Reprinted from The Scenic: The Journal of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, Annual Report 2008
Where do school buses full of school children go on the Parkway? Well, first where there are restroom facilities; and second, where there is shelter. This need is soon to be fulfilled with the transfer of a Foundation constructed facility (its first) to the National Park Service later this summer. The Blue Ridge Parkway's flagship outreach education program, Parks as Classrooms, is predominantly administered in the public school classrooms of the 29 adjacent Parkway counties. However, the optimal arrangement is when the class actually comes to the Parkway. An area of high-demand for this program has been in Mitchell, Avery and Caldwell counties and to that end, the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation was asked to provide a facility at Linville Falls. The Last-Child-in-the-Woods theme caught the attention of Sandy Jahn, incoming president for the 6,000+ member General Federation of Women's Clubs in North Carolina and the leadership of Harris Teeter stores. The Women's Club initial pledge to the project was $60,000 and they far exceeded their goal by another $11,000. Harris Teeter made up the difference; and the contractor (Mountain Construction Company of Boone) and the timber-frame manufacturer (Hearthstone, Inc. of Dandridge, Tennessee) also made substantial donations.
A formal dedication ceremony and official transfer of the facility to the National Park Service will occur in September.
HEAVY TIMBER AND OTHER NATURAL ELEMENT DESIGN IDEAS by Mark Kirkpatrick
We believe that Heavy Timbers such as Log or Timber Accents on the interior and on the exterior of your home can add organic flavor to your living space. These flavors can enhance your personal connections to nature. Your home can remind you of setting up a tent and camping, climbing trees or building a tree house when you were younger. Having wood, or actual trees, in your home can also add to a sense of building tradition. Our forefathers hewed out trees to build Log and Timber Frame Homes on the frontier of both early America and in the continents of their origin. There is history of Timber Frame and Log construction through out the world. You, your family and your friends will all enjoy the natural elements that you can select to spice up the feel of your home.
There are many ways to Add Heavy Timber and other Natural Element Accents to your Home:
1. Timber Frame Trusses in your Great Room
2. Ceiling beams in your kitchen and cherry bark cabinet door panels
3. Timber Porte Cochere, Timber Trim and Timber Outriggers.
4. Timber Frame Covered Decks: round logs or square timbers
5. A Timber Frame Front Entry: round logs or square timbers
6. A Heavy Timber Ceiling in your Master Bedroom
7. A Timber Frame Trellis or Gazebo
8. Heavy Timber Stairs: square cut, live edge or Round Log
9. Decorative Timber Eave or Gable Brackets
10. A Timber Frame or Log Outdoor Fireplace Pavilion
11. Fireplace Mantel
12. Poplar Bark siding
13. Bark or Cabinet Door Panels
And many more...
The use of Timber Accents and other Natural Element wood products are dependent only on your imagination and your budget. Preparing Natural Element Wood Products can be labor intensive and require the handling of the wood many times before it is considered Art for the Home. Timber Framing and Timber Elements take no more wood than in a conventional frame home, where wood is sawn into small framing members and spaced more closely together.
To add to your Timber Frame, Log or Timber Accents there is a growing segment of the artistic and green building market that includes use of timber slabs for counter tops, bark for siding and cabinets and the use of other wood products that historically were cast off, burned or disposed of in other ways. Today, they can be cleaned, kiln dried and used on the interior or exterior of your home. This former "waste" material is recycled and used as natural element art --- a tradition used by necessity by our ancestors as well as indigenous peoples. This, along with the use of Structural Insulated Panels, brings new Green Building technology to traditional Log and Timber Frame construction.
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To find out how we can help you build or remodel your home CONTACT US.