By Linda Reandeau and Debbie Clark
Here we grow again! The Board of Directors for the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge is excited to announce our latest project. In the next few weeks you will see our new sign on the west end of the Flowering Bridge: Future Site of the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge Education Center.
Since its beginning almost 10 years ago, education has been a big part of our mission at the Bridge. We have a new goal to expand this mission by creating a “Living Classroom,” which makes full use of all the Bridge has to offer: the gardens, the compost center, the Chimney Swift tower, the sensory and audio tours, and our volunteers. In December 2021, the LLFB Board of Directors established a task force to oversee the planning, fundraising, construction, and management of an Education Center.
The building will have a small footprint, but we think it will offer huge opportunities! Our conceptual design measures only 24’ x 36’ with a ceiling peak of 12’ and a porch across the front. The building front will face into what is now the visitor parking lot, which will be transformed into a courtyard with tables and chairs for visitors to participate in classes and events or to sit and enjoy the gardens. The building design will be in keeping with our mountain surroundings. It will be climate controlled, include an ADA compliant restroom, and offer audio/visual capabilities.
We’re very excited about this center and its possibilities. Since the LLFB was established in 2011 we have conducted over a hundred educational classes benefiting residents, students and visitors to the Lake Lure area. Our classes and events are immensely popular, but because they must be conducted “open air” and often in the middle of our small parking lot, we have had to cancel or relocate classes at the last minute due to unpredictable weather. With an Education Center, we can expand our educational program and provide a more comfortable and accessible learning space for participants regardless of weather. We anticipate making our building available for community groups such as garden clubs and others such as 4H, scouts, and schools thereby enriching visitors’ experiences year round.
Monies have been set aside for this project, and we are seeking additional funds by applying for various grants and exploring other fundraising options. Currently, the task force is working with the Town of Lake Lure, contractors, and engineers on the design of the building and addressing parking for visitors and volunteers. We hope to break ground on the new building this fall and finish the project early in 2023, which will coincide with our 10th anniversary.
We will continue to post updates on the progress of our Education Center on our website as well as how individuals can donate to this project. Questions? Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming Flowering Bridge Educational Classes for September and October 2022. All classes begin at 10:00 A.M. at the Flowering Bridge.
Tuesday, September 27th – “Seeds Saving, Storing and Swapping”. Join a panel of Bridge volunteers and learn how to collect and store seed. Bring some seed from your garden to swap.
Tuesday, October 25th – “How to Build a Pergola for Your Garden”. Join artist Amy Wald to learn how to build a pergola for your garden.
October 11th – November 1st -“Return of the Pumpkin People”. Visit the bridge for fall decorations, flowers and decorated pumpkins.
November 15th – January 2023 – Plan your holidays around a visit to the bridge for holiday decorations and lights.
Volunteering and Our New Website
If you are interested in volunteering at the Lake Lure Flowering Bridge, stop by on a Tuesday or Thursday at the bridge and ask for an application or fill out an application online at email@example.com. While you are filling out that application online to volunteer, take a look at our newly designed website. We hope you will enjoy it!