Wednesday, April 18, 2018

See The Giver

This weekend, and this weekend only, JSU’s Alpha Psi Omega (APO) presents the stage adaptation of “The Giver,” Lois Lowry’s Newberry Award winning book. We asked student Director and APO President Alexis Loren Robinson to share about this upcoming production.

Tell me about APO and this weekend’s production selection.
We are a theatre honor society. We are a group of theatre artists dedicated to spreading theatre as far as we can within our community. Each year we do a children's show to reach local youth, and this year, that show is The Giver.

As President of APO, what do you love most about theatre & how did you get into JSU’s drama department?
I love that theatre has a story for everyone. I am actually a transfer student. I initially went to Berry College in Rome, Georgia, but never felt quite at home there, so I transfered here on word of mouth and never looked back!

As the director, what about “The Giver” story do you enjoy most?

I have always loved The Giver. I read the book around age 11 and have always held it dear to me heart. I think Jonas' determination to see the world change is what I love most about this particular story.

What do you want audiences to gain by seeing a performance?
I want them to understand someone else's perspective a little better after watching this piece.

What’s been your favorite element of production development for “The Giver?”
My favorite part has been watching my actors figure out this strange world in which the play is set. There are so many things, pieces of information, that paint a bigger picture that becomes pretty disturbing the more you look into it.

What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned through this production?
I have learned that all good things take time. This is my first mainstage show, and all of the technical elements have been theoretical up until recently. It is so rewarding to see something that you've seen in your head, for months, come to life before your eyes. It is pretty magical.

Why should visitors and residents come to Stone Center this weekend and see the show?
This show has heart. It is designed to make you look through a child's eyes at the promise of a new tomorrow. The messages in this show ring true for all ages.

Get your tickets for April 20-21 at 7:30 PM or April 22 at 2:30 PM at JSU's Ernest Stone Performing Arts Center, 11th Street NE, in Jacksonville.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

State Parks

It's called "Sweet Home Alabama" for a reason. From picturesque beaches to mountain panorama landscapes, Alabama is a great place to explore the great outdoors. Explore some of what Alabama has to offer at Desoto State Park & Cheaha State Park.

Cheaha State Park 
19644 Hwy 281Delta, AL 36258
256-488-5111First opened to the public in 1933, Cheaha State Park, with Alabama's highest point as the centerpiece, is Alabama's oldest continuously operating state park, surrounded by the Talladega National Forest in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains The park gets its name from the Creek Indian name for the mountain, "chaha," meaning "high place".
From the long distance Pinhoti Trail to the Kentuck ORV-ATV Trail, there is something for every outdoor enthusiast at Cheaha State Park.

Desoto State Park 
7104 DeSoto Parkway NE
Fort Payne, AL 35967
The park, named for the 16th-century explorer Hernando de Soto, was developed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Located only 8 miles northeast of Fort Payne atop beautiful Lookout Mountain, this family friendly spot offers beautiful waterfalls, more than 25 miles of hiking trails, camping, cabins and more accommodations.

More time to explore? Check out nearby State Parks! 

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Mountain Longleaf

The Mountain Longleaf National Wildlife Refuge has been working to preserve the local flora and fauna ecosystem since their establishment in 2003. The Longleaf Pine is the Alabama State Tree and therefore has a rich historical impact in the ecosystem of the area, much like the Refuge. Historically, the Longleaf Pine provided resources for the grazers and settlers in Alabama. Due to several invasive human actions, the local Mountain Longleaf Pine Forest now occupies a fraction of the vast land it use to. However, the Refuge has been able to work to conserve the remaining forest and wildlife over the last fifteen years. So where exactly are these forest? The Refuge occupies approximately 9,000 acres of what was once Fort McClellan in Anniston, Alabama. Just look towards the east as you go over the Highway 431 Bypass, those beautiful hills in the distance covered in longleaf pines are preserved through the efforts of the Wildlife Refuge.
Under the management of Fish & Wildlife’s Sarah Clardy, they are able to do this through partnerships and prescribed burnings, which are essential to the growth of the longleaf species.
This area offers itself to visitors who want to enjoy the outdoors. They have several options for day hikes and trails with panoramic views of the area. They encourage wildlife viewing, bird watching, education of the nature around us, and even have options for hunting and fishing. Access can be found through Bain’s Gap Road for people to enter into the refuge and become encompassed in the nature and wildlife the Refuge has worked hard to preserve.

By: Rebecca Hearn
Student Jacksonville High School

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

There's no place like home...

