The Preserve and Bird Sanctuary came alive in 2019. The kiosk, new bench tops  and three picnic tables were delivered and installed. Funding for all materials was donated by a board member in 2017 and 2018, and the labor to build the tables and a partial kiosk was donated by Asheville Buncombe Technical College Carpentry students. The installation effort was led by Eric Oursler, who donated his time and skills. Additionally Eric enlisted Cory Rhodes, to volunteer his time and equipment to clean up the overgrown trails. Chip and Dee Dee Gould, owners of Cason’s  Building Supply donated and installed mulch for the trails.

The biggest change within the preserve is due to the efforts of one person: Mickey Derr. Mickey saw a blank canvas as a way to express her talents and give something special to all: a place to learn about native plantings, conservation and preservation.

She has been diligent to rid the preserve of non-native invasive plants, a mission that will never have an end. Some of you have stopped to talk to her and thank her for her efforts. We see her watering plantings, digging holes and working on yet another idea to improve the property.

Please think about volunteering your skills in 2020 to build a “Preserve Team” to assist in watering new plantings, and maintaining news postings in your Kiosk. Please contact Mickey at

Three new programs are being initiated in 2020 for “The Preserve”. As a walking trail, an educational component is being developed. As a special place to honor individuals who have passed – trees and planting are being donated in 2020. A Gardening Tips Book is underway, spearheaded by Mickey. It will be published in 2020.

We move forward to have 2020 vision as we maintain what is precious in the center of the “Largest Historical District in the State of North Carolina”.

We all recognize Flat Rock’s importance to the state of North Carolina and its place in the history of the United States. Please visit the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places to view the complete document. You will be amazed to find that Flat Rock has 610 contributing resources including 537 buildings, 45 structures, 22 objects and six sites.

Thank you for being supporters of our preservation efforts. We are proud to say that preservation is a continual conversation about the relationship between the past and the present.

Victoria Flanagan, President