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                                                      Happy Thanksgiving!
We're coming up on Giving Tuesday, an annual day of giving. It's a chance to give to an organization that means something special to you. With a mission you believe in. It's very easy to get lost in the holiday season and forget about the people and organizations that depend on donations and volunteers to exist. We hope that you'll remember the Friends of Gorges with your end of year giving. You can show your support by donating, purchasing or renewing a Friendship or buying merchandise from the FOG store
GIVE TODAY!
What is Giving Tuesday?
Giving Tuesday falls on November 30 this year, just after the retail traditions of Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Started in 2012, the day is "a global generosity movement that unleashes the power of radical generosity around the world." What a sentiment! We hope you'll be a part of that movement this year! 

Welcome, Aly!
We are thrilled to introduce a new board member: Aly Pagano! Aly is a local to the WNC Mountains and has called Gorges State Park a second home her whole life. After moving to the area in '98 when the park was started, Aly spent her entire childhood traversing these southern Appalachians, which provided the groundwork for her adventurous spirit in adulthood. Since graduating with a BS in Environmental Ecology from UNC Asheville, she has settled in Marshall, NC and continues to live and work with the land. Today, Aly works as an assistant manager at a native plant nursery and takes joy in growing food for herself, her family, and her friends. While she continues to grow her earth skills repertoire, Aly is beyond grateful at the opportunity to play an active role in giving back to the mountains and the park that raised her. 

We're always looking for people looking to donate their time and energy to the park. If you're interested in becoming a board member, you can just reply to this email or use the button below!
CONTACT US!
Welcome, Social Burro!
We are also feeling extra thankful to share that Social Burro is our most recent Business Sponsor and extra ordinary supporter.  A big FOG shout-out to Chief Burro, Frank Kecseti and Content Director, Alyson Kate (AK) Long for their support!!! Located in Brevard, Social Burro is a social media consulting firm specializing in small to medium sized businesses. Through their unique approach they manage your social community, increase brand awareness, and support sales. Social Burro integrates seamlessly with your business to align with your marketing objectives. Whether it is Consulting, Social Media Management, Organic Follower Growth, Paid Ad Campaigns, Content Creation, or Tracking, Analytics and Reporting, Social Burro is your Sure-Footed one-stop-shop!! Check them out at www.socialburro.com.
Event Updates
Appreciation Luncheon
As we look to wrap-up 2021, we're happy to host an appreciation luncheon for the Gorges State Park staff and our business friends and sponsors.  This is our chance to thank the staff and rangers for their dedication and commitment to the park, its visitors and its future. We hope you'll join us in sending a big thank you to those who make the park function so well! This year, we have the honor of also including our business community who has supported us so well. It will be a large luncheon full of gratitude and hopefully great stories of outdoor adventures! 

Shop Local Holiday Giveaway!
During the holiday season, we will be also be participating in the Brevard/Transylvania County Chamber of Commerce's initiative: Shop Local Holiday Giveaway! Come see us at the Visitors Center beginning November 29 to get a stamp in your passport and enter for a chance to win a share of $1,250! We're now selling our Friends of Gorges merchandise at the visitors center and we humbly think a beanie would make an excellent holiday gift and the perfect opportunity to get a stamp for your passport! 😉

Review the flyer below for more information.
Holiday Magic Art Marketplace and Exhibition
As many of our Park visitors know, FOG sponsors a program that we call 'Art in the Park’ which is designed to highlight the work of local artists with a focus on nature. From animals, to the birds, the bees, landscapes, and anything that may highlight the beauty of nature, Art in the Park provides a high-traffic venue (the Park Visitors Center) where local artists display and sell their works. Every 6-8 weeks, Art in the Park features a new artist. Our most recent featured Artist was Sharyn Fogel. Sharyn was kind to tell us about 'Holiday Magic', sponsored by the Transylvania Community Arts Council. An invitational marketplace and exhibition of handmade items created by local artists, Holiday Magic runs now through December 23rd. Go to www.tcarts.org for details.

FOG Hosts Vision Transylvania
FOG was excited to host a luncheon for ~ 25 members of the 2021 Class of Vision Transylvania at GSP on Thursday, October 21st. The Class of 2021 heard from various speakers including representatives from Dupont State Forest, Conserving Carolina, the NC State Extension, and from our own Gorges State Park Superintendent, Kevin Bishoff. Vision Transylvania is dedicated to the development of community leaders, promoting networking, teaching leadership styles, exploring local issues, enhancing critical thinking, and to the further economic development of Transylvania County. Many thanks to the staff and the 2021 Class of Vision Transylvania for visiting the park and including us in your efforts to improve Transylvania County!!  To find out more about Vision Transylvania go to www.visiontc.org.
Stay tuned for more info about our 2022 events!
Trail Report
All park trails are open at the moment. Be aware that there are damaged culverts on the Auger Hole Road and Wintergreen Trail. Please use caution when navigating around these failures.

There will be park staff and park equipment on trails doing trail work during the Winter season.It's always best to stop by or call the visitor center for the most up to date information available. You can also report any issues that you find while out. 

🐍 Superintendent Kevin's Snake Corner 🐍
If you've had the opportunity to chat with our superintendent, you know he loves snakes. He's not shy about it and in fact, it was a factor in him moving back to Transylvania County to take this position. We thought it might be fun to include a snake corner in our emails to share some of his knowledge with you. 

With the exception of a couple warm days, snakes shouldn’t be out and about. They aren't very active when it's cold. So, if park visitors are concerned about snake encounters, winter hiking is the best time to hike. 

Events
The rangers are maintaining a busy event calendar in the park. Learn about Snakes and the night sky in the next couple of events. Get all the details here.
PARK EVENT CALENDAR
We are looking forward to the opening of our all new $5.8 million Family Campground in the first quarter of 2022. The exciting new family campground includes RV sites with full hook-ups, primitive tent sites and family-friendly heated/cooled cabins. As soon as construction is finalized and all of the necessary inspections have been completed, our campsites will be reservable on ReserveAmerica. Please keep an eye out on FacebookInstagram and our newsletter for updates! 
ReserveAmerica Reservation Site
The end of the year is so busy and there is so much effort to make the holidays extra special after a hard year but we really do believe that giving to local organizations is a wonderful way to end the year. Know that amidst the sparkling ornaments and the twinkling lights, your contributions (whether it's a donation, a purchase or a friendship) add shimmer to our event calendars and project lists. It's simply not possible without you. So....

Thank you, thank you, thank you. We hope you have the merriest, warmest and most joyous holiday season! 

COVID-19 UPDATE
As of August 20, 2021, face masks are required inside facilities at state parks.

Visitors who are not vaccinated should follow social distancing guidelines outside, including staying 6 feet away from others or wearing a face mask.

Our mission is exclusively nonprofit, charitable, educational and environmental. Funds raised are used to purchase educational equipment, to support Gorges State Park research, and to provide materials and facilities that contribute to park activities. 
BECOME A FRIEND!
Gorges State Park is set in the midst of plunging waterfalls, rugged river gorges, sheer rock walls and a high concentration of rare species. Located in Western North Carolina, the park offers unbeatable hiking, backpack camping, trout fishing, mountain biking and horseback riding.
DONATE TODAY!
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