Surrounded by the misty smokey mountains and vast rolling farm lands of northeast Alabama, the "Gem of the Hills" is nestled near Atlanta and Birmingham,  making Jacksonville "near perfect." The campus is enclosed in natural beauty. Even visitors from Harvard compliment how beautiful this place is. With complete local natural resources like hiking, mountain & road biking or kayaking just around the creek bend, Jacksonville's "Sweet Home Alabama" blue skies make it easy and appealing to opt outside.
Once in a while, those skies turn dark, producing memorable and earth-shattering storms of the century, packed with thunder, lightning, hail and tornadoes. These moments shake any small town to its core; however, it also highlights and brings out the best of a community.  The evening on Monday, Mach 19, 2018 was one of those times for Jacksonville.
The clean-up begins at the same moment as the all clear. Neighbors help neighbors; strangers lend a saw, tractor or hand. People travel from miles around, just to help, volunteer or offer support. Fellow citizens fulfill each need heard, donating everything from bedding to canned goods, clothes and more. It reminds us and helps us see how good the world can be.
Even those who lost so much take the time offer help to other victims. This is the very essence and definition of community. People supporting people, without expecting anything in return. JSU will rise from the destruction bigger and better than ever before.

Donate now!

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Safety Tips for Spring

While you enjoy exploring more outdoors, don't forget to stay safe!

Watch the Weather
Alabama's mild climate makes opting outside a consistent choice; however, this spring check the forecast. Showers and storms can pop-up quickly, so be prepared and dress accordingly.

Stay Hydrated
Hydrate before, during and after those great hikes and bike rides! Take more water than you think, in case of emergencies, and if you begin to feel weak, it's best to turn around and trek back to the trailhead.

Stay Connected
Carry a mobile phone! That way, you can reach emergency personnel if needed or search an area map for more places to explore.

Stay Together
Although quiet time is nice, hike with others or at least tell someone where you are and when.

Most of All, don't be that person who wasn't training and prepared! Don't ignore your medical conditions or safety suggestions. Be responsible and have the most fun!

Friday, March 16, 2018

Dog Friendly Spring Break

We know pups are part of the family, so bring the pups and enjoy our natural attractions.

Chief Ladiga Trail
As a segment of America's longest paved Rail Trail, the Ladiga Trail is a great spot for you to stretch your legs and take Fido for a walk or run. Due to the high traffic of cyclists on this shared La"Dog"a route, it is recommended you keep Fido on a leash.

Germania Springs 
This fenced in park for Fido is great for pups to run free, complete with obstacles, with a nearby playground, Ladiga Trail and sportsplex.

Oxford Lake 
Complete with 10 pavilions surrounding a picturesque lake, there is a great .67 mile trail, children's playground and sportsplex!

Choccolocco Park 
Another area lake is surrounded by 2.7 miles of trails and Native American historic information to entertain you and Fido!

Coldwater Mountain
With more than 30 miles of bike trails, if you're an avid cyclist, Coldwater is a great trip and adventure for trail dogs.

Cheaha State Park 
Surrounded by the Talladega National Forest and trails like Pinhoti, Cheaha State Park has so many Fido amenities, including trails, cabins, chalets and campsites.

Little River Canyon
With all the trails and waterfalls, this National Preserve is a great place for the whole family. Pets are are welcome, and as you all enjoy trails, they ask that you keep Fido on a leash.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Something for Everyone

Where can you go to walk beside peaceful waters and be surrounded by mountain views and soak up sunshine and
clear blue skies?
Choccolocco Park is a great recreational facility for all ages and interest. With trails ranging from  one mile to 5K and with very little elevation change, it’s perfect for an afternoon outdoors and for learning, with panels telling the region’s history stretching back thousands of years including the  spiritual heritage of the park where a thriving Native American town once was.
Now, the park is also home to more than 300 acres of baseball, softball, track & field, and soccer amenities too. With more than 10 baseball and softball fields, the park is also home to a complete track and field facility, featuring an eight-lane rubberized track built to NCAA regulations, locker rooms, grandstands, restrooms, storage facility, and sports medicine room, capable of hosting events like the hammer throw, steeplechase. javelin, pole vault, long-jump, triple long-jump, high jump, discos throw, shot put, and more.Currently, the park also features four AHSAA and NCAA regulated soccer fields.
Choccolocco Park also features two great playgrounds including a fully accessible Boundless Playground, built for  people of all ages, abilities, and disabilities.

This weekend, see the Gamecocks Baseball team in action at Choccolocco Park! #ExploreMore