A local resident has joined with the Friends of Sauratown Mountains group to launch a Pilot Mountain license plate project designed to provide ongoing support for Pilot Mountain State Park.
The idea and much of the groundwork for the effort came from Ann Anderson, a Pilot Mountain resident who works as an attorney-mediator and is a member of Friends of Sauratown Mountains.
Anderson reached out to local graphic designer Paula Boyles, who worked with an existing logo provided by Friends of Sauratown Mountains to create an image for the proposed license plate. The image will feature the summit area of Pilot Mountain, highlighting the well-known geologic knob, and encircled by the words, “Pilot Mountain” and “National Landmark.”
An effort is now underway to collect 300 applications for the plate, along with a $30 fee for each.
After 300 applications have been collected, a state representative from this area will sponsor the bill and it will go before the state general assembly for approval.
After approval, the initial printing of 300 plates will be distributed to the original applicants and the design will become an option at the NC Department of Motor Vehicles for all vehicles registered in the state. A $20 portion of the fee paid by initial applicants and by all future drivers who select the specialty plate will go to the Friends of Sauratown Mountains group.
According to the friend’s group president Debbie Vaden, Friends of Sauratown Mountains is a non-profit group dedicated to supporting both Hanging Rock and Pilot Mountain state parks. The group recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. Funds for the license plate project will be used exclusively for Pilot Mountain State Park.
Anderson noted that the group’s efforts at the park include conservation, trail building, maintenance and other projects.
“The group has been active and it’s been able to work on projects that aren’t covered by the state budget,” Anderson said.
Applications for the Pilot Mountain specialty plate may be picked up at the Town of Pilot Mountain office on Main Street, at the Head Shoppe Plus located at 701 West Main Street or at the Pilot Mountain State Park Visitor Center. Completed applications and the $30 fee may be turned in at the Town of Pilot Mountain.
“With a large number of plates in circulation, this could eventually be a really nice revenue stream to enhance one of the most popular parks in the North Carolina State Park system,” said Pilot Mountain Mayor Evan Cockerham. “I’m always impressed with the initiative and passion for public contributions from our citizens. It is a pleasure to open the doors of our local government in support of philanthropic efforts like this.”
“When Ann approached me with this,” Vaden said, “I was really excited and amazed. We’ll be asking the park superintendent what needs to be done and we’ll be able to help with what’s not being funded. Our board is thrilled by this project.”
Anderson said she is looking forward to the opportunity to have a positive impact at the state park. She often makes early morning visits to the summit area to enjoy and photograph the view.
“During the pandemic,” she explained, “Pilot Mountain State Park has been a haven for me.”