It’s a far drive from Madison, WI to the Appalachian Mountains in Tennessee, but a drive that is worth every mile. We returned home from the trip changed in mind and altered in goals.
Upon our arrival to the town of Eagan, we were met by Carol Judy. After knowing Carol for just a few days, I can say that our meeting was not by chance, and she feels like someone I’ve known for a long time.
Carol is a great steward of the mountains and the plants that grow there. She is an activist, root digger, and catalyst for change in the small Appalachian towns that have been prey to mining companies that destroy their health and their mountains.
With Carol as our guide, we were introduced to talented members of this humble and proud community, shown a small part of what the mining companies are doing there, and taken into the woods of the mountains. We stood speechless at the sight of large stands of black cohosh, yellowroot, blue cohosh, goldenseal and wild ginseng. Stands that Carol called small, but looked immense to me. The woods were also rich in blue flag iris, coltsfoot and wood betony. And the list goes on.
The problem is, many of the mountains there are slated to be destroyed in the next few years by the coal companies. Carol Judy has ideas for saving mountains and saving plants, but she needs help. With Carol as our leader, we -my family and many friends- hope to do just that.
If interested, check out these links to their organization and business.
Please also stay tuned for what we hope to help organize and support. Our biggest public goals will be to move endangered plants to safety, and to purchase mountains.
Appalachia is rising, but it will take a nation of people to help. If you are interested in receiving more information as it is available, please leave a note on this blog post. Thanks.
Update: This quote came from Carol Judy on my facebook page. It describes the ecosystem of her part of the Appalachians.
Carol Judy: “The mountains where i live are considered sub-tropical rain forest a very unique forest/woods for the United States. just as awareness has grown about the “rain forest plants” elsewhere in the world and all the diversity of plants and their uses, we in the United States have the same ability to sustain these health giving eco-systems in our country. my experiences lead me to believe that a healthy eco-system system are basic to having a healthy human’s as well. kathy/neshaan/jennifer (among others) offer in depth plant knowledge and awareness that is needed to competently understand the woods and all the values of mountain forest. mountains also produce 80% of the worlds potable/drinkable water.. water is life, destroying mountains for coal/gas/oil will short-change our children and their generations drinkable water source. i thank everyone for taking time to read the post and caring enough to be connected to the larger web of life..”
Thanks, Carol, for your words and work.