Take a vacation at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Eco-Village. We share news on the recent success of the Eco-Village 1982 summer workshops and seminars where we hosted over 20,000 visitors. (See photos of the Show_How classes in the image gallery.)
By the time we close the gates on the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Eco-Village for the 1982 season, we'll have played host, over six all-too-short months, to more than 20,000 visitors. Many of these folks attending the Eco-Village 1982 summer workshops and seminars will have taken advantage of the Eco-Village/World's Fair/camping package that allowed them to stay on our property for two days, enjoy a daily choice of 10 to 15 Show-Hows (mini-seminars on food, energy, transportation, and housing), and then wrap up their visit with a day's travel-and-admission-paid trip by chartered bus to the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville, Tenn.! (We were both pleased and not a little flattered when some people told us they found the Eco-Village visit even more educational and interesting than the big Knoxville exposition!)
Eco-Village Workshops and Seminars: Better Next Time
All in all, we're pretty happy with the current season, but we're already working up some offerings that'll make an Eco-Village visit next year even better! Of course, since our display projects grow and evolve as research progresses, the Show Hows will have more to show. Furthermore, new ideas (and some old ones that have been in the planning stages for years) are constantly getting under way. Here, then, are just a few of the attractions you can expect to find at the Eco-Village in 1983.
First (and perhaps foremost), our long-anticipated Environmental Hall of Fame should be established. At least 12 individuals (one from each year MOTHER EARTH NEWS has been published) will be selected, by the staff editors, on the basis of work done to further the protection and preservation of the earth's natural environment. Of course, another honoree will be added each year thereafter, and displays commemorating the work of these men and women will be set up.
By next spring, too, we'll have installed an alternative electrical power system at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS Eco-Village passive solar, earth-sheltered house, created a children's recreation area (including a "youngster-powered" energy park), constructed fishing docks on one of our beautiful lakes, along with wading pools for safe water play, built a super-low-cost (you won't believe just how inexpensive) earth-sheltered dwelling and put in a demonstration homestead fish farm. And in addition to our improved series of Show-How seminars, we'll offer free hands-on learning programs in the evenings!
But That's Not All on the Eco-Village
Over the course of this season, we discovered that Eco-Village visitors really appreciated being able to enjoy some of the region's beautiful scenery without having to drive themselves. So, since our area is so rich in sights that are well worth visiting, we've decided to offer our guests a few other holiday packages next year.
For example, you'll be able to combine a two-day camping "discovery" of the Eco-Village (complete with Show-Hows) and a tour, by chartered bus, to any one of the following:
Cades Cove/Gatlinburg, Tennessee: On this jaunt, you'll enjoy a drive to beautiful Smoky Mountain National Park. There, in a lovely waterfall-bedecked valley, you'll find pioneer homesteads and churches at a site where 100 families lived in isolation for a century . . . and where the old-fashioned homestead techniques and crafts they developed are still demonstrated each summer. And after lunch there'll be time for a short trip to the area's most famous resort city — Gatlinburg, Tennessee — for sightseeing and shopping.
Biltmore House/Chimney Rock: As a young man, George Vanderbilt, the railroad heir, decided to build a mansion in the region he called "the most beautiful place in the world," and in 1883 his project was begun near Asheville, N.C. Today, the stately and imposing chateau, situated on 12,000 acres, is the world's largest private home — comprising 255 rooms, a number of which are open to the public, furnished with antiques and art treasures. Surrounding this incredible structure are 17 acres of formal gardens containing (among other plantings) more than 5,000 roses, which bloom from May through October. After a visit to the awe-inspiring mansion, you'll continue to Chimney Rock, an area of spectacular vistas, nature trails, unique rock formations, caves, and one of the highest waterfalls in the eastern U.S.
Grandfather Mountain/Linville Caverns: The region's Native Americans believed this peak (whose rock formations date back a billion years and are some of the oldest in the world) resembled the profile of an old man lying on his back. At its top, a mile-high swinging bridge connects it to its mate, Grandmother Mountain, and offers a 100-mile view to those who cross it.
After exploring the mountain's forests and its carefully created wildlife habitats, you'll travel on to Linville Caverns under Humpback Mountain, where deserters from the Civil War once lived with their families. These caves, which extend about a mile into the mountain, contain fantasy forests of icicle-shaped stalactites (measuring up to 10 feet and ranging in color from white to red to dark brown) and fiat or dome-shaped stalagmites. Here, too, are clear pools and blind trout, which live in the dark caverns' underground stream.
Cherokee/Clingmans Dome: You'll find the drive from Hendersonville to Cherokee — located at the entrance to Smoky Mountain National Park — to be a spectacular one, but even more so when you go on to Clingmans Dome, the tallest peak in the Great Smokies and the third highest in the eastern U.S. From there, you'll have a view (on clear days) of five states: North and South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia.
In Cherokee itself, which is situated in the largest organized Native American reservation east of Wisconsin, you'll be able to visit a museum containing the world's largest collection of Cherokee Nation artifacts, and Oconaluftee Village, a meticulously recreated example of what life was like among these people 250 years ago, featuring demonstrations of many traditional crafts. In addition, our travelers will take in the noted outdoor drama Unto These Hills, a poignant tale of this nation's history. .
The Ruby Mines of Franklin: With more than 300 varieties of gems and minerals found in the state, North Carolina is a rockhound's paradise. And the town of Franklin, where New York's Tiffany & Co. once mined rare stones, is dotted with sites that allow visitors — for a small fee — to do some prospecting of their own, and to keep what they find! Though the search itself is half the fun, rubies worth hundreds of dollars — as well as sapphires, garnets, and other gems — are frequently discovered here. Who knows, you may get lucky!
The Nantahala River: People come from all over the world to raft, kayak or canoe the many waterways of "The Land of the Sky," and the Nantahala is one of the most popular. Cutting through the Nantahala Gorge, it offers an enjoyable combination of mountain beauty and whitewater excitement that ends with a thrilling ride through the Class III Nantahala Falls. Ideal for families or inexperienced paddlers, this adventure will provide a thorough introduction to the thrills of white-water rafting, and while you drift on the quieter sections of the river, you'll be surrounded by lush groves of rhododendron, mountain laurel and the unusual princess trees.
Plan Now to Visit the Eco-Village, Enjoy Later
We imagine it's going to be a little difficult to decide just which of the outings you and your family might enjoy most (and by the time our 1983 summer program begins, we may very well have added other options, too). But one thing's for sure: It's not too early to begin making your plans. It seems that more and more folks have been getting the word about the Eco-Village's 622-mountain-acre learning center, and our campsites for next summer are limited.
Coming Up: Alternative fuel enthusiasts — especially Show-How attendees — will want to read about the new ways we've put wood gas to work at the Eco-Village.