FIND Outdoors, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting education and recreation on public lands, had a major change of plans after Tropical Storm Fred trampled through North Carolina’s Pisgah Ranger District. Due to severe weather, organizers were forced to cancel their biggest fundraising event of the year, the Cradle to Grave 30K and 10K trail races.
Soon after, it became apparent that trail rehabilitation efforts would be extensive following the storm, so organizers instead launched the Race to Restore initiative to support restoration work in Pisgah National Forest.
“Reassessing the Cradle to Grave Race made the most sense as we witnessed, firsthand, the flooding damage caused by the recent tropical storms,” Tad Fogel, FIND Board Chair, said in a statement. “Once we made the decision to cancel, our entire focus shifted to the immediate needs of our partners and other, local nonprofits that are dedicated to the health of Pisgah National Forest.”
FIND Outdoors’ new initiative will specifically raise money for trail rehab in the 6,500-acre Cradle campus housed within Pisgah’s Pink Beds Valley. A portion of the funding will also support the efforts of Pisgah Area SORBA (PAS), a nonprofit that works to preserve and enhance recreational opportunities in western North Carolina through trail improvements, and the Pisgah Ranger District.
“The entire team at FIND extends our gratitude for the generosity of the sponsors and runners working together to make the Race to Restore come to life for Pisgah National Forest,” Natalie Britt, President, and CEO of FIND said in a release. “Our community partners saw the need for this trail renewal campaign, and FIND is more than willing to take up the call to give back to our public lands!”
The main campaign event for Race to Restore will be held Saturday, October 2, from 1-4 p.m. at Ecusta Brewing Company, in Pisgah Forest, N.C. Race to Restore Pint Day will allow thirsty patrons to purchase a limited edition FIND Outdoors pint glass for $10 that will be filled with an Ecusta brew of choice. All proceeds from the sales will go directly to the Race to Restore initiative. After the event, Ecusta Brewing will continue to sell the limited edition glasses and give a percentage of beer sales to Race to Restore for the entire month.
FIND Outdoors also announced that there will be online and social media opportunities for the public to get involved with trail rehabilitation into 2022. Support from the public will help provide materials, equipment, and supplies for repairs to the area.
“Together, we can make a difference to this amazing area that will span miles of forest lands that future visitors and generations will enjoy for years to come,” Britt added.
People can make donations online and learn more about Race to Restore at their website.
Photo: Aerial view picture of sunset in Pisgah National Forest at the Appalachian Mountains