The grantees are:
- Eno River Association’s “Weaving Water” project, 8.77 acres in Durham County near Eno River State Park’s Pump Station Trailhead. The Weaving Water Property is located on Rivermont Road within Durham City limits, adjacent to land owned by the City of Durham and across the street from Eno River State Park. Eno River State Park has annual visitation of over 700,000 people, and the property is located across from the very popular Pump Station trailhead. Buffering Eno River State Park and protecting the natural resources that exist in the park are becoming increasing important due to the area’s rapid development. The proposed easement is located adjacent to a property, owned by the same landowners, planned to be developed into a small collaborative neighborhood. The property lies along the banks of Nancy Rhodes Creek and is entirely undeveloped, covered mostly by mature hardwood forest. The protection of the property will help maintain adequate supplies of safe drinking water and will help protect two significant NC Natural Heritage areas.
- Triangle Land Conservancy’s “Calvander Laurel Bluff and Bottom” project, a 55-acre project to create conservation easements that would protect stream buffers and rare ecology in Orange County. The Calvander Laurel Bluff and Bottom project will protect a NC Natural Heritage Area, three NC Natural Heritage element occurrences, and 3,400 feet of Morgan Creek upstream from University Lake. The generous donation of this piece of property to TLC by the landowner ensures that its outstanding habitat and ecosystem services will remain available for local wildlife and human populations to enjoy in perpetuity. Its lack of access prevented development in the past but as the area becomes more densely developed it is more likely that the property would eventually be converted to residential use if not conserved. The Calvander Laurel Bluffs and Bottom property is within a one-mile radius of several managed areas protected by the Triangle Land Conservancy, Orange County, and Orange County Water and Sewer Authority.
“It is so important for the health of our community that we invest in conserving land in the Triangle,” said Sarah Guidi, Program Officer for Triangle Community Foundation. “We are proud to play a small role in protecting natural resources so that we can ensure our region’s health for generations to come.”
The Foundation’s Environmental Conservation Land Transaction grant program has invested nearly $200,000 in 15 projects working with three land conservation organizations in the Triangle since it began this work in 2015, focusing on conserving and sustaining our region’s natural resources for future generations. Funding direct program costs for land transactions is one of the greatest challenges facing conservation organizations today, in spite of the very high leverage effect it has on a land or easement donation from private donors. Landowners who are willing to donate conservation land worth hundreds of thousands of dollars are often unable to fund the cash transaction costs as well. Through this program, Triangle Community Foundation leverages donated land transactions by funding the transaction costs and stewardship endowments associated with land donations.