Glen Alpine Residents Giving Back

Planning Committee Members: Matt Reschke, James Glick, Teresa Reep, Stanley Benedict, Luke Boone, DeAnna Boone, Jacob Boone, Kallie Smith, Reid Scott, Patsy Scott. Not pictured – Beth Heile, Jason Siedel and Wesley Kelley

A tree along the railroad tracks that looked like a turkey tail, gave the Town of Glen Alpine its original name in 1868 – Turkey Tail. Now residents wanting to revitalize downtown and strengthen community pride, are leaning into that history to plan events for the community.

Still deciding on a name for the volunteer organization, maybe the Glen Alpine Turkey Tails or the Glen Alpine Gobblers, the volunteers are planning summer “Glen Alpine in the Streets” events with the first one scheduled for Saturday, June 1.

The free event taking place at the band stand on Linville Street is a pickin’ jam session starting at 6:00pm. Individual pickers and groups are invited to perform with no pre-registration necessary. Music will run until 8:00 pm.

Attendees will be able to enjoy free quality entertainment and purchase refreshments. Local restaurant Foxhole Pizza will sell slices of cheese and pepperoni pizza plus soft drink cans and water. The Glen Alpine Elementary School PTO will also sell drinks. Guests should bring a chair or blanket to be guaranteed a place to sit. Thanks to event sponsors James and Linda Glick and Dave and Teresa Reep, porta-johns will be available at the event – one being ADA.

The drive for this group came during a Glen Alpine Board of Aldermen meeting when Burke River Trail Association Executive Director Beth Heile was presenting details of the proposed Glen Alpine Downtown Park. Aldermen Reid Scott and Luke Boone expressed interest in getting residents together to plan more events in downtown. Heile took on that challenge adding a downtown event planning session onto the April 11 Public Input Meeting for the park.

Since then, the group of residents led by Heile, have met three additional times. They will meet again on May 28 as a final planning meeting before the June 1st event. Then will move to regular meetings on the 2nd Tuesday of the month (June 11). Meetings talk place at Glen Alpine Town Hall. Glen Alpine residents and those who love Glen Alpine are encouraged to come be a part of the effort to bring back community to the town. As a quick fix, Resident Patsy Scott donated and planted flowers in the containers along Linville Street in front of the downtown stores and continues to water the plants.

Thoughts for future “Glen Alpine in the Streets” events include an outdoor movie night, an ice cream social, a food truck rodeo, and perhaps the pickin’ sessions continue with Glen Alpine being the new host for evening events. During the most recent planning meeting, Jason Siedel shared that a new location was needed for pickin’ since Mountain Music in Old Fort and the local Woody’s store were no longer options. Drexel Barbershop is available for morning jam sessions, but some pickers prefer evenings.

Embracing the turkey theme, the group will plan a Turkey Trot 5K around Thanksgiving with the course running along the proposed route of the Burke River Trail from the future downtown park to Table Rock Middle School and back.

The Glen Alpine Downtown Park will be the western terminus of the Burke River Trail, a 40-mile planned hiking and biking trail that will access all Burke County towns with sections along the Catawba River. As such, the Burke River Trail Association has been very supportive of Glen Alpine’s efforts to apply for a NC Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant, provided $10K in park planning funds and is helping lead these event planning sessions until the local volunteers are able to take on the new organization. Heile said, “One goal of the Burke River Trail is to bring economic development opportunities to towns. It has been gratifying to see Glen Alpine residents realize they can use the momentum of the Glen Alpine Downtown Park and Burke River Trail to breathe new life into their town. They are taking charge and making things happen. That is what community is all about.”

To show local support to the park granting agency, BRTA is leading a fundraising effort for the park. $4820 has been raised and donations will be accepted through September when the grant decision will be known. Whether Glen Alpine gets the grant or not, additional funds will be helpful to take the park to a higher level – perhaps a turkey sculpture for the art element! Donations can be made online or mailed to BRTA, 204 E Main Street, Valdese 28690.

Many thanks to these donors:
Patsy & Reid Scott $2000
Case Farms $1000
GA United Methodist Church $1000
Tea Tree $200
Glen Alpine Ruritan Club $120
Gary & Debbie Meise $100
Beth Heile $100
Mimi Phifer $100
Waiting for the Trail $100
WNC Real Estate Inc $100

Parks, trails, vibrant downtowns, and community events provide quality of life for residents. Whether they end up being called Gobblers or Turkey Tails, the Glen Alpine residents giving back are creating a community everyone can be proud to call home.