Portions of the property are visible from the Blue Ridge Parkway and MST near milepost 274, just off Highway 421 near Deep Gap. Conservation of this tract complements CTNC’s protection of an 86-acre property, just across the Parkway below Elk Mountain Overlook and our recent 408-acre acquisition adjacent to that one.
The Elk Mountain Meadow property protects water quality in a tributary of Gap Creek, and the Mountains-to-Sea Trail passes within feet of this property, ensuring a more desirable experience for hikers.
The addition of the Elk Mountain Meadow property to the Parkway will help increase the connectivity of protected lands in the area to preserve the natural corridor while ensuring a forested buffer along this section of the MST. Conserving land along the Blue Ridge Parkway also enhances the landscape’s resilience to our changing climate by providing protected places where ecological diversity can resist damage and migrate safely to more hospitable areas.
“Protection of properties like this contributes to the integrity of the Blue Ridge Parkway, which attracts millions of visitors to the High Country each year. The addition of the Elk Mountain Meadow property also enhances the experience of hikers along this section of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail on the outskirts of Boone.
“Conserving more land is so important to the future of our country” said the previous owner who sold the property to CTNC in 2017.
We can all agree that preserving private land for conservation is important.However, it is also incredibly important to expand our federally-protected lands at the same time. Land trusts like CTNC are critical partners in quickly moving to preserve land for expansion of park boundaries. Often, threatened properties can only be saved by rapid action that’s simply not feasible for our government partners.
In this case, CTNC held these parcels in conservation protection for eight years while the Parkway worked through the proper channels to accept them into the federal system for permanent conservation. Without a land trust partner, these transactions wouldn’t be possible, and without your support, land trusts couldn’t continue this important work.
“This acquisition is an important gift to future generations. I appreciate all of the effort on the part of Conservation Trust for NC and the Blue Ridge Parkway staff to get us to this point.”
Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent Tracy Swartout
“We extend our sincerest thanks to CTNC for holding onto these properties for the past eight years! We’re on track to accept several more CTNC properties this year. We’ll have more to celebrate in the coming months.”
Alex Faught, Realty Specialist, U.S. Department of the Interior, National Park Service
Our successes are not always instantaneous, and it’s through the unwavering support of our conservation and community partners that we’re able to preserve and protect the best parts of our state.
Community-led conservation looks different than typical conservation, but it makes an outsized impact for North Carolinians. By being welcomed into the long-term, collaborative work in Princeville, we at CTNC have been welcomed into a much larger community of organizations and agencies looking at resilience across the entire state. By collaborating with local residents, we show conservation can be a tool to protect culturally significant land and provide tangible benefits through youth conservation programming, educational installations, and flood mitigation.
After Hurricane Matthew
flooded many Eastern NC communities in 2016, the Princeville Elementary School
was shuttered for four years while renovations took place. This year, as
students return to campus, local teens will help install conservation amenities
at the school and in the town. The work is designed to help students and their
families understand the impacts of future floods, learn how to manage storm
water, and participate in their community’s effort to rebuild in ways that are
bigger, better, and bolder.
“Princeville is rich in history, traditions, and culture. I’m excited
that students will have access and opportunity to learn more about this amazing
place we call home.” – Principal Mercer, Princeville Elementary School
NC State’s Design + Build lab students will be installing shaded seating areas, education stations, garden planters,abee hotel and bird feeders along the School breezeway behind the Library. These installations will support the school’s STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and math) curriculum goals while connecting students to nature through experiential learning.
Conservation Corps North Carolina, formerly the NC Youth Conservation Corps, will manage two youth crews staffed by Princeville and Tarboro youth ages 15-18. They will assist with construction, maintenance, and installation of storm water management features, outdoor classrooms and the Heritage Trail that connect the elementary school to the Princeville History Museum. The youth will be paid, gain skills in landscape design and maintenance, and participate in networking and professional development opportunities.
Neighboring residents are
most excited about a trail that will provide a walkable path to the center of town as well as the potential for community gathering spaces like picnic
This summer’s work is but the start of many collaborations over the coming years to fulfill the vision of the Floodprintand other town plans for greater resilience and revitalization. With additional funding, we look forward to implementing more bold ideas generated from, with, and for the Town of Princeville.
This project is made possible through a grant awarded by the National
Fish and Wildlife Foundation/Wells Fargo Program for Resilient Communities,
Seeding Resilience Through Restoration and Education in Princeville (NC).
Uniform Act Makes Way Through State Legislature Approvals
Land provides a significant source of economic stability and growth for many families. This type of land ownership is common in North Carolina. Although no one is immune to the vulnerability of losing their land to a forced partition action, this issue disproportionately impacts Black, Indigenous, and People of Color throughout North Carolina.
A Legislative Solution:
The Uniform Partition of Heirs Property Act
Enacting the Uniform
Partition of Heirs Property Act (UPHPA) in North Carolina will address how
current state laws leave landowners of heirs’ property vulnerable to
involuntary land loss. The UPHPA will help families by giving them a solid
chance at keeping the land in the family when one or more owners wants to
divide or sell the land through a partition action. This bill has been enacted
in 17 states including Georgia and South Carolina. We hope North Carolina will be next.
Currently, the North Carolina General Assembly is considering
adoption of the bill that would safeguard families from forced sales through
partition action. The NC House
recently passed the heirs property bill (H367) with strong bi-partisan support.
We deeply appreciate those showing leadership on this important issue. The
Senate will soon vote on the bill.
