build up our committee structure: Membership, Fundraising, Scholarship, Finance, and the like. Most of the “work” should be done by these committees, which will be led by Board Members, but will also include Friends members, advisors, and any one needed. Some committees may be short-lived and single-project focused; others, (such as Finance) will be standing committees.
After we have staffed and trained the Board, and after our committees are established, we can continue on with fundraising, providing scholarships, and supporting the Staff and activities of the Stevens Nature Center at the Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve. We could not have gotten through this importance process without the financial support from the NEEF and the Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc., who helps to fund these grant opportunities!
Welcomed Addition: Children’s Nature Trail
The Friends donated the funds for the equipment rental for the installation of the elements
Sale and installation of engraved pavers in the Courtyard. Complete your paver order form today!
Funding and selection of scholarship winners. More information on scholarships is available.
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There are many ways you can get involved with the Friends of Hemlock Bluffs. Click on the links below for more information about purchasing an engraved paver and volunteering.
Become a Member!
We're always happy to welcome the interest and participation of new members. Membership contributions are tax-deductible within legal limits, and renew each January. Your Friends of Hemlock Bluffs membership will provide the following benefits:
Register your membership by paying online through PayPal: (NEW!)
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We'll be happy to answer your questions about our organization!
We are most easily reached via e-mail. One of our board members will respond to your message as soon as possible. Thank you!
Please direct questions about Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve, volunteering with your group and participating in the nature programs to firstname.lastname@example.org
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Follow the links below to official Town of Cary webpages:
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Friends of Hemlock Bluffs: Walk…Listen…Observe…Photograph…Sketch…Commune…Discover…Hemlock Bluffs
Website Designed By: Julie Coco