About this Event
FSU Honors Students Hosting Community Listening Session on Wills Mountain State Park
Frostburg State University Honors students enrolled in IDIS 151 Experiencing Appalachia will host a community listening session on Wills Mountain State Park on Tuesday, Nov. 28, at 7 p.m. in the ballroom of the Allegany Museum in Cumberland.
Students will share aspects of a research project they’re conducting, documenting the historical, cultural and environmental significance of Wills Mountain State Park and the landscape surrounding it. The work is supported in part by the course’s participation in the Appalachian Regional Commission’s Appalachian Collegiate Research Initiative administered by East Tennessee State University's Center of Excellence for Appalachian Studies and Services. Under the direction of Dr. Kara Rogers Thomas, director of the Honors Program and a professor in the Department of Sociology, FSU students are part of a cohort of faculty and students representing colleges and universities from Alabama through New York. While projects vary considerably each year, all are intended to engage students and regional citizens in posing answers to the question, “How can we build a sustainable future for Appalachian communities?”
With public access to Wills Mountain State Park moving closer to becoming a reality, students have been working with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources and Sarah Milbourne, the Western Region manager who served as park manager of the site from 2012 to 2022, to compile interpretive material on the location’s regional significance and its potential for creating a place-based tourism attraction through low-impact recreational opportunities such as hiking trails and climbing routes.
While the potential advantages of public access are considerable, planning for the transition will require careful planning, which includes hearing from local residents about their visions for the park’s future. The public is encouraged to attend this first listening session to share their perspectives. FSU students also encourage residents to share any stories, anecdotes or historical material they know of Wills Mountain State Park for possible inclusion in a small exhibition to be hosted by the Allegany Museum in 2024.
For more information, contact Rogers Thomas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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