Unveiled on May 26, 2021, “Be Waterfall Wise” is the new waterfall safety campaign that employs an integrated and engaging program of communications, including targeted social media messages, events and an educational series ahead of an expected busy summer season.
The initiative is rolled out by Transylvania Always, a local initiative funded and coordinated by Transylvania County Tourism, and encourages visitors and locals to “Be Waterfall Wise” so they may safely enjoy the county’s waterfalls.
According to Transylvania County Tourism, “Be Waterfall Wise” campaign will also include a live social media event featuring local experts, as well as Heather Friesen, the waterfall safety advocate, whose terrifying fall from a Hawaiian waterfall was captured on video.
A “Safe Selfie” campaign shares how to photograph yourself safely near a waterfall, and a special hashtag, #waterfallwise, also was created to help the safety messaging go viral.
With thousands of acres of forest and 250 waterfalls, Brevard and Transylvania County have long been a destination for travelers seeking adventure and natural beauty. The landmarks that draw excited crowds and individuals alike can also be dangerous, especially when visitors don’t follow safety protocols.
The origins of the local waterfall safety effort go back to a meeting at the end of 2016 between board and staff from TCT and public land managers from Pisgah National Forest, DuPont State Recreational Forest and Gorges State Park.
Death and serious injury at many waterfalls quickly rose to the top as a common and important issue. Local safety officials, emergency service professionals, and others were added to the conversation and by spring of 2017, the original Waterfall Safety Campaign was born.