July 1, 2011
The Perry N. Rudnick Endowment Fund of the Community Foundation of Henderson County has awarded a $19,000 grant to UNC Asheville’s Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (CCC&D) to improve the center's popular Perry N. Rudnick Nature and Public Art Trail. Funds will be used to update and print trail maps, repair and add signage, clear debris, and add new plants.
The Rudnick Fund has been the trail's key supporter since awarding its first grant to CCC&D in 2002. The funds were used for trail construction and maintenance, artist-designed interpretive signage and commissioning of outdoor sculpture. Financially supporting this trail continues the kind of work Rudnick carried out during his lifetime. He volunteered each week with the Carolina Mountain Club to create trails in the region’s parks and forests, and also collected sculpture.
The Perry N. Rudnick Nature and Public Art Trail, which opened in May 2002, meanders through three distinct ecosystems - trillium and fern wetland, hardwood forest with rhododendron and mountain laurel, and wildflower meadow. Immensely popular with local residents, the trail boasts a wide variety of flora and birdlife and also features 14 commissioned outdoor sculptures. Among the most popular are "Fiddleheads," six forms standing more than ten feet high that appear as ferns opening in the spring, and "Rhododendron Bell," an earthen work of stones with a bell in a cavern underneath that can be rung from above.
“These new funds are critical to the upkeep of the trail, which has provided enjoyment for visitors for almost a decade,” says Stephanie Moore, CCC&D executive director. “The legacy of Mr. Rudnick and ongoing volunteer help from the Carolina Mountain Club have preserved this unique asset in Henderson County.”
The Perry N. Rudnick Nature and Public Art Trail is accessible through the center’s main parking lot on Broyles Road near Hendersonville from noon to 5 p.m. weekdays and from the parking lot off of South Rugby Road on mornings, evenings, and weekends.
The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design, located on the fifty-acre UNC Asheville Kellogg Center, convenes national meetings, supports research in the area of craft and design, cultivates emerging craft artists, and curates exhibitions for a gallery space and sculpture on the property’s one mile trail. The Center also manages the Kellogg Conference Center that provides space for community, educational, and corporate meetings and retreats. For online information, visit craftcreativitydesign.org.