The project was funded through TVA Settlement Funds and the goal was to finish the facility and turn it into a venue for educational programs and serve as a gateway to 10,400 acres of the forest that contain 80 miles of multi-use trails and spectacular waterfalls.
In January, it was announced the facility would be named after long-time supporter, volunteer and staunch advocate, Aleen Steinberg. A native of Wisconsin and a former resident of Florida, Steinberg spent summer vacations with her husband and children in Cedar Mountain and came to know and love the forest when it was still owned by the DuPont Corporation. She was one of 22 local individuals who came together 13 years ago to prevent the central portion of the forest from being developed into a gated, luxury community after the manufacturing plant closed.
Construction started in the winter. You can view a journal of photos following the progress on this amazing project: Aleen Steinberg Center construction.
On July 1st over 200 leaders from NCDA & CS, NC Forest Service, area counties, tourism, friends and volunteers witnessed the dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting to formally open the Aleen Steinberg Center. LT Ward, VP of WNCC, shared a “fairy tale” to aptly describe the people and passion behind this project.
To read the forest fairy tale in its entirety, click here.
“The ASC is a real treasure and we highly recommend folks go see this work of art for themselves” shares Linda Lamp, Executive Director of WNC Communities. “WNC Communities is honored to have been a part of the completion of this decade-long endeavor started by the Friends of DuPont Forest.”
Numerous, generous individuals and businesses contributed to this project. It would not have been possible without their dedication and support. We offer our gratitude and special thanks to the following:
- Myles Alexander, Form & Function Architecture
- Tony Campano, EcoWise Construction, LLC
- Richard Conway, All Wood Floorcraft
- Frank Cubero, Cabinet Maker
- Jim Erickson, Project Manager
- Jim Garth, Decorative Flooring
- Sarah Sneeden, Artist
- Bill Yarborough, NCDA & CS
- Apple Valley Model Railroad Club of Hendersonville
- DuPont State Forest Staff
- Friends of DuPont Forest
- NC Forest Service
- NC Forest Service, BRIDGE Program
- NCDA & CS Staff
In addition, there is a diorama being designed by the Apple Valley Model Railroad Club. Plans are for the diorama to be installed at the ASC in October.
To see a video of this upcoming addition click here.