History

The Marble Springs Outdoor Education Area (OEA) project was launched at a community workshop held at Marble Elementary School, January 2006, followed by several on-site meetings, related discussions, and three on-line surveys of educators and community stakeholders in Cherokee County. These sources of community input provided the mission, setting definitions, and the base information required to produce the design program.

To accomplish the project, a partnership has been formed, under the leadership of Howard Lovingood, Mary Jo Deck, and Nicole Kelley, with the Cherokee County Schools, Cherokee County Sheriff's Office, Region A Partnership for Children, Hiwassee River Watershed Coalition Inc., RE/MAX Mountain Properties, Southwestern North Carolina RC&D, and many other organizations and individuals.

North Carolina Representative Roger West generously donated land adjacent to the Marble Elementary School to create Marble Springs OEA. The Natural Learning Initiative (NLI), College of Design, NC State University was appointed in January 2006 to provide programming and design assistance to the project.