Geography and Community Roundtable

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Reigle, Kimberly G; Bell, Ryan W; Adcock, Brady; Hoffman, Lee G
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Certain mountains, and other important geographic features such as rivers or lakes, undoubtedly create a community consciousness that resonates within the community. Aside from beautifying a landscape, such features influence the history, ecology and economy of the communities that spring up around them. They sometimes even come to symbolize a community. This roundtable invites a discussion of ways in which geography and communities touch each other, both in positive and negative ways. Roundtable presenters will begin the dialogue by offering Bailey Mountain as an example of these connections. Bailey Mountain, always in the backdrop of Mars Hill, North Carolina, stands as a symbol for the Mars Hill community. The mountain’s name has been used in a variety of ways to identify a specific group’s relationship to the area, as in the case of the Bailey Mountain Cloggers. Bailey Mountain also forges a connection between the local community and student community, as both groups work to save the mountain. How can communities work to preserve such iconic community features? How do we use these natural assets while preventing abuse, or even loss, of a geographic community partner? This roundtable encourages participation from attendees to facilitate a lively conversation about these issues.