An Appalachian Mountain Retreat and Zambia, Africa: An Unlikely Connection

From: Sugar Hollow Retreat
Published: Mon Mar 16 2009

Geologists tell us that the Earth was once a huge supercontinent called Pangaea. That is until about 250 million years ago, when the Atlantic Ocean came between the mountains of North America and Africa. Perhaps it’s only fitting that friends at Sugar Hollow, an Appalachian Mountain Resort would want to team up with a group that is helping the poor and hungry in Zambia to find ways to work with their damaged ecosystem.

This Zambian organization, called Community Markets for Conservation or COMACO is led by Wildlife Conservation Society Director, Dale Lewis.

“Dale is originally from Raleigh, NC and has been some 30 years in Zambia with his wife, Julia,” explains Sugar Hollow Retreat owner Surry Roberts. “I arrange speaking engagements for him when he returns to the area. His next talk will be at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Science. James and I decided to team up and show our support for what he was doing in Zambia.”
James Burns, who designed the Sugar Hollow Retreat website, created it', to showcase the work of COMACO: Community Markets for Conservation. The organization has helped reduce hunger, poverty and poaching, while increasing school attendance in Zambia. Visitors to the website can purchase natural food products that were cultivated using conservation farming practices.

Dale Lewis has come up with creative approaches to solving the damage that poachers have brought into the area. After confiscating tons of wire snares from poachers he and wife Julia came up with a way to put the wire snares to good use. They found a local budding jewelry maker and the It's wild! Snarewear collection was born. Using wire snares and seeds from wild fruits the handcrafted jewelry is becoming very popular and has generated income for people in an area that is often plagued by floods.

What happens when Dale and Julie Lewis are home from the land of 20,000 hippos? Fly fishing, that’s what. Chances are they’ll drop in at Sugar Hollow neighbors Judson and Eunice Conway, proprietors of Eco Fly Fishing in North Carolina.

Like Tom Brokaw said: “If fishing is like religion, then fly fishing is high church.”

Sugar Hollow Retreat is a unique sanctuary of pristine wilderness in the Appalachian Mountains of North-eastern Tennessee. They host corporate retreats, family reunions and weddings and welcome guests, friends and fly fishermen from all around the globe.

About Sugar Hollow Retreat:

Sugar Hollow Retreat is centrally located near historic sites and eclectic mountain towns like Banner Elk, Johnson City, Elizabethton, Bristol and Boone, NC. The 300-acre property is a wildlife sanctuary for turkey, deer and other small game. Guests at Sugar Hollow vacation rentals enjoy captivating views of the beautiful Watauga Lake and surrounding cliffs, mountains and meadows.

For more information on Sugar Hollow Retreat lodging and meeting facilities for your group call us toll free at 1-800-957-1776 or learn more about our Tennessee family vacation rentals including 4 private guest houses and a 10 bedroom lodge, by visiting us at

Anita MacKenzie
Sugar Hollow Retreat
Elk Ridge Butler, TN
Company: Sugar Hollow Retreat
Contact Name: Anita MacKenzie
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 1-800-957-1776

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