Families in an heirs’ property situation have difficulties
accessing federal funding for sustainable forest and habitat management,
agricultural work, and natural disaster recovery. In states where the Uniform Act
is adopted, federal law allows landowners to gain access to beneficial funding
and aid programs, including FEMA disaster recovery and the USDA Farm Bill.
CTNC has joined a coalition of non-profit and for-profit partners advocating for the adoption of the Uniform Act so North Carolina families can be protected from involuntary land loss.
Who is involved? Black Family Land Trust
Inc., Roanoke Electric Cooperative, Audubon North Carolina, Conservation Trust
for North Carolina, The Conservation Fund, The Land Loss Prevention
Project, members of the North Carolina Bar Association, academic partners,
and other experts.
“My end goal is medical school, but rather than pursuing clinical research, I want to focus on how the socio-political and biocultural processes shape the daily affairs of medicine: illness, pain, birth, and death,” said Murphy Liu, 26, of Lenoir, North Carolina. “AmeriCorps gives me the chance to engage with the community, which, in turn, allows me to understand and address factors contributing to COVID-19 disparities and to develop sustainable health interventions. Health workers are not shaped only by where they go to school, but the environment of where they choose to practice.”
Murphy is just one of the two dozen volunteers who’ve been serving with Wake County Public Health since January as part of an emerging partnership between the department and CTNC’s Resilience Corps NC program. On any given day, these volunteers could be serving at one of Wake County’s three mass vaccination sites, visiting businesses to help educate them about COVID-19 best practices for their employees and customers, distributing food staples in hard hit economic areas, and promoting testing in high infection ZIP codes around the county.
Members are currently stationed at the PNC Arena #COVID19 vaccination site in Raleigh supporting vaccine distribution. Representative David Price spoke withmembers Loren, Kayla, Murphy, and Mary Grace about their AmeriCorps experience and commitment to service. Representative Price asked members how they’re serving North Carolinians & why they chose AmeriCorps. Watch the video now.
“I am thrilled that our Resilience Corps NC members had an opportunity to be recognized and represent AmeriCorps members serving throughout North Carolina by Rep. David Price during AmeriCorps Week,” said Nick DiColandrea, CTNC’s director of Resilience Corps NC. “The service that our members and their over 500 peers seving across North Carolina give to communities deserve our sincere and utmost gratitude. For them to have a chance to be recognized by Rep. David Price, a Congressional national service champion and recently honored National Service Hall of Fame Inductee brings me immense pride and joy. “
“We appreciate our AmeriCorps volunteers for committing a year of service to important COVID-19 efforts,” remarked Dr. Kim McDonald, Wake County Public Health Director Medical Director Wake County Public Health Services. “They have extended our capacity to reach and serve more people in our county.”
CTNC Earns National Recognition fromLand Trust Accreditation Commission
Conservation Trust for North Carolina (CTNC) is proud to share it has renewed its land trust accreditation – proving once again that, as part of a network of over 400 accredited land trusts across the nation, it is committed to professional excellence and to maintaining the public’s trust in its conservation work.
“Renewing our accreditation shows CTNC’s ongoing commitment to permanent land conservation in North Carolina,” said Chris Canfield, executive director. “We are a stronger organization than ever for having gone through the rigorous accreditation renewal process. Our strength means natural areas from the Blue Ridge Parkway to central North Carolina and the coastal region will be protected forever, so our communities will be more resilient for our children.”
CTNC provided extensive documentation and was subject to a comprehensive third-party evaluation prior to achieving this distinction. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded renewed accreditation, signifying its confidence that our conserved lands will be protected forever. Accredited land trusts now steward almost 20 million acres – the size of Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island combined.
“It is exciting to recognize CTNC’s continued commitment to national standards by renewing this national mark of distinction,” said Melissa Kalvestrand, executive director of the Commission. “Donors and partners can trust the more than 400 accredited land trusts across the country are united behind strong standards and have demonstrated sound finances, ethical conduct, responsible governance, and lasting stewardship.”
Conservation Trust for North Carolina is one of 1,363 land trusts across the United States according to the Land Trust Alliance’s most recent National Land Trust Census.
About the Land Trust
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission inspires excellence, promotes public trust and ensures permanence in the conservation of open lands by recognizing organizations that meet rigorous quality standards and strive for continuous improvement. The Commission, established in 2006 as an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts. For more, visit www.landtrustaccreditation.org.
Since the early 2000s, CTNC has been committed to adopting diversity, equity, and inclusion principles into our programs. In 2019, we deepened this path by adopting a values-driven approach to our work. One of those values is authenticity.
Recently, we were given credit for developing a training tool that seeks to educate land trusts on the racialized history of land ownership and land loss as a path to adopting race equity principles within an organization. Although we have found value using this training tool to educate our own staff, board, and partners on the intersection between conservation and race equity, we did not develop the original materials. We should have acknowledged those who did. For that omission, we are sorry.
We’re humbly grateful to the originators of the Land Loss Timeline – dRworks staff, including Vivette Jeffries-Logan and Cristina Rivera-Chapman — and those who have expanded its uses for CTNC — Melanie Allen, Justin Robinson, and Victoria Chetty. Their collective work has been influential in helping CTNC lift up the importance of race equity in conservation.
We honor BIPOC conservationists who tirelessly help build a better conservation sector for all people. We remain committed to examining how white and BIPOC allies, together, can advance conservation in ways that build resilient, just communities for the benefit of all people; seed race equity in conservation; and understand how we as an organization can be authentic and supportive partners to the communities we serve alongside now and in the future.
Signed by Jamilla Hawkins and the CTNC Board of Directors
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