Growing a Garden in Winter

February 17, 2016

A Message from the Executive Director

It is said the best gardens are planned by a fireplace in the winter. This winter, SHR is gathering around a few new faces to help us grow and emerge new blooms in spring. I have the honor of introducing two new staff members that have elevated our team to new heights!

Jack-of-all-trades Kyle Meece mastered masonry, carpentry, and landscaping before becoming a familiar face around Lake Toxaway. He grew up in these mountains and enjoyed the horticultural classes offered at Rosman High School. After sharpening the stone on a varied skill set and his hard work ethic, he came back to his roots as a Gardener at SHR.  Kyle’s passion is being in the great outdoors and helping others. Caring for these unique mountaintop gardens is a perfect fit for this outdoor enthusiast. We welcome Kyle as a Gardener at SHR, and are enjoying his growth as he helps us care for native plants!

Holly Spencer joins our team with over a decade of project management, event planning and non-profit experience. She received a Master’s of Environmental Management degree from Duke University and a Bachelor’s of Science degree from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. Prior to being hired at SHR as its Partnership Development Coordinator, Holly spent 12 years of her career in the recycling industry, serving as President of the Carolina Recycling Association and working as its Program Manager, developing relationships with members and key partners. With this experience, Holly is helping the Reserve build long-lasting partnerships with individuals and organizations who share our same passion for the natural world.

We are pleased to have these talented folks as a part of the SHR team. Please join me in welcoming them when you see them at the Reserve. Together, we hope to bring the Southern Highlands Reserve into its full potential as a conduit for education, conservation, and tranquility.


Kelly M. Holdbrooks
Executive Director