At their annual Fall Celebration, the Land Trust of the Little Tennessee awarded their 2013 Robert and Virginia Ramsey Brunner Land Conservationist of the Year Award to the Macon County Commission. The Macon County Commissioners received the award in recognition of their role in conserving the historic Cowee School, which is now being repurposed as a community and heritage center. The old Cowee School is now known as the Macon County Heritage Center and has already begun hosting a bluegrass concert series, various groups, including the Macon County Historical Society and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, and the Cowee Pottery School and Cowee Textiles. At the event LTLT Board President Ken Murphy said “Without the Macon County Commissioners this project could not have happened. The Macon County Commissioners, our elected officials, not only approved the repurposing of this facility, they provided critical support including financial support. Their approval and support was evidence of their real vision for the future, and we recognize that they made their decisions in light of many competing considerations and alternative uses of the funding provided.” The LTLTs Brunner Conservationist of the Year Award was established in 2004 to honor Robert and Virginia Ramsey Brunner, whose generosity and vision of land conservation in Western North Carolina were instrumental in the founding of LTLT.