Students to rally to keep Turtle Island Preserve open
by Anna Oakes
Students from Appalachian State University will host a 24-hour stand-in on ASU's Sanford Mall beginning at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, April 23, to stand in solidarity with Eustace Conway and Turtle Island Preserve.
Turtle Island Preserve, a nonprofit environmental education camp, was forced to close last fall after being issued notices of violation by the Appalachian District Health Department and being advised of violations by the Watauga County Planning and Inspections Department. Both organizations say the preserve failed to meet state building and health requirements.
The state Building Code Council has since directed staff to develop flexible language in the state building code to allow for facilities such as Turtle Island.
ASU students and community members supportive of Turtle Island plan to bring grievances to local government officials, urging them to keep the preserve open. Demonstrators plan to march at 2 p.m. on April 23 from the university's campus to the health and Planning and Inspections departments to express support for Turtle Island.
Conway will also speak at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 22, in Room 114 of Belk Library about his efforts to keep the preserve open.