Balsam Mountain Trust



Blair Obgurn, Senior Naturalist
Michael Skinner, Executive Director

Mailing Address:  

81 Preserve Road
Sylva, NC 28779

Phone Number:  
Secondary Phone Line:  

828-631-1061 (Ogburn)
828-631-1062 (Skinner)

Fax Number:  


Email Address: 

Website Address:; search Balsam Mountain Trust

Office Hours:  

8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. 7 days/wk.
(no Sunday hours during Winter)
Visitors by appointment


Ten miles east of Sylva, off Highway 23/74; turn right on Preserve Rd; stop at main gate/visitor check-in; directions or escort to nature center will be provided there.

Agency Description:  

The Balsam Mountain Trust is a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect and preserve the natural environment and the cultural history of the land being developed by the Balsam Preserve. The site has a nature center where staff naturalists provide environmental education programming, by appointment, for area schools, civic groups, etc.


Trust staff provides orientation and training; prefer service learning project students to have some background appropriate to assignment.

Time Commitment:  


Skills, Experience, and Special Requirements:  

Some activities may require specialized skills; others will not. See descriptions of activities below.

Volunteer Involvement:  

(1) Studying and preserving the natural environment of the Balsam Preserve and engaging in educational efforts that bring the citizens of western North Carolina, especially school children, into the Preserve. (2) Working in the nature center by: setting up and maintaining displays, engaging with visitors, leading or participating in nature walks, preparing written materials (brochures, letters, display descriptions etc.) (3) Animal handling and care. Botany and trail work.


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