The Cradle of Forestry Heritage Site (“Cradle”) is a nationally recognized center for forest conservation and Blue Ridge culture. Its rich historic and natural resources create an ideal environment for interpretation and education. Crafters, gardeners, musicians and volunteers (“demonstrators” or “program participants”) are a key component of the Cradle experience, allowing visitors to experience either a “back in time” feel or a modern perspective on our Southern Appalachian heritage.
The priority for program participants should be demonstration and visitor engagement. Demonstrators are welcome to distribute marketing material or sell on site during demonstrations. No fee will be charged for selling on site during demonstrations, although the Cradle of Forestry in America Interpretive Association reserves the right to introduce a booth fee during special events (e.g. Forest Festival Day, etc.). The Friends of the Cradle have approved a gas mileage reimbursement to help cover some of the cost of transportation. Demonstrators interested in selling through the Cradle gift shop should refer to “Gift Shop Procedures” below.
Crafters, gardeners, and musicians should consider a regular schedule of demonstrating. The Cradle front desk promotes “Crafters on Site” on a daily basis. The Cradle is open daily from mid-April until early November, and daily hours of operation are from 9am to 5pm.
Goals of the Demonstration Program:
- Portray and preserve the “back in time” feel of the Biltmore Campus Trail, the Forest Festival Trail and Cantrell Creek Lodge, as authentically as possible
- Demonstrate a living tradition of Southern Appalachian crafts, gardening techniques, and music
- Nurture the interest of demonstrators and visitors in traditional Blue Ridge culture and the forest in a safe environment
- Enhance the visitor experience at the Cradle of Forestry
If you are interested in demonstrating, receiving a gas mileage reimbursement, or selling at the Cradle of Forestry, please contact Christy Ralston at 828.887.3130 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss your interest and receive a volunteer application. Applications will be reviewed by Cradle staff for suitability. Following approval, the applicant will be asked to submit to a background check. New demonstrators will be contacted and introduced to a current demonstrator or staff member for site and program orientation.
Crafters, gardeners, and musicians will be introduced to a current demonstrator or staff member to discuss the Program and arrange for an on-site visit, if appropriate. Unloading protocol, parking etiquette, and demonstration areas procedures will be reviewed during orientation.
- Unloading & Parking: As a general rule, program participants may unload as close to demonstration areas as needed and then to park in the main parking lot or the King House parking area. Please do not park in front of a locked Forest Service gate.
- Check in & Check out: Inform the front desk when you arrive on site and when you are leaving. [Walkie-talkies are available on loan from the front desk to foster communication while on site.]
- Demonstration areas: Some demonstration may be ideally suited to specific areas of the Cradle (e.g. period crafters at historic buildings).If possible, we encourage demonstrators to spread out to improve visitor engagement. Demonstration areas should not restrict public access to interpretive trails and structures, and program participants should be comfortable engaging the public and sharing the demonstration area with visitors. Live music demonstrators are encouraged to play, but recorded music should not be played in demonstration areas. Program participants are free to turn off the speakers if demonstrating in a building with interpretive messages. Please be mindful of the before and after appearance of a demonstration area, and follow the Forest Service best practice of “leave no trace. ”If a maintenance or safety issues is identified, please follow the general guideline of “leave it like you found it” and report the concern to the front desk.
- Period Demonstrators: Strive for the appearance of the late 1800’s to early 1900’s both in dress and demonstration, representing how people lived when the Biltmore Forest School was active and the Pink Beds community was in full swing.
- Selling: Program participants are welcome to sell their items while on site during demonstrations and should arrange appropriate payment methods or direct the customer to the Cradle gift shop if the item is approved and available for sale there.
Gift Shop Procedures:
- Approval: If you are interested in selling through the Cradle gift shop, please discuss you interest with Christy Ralston,
- Pricing: gift shop pricing must be the same as demonstration pricing.
Cradle of Forestry Manager