If you live in the Charlotte region you’ve heard plenty about our area’s rapid growth. With new homes, apartment complexes and businesses springing up every week, the region’s natural places are disappearing quickly. That is where your local land trust, Catawba Lands Conservancy, comes in.
The Conservancy is a community-based, nonprofit organization that permanently protects or preserves and manages land for public benefit in the Southern Piedmont of North Carolina. Its mission is to save land and connect lives to nature.
That means that the Conservancy acquires land (either by purchasing or through donation) and leaves it undeveloped or works with willing landowners to place a legal agreement on the property known as a conservation easement, which restricts development but allows the landowner to continue ownership of the land. That legal agreement stays with the property forever and even if the property is sold or passed to heirs
Open meadows, hardwood forests, working farms, bogs and marshes, streams, ponds, historical landmarks and breathtaking views — natural features like these define the unique and amazingly beautiful character of our region. By conserving large parcels of land, the Conservancy helps improve water and air quality, and protect wildlife habitats, farmland and open natural spaces.
Over the last nearly 30 years, the Conservancy has permanently conserved over 200 properties, totaling nearly 17,000 acres. That land includes farms that allow us to enjoy locally sourced food, waterways that provide our drinking water, ecologically rich areas home to threatened and endangered species and land to provide the public with a direct connection to explore the natural world around them.
Your Connection to Nature
While keeping land wild is important for the many reasons listed above, it is equally important to help people access nature. Whether that is to learn about our Carolina Piedmont ecosystems, explore and recreate in the outdoors, or simply find solace in the beauty of our natural places, the Conservancy helps to connect YOU, and your friends and family to nature, through our public programs and the Carolina Thread Trail.
Several of the Conservancy’s preserves are accessible through trails and blueways that are part of the Carolina Thread Trail, a regional network of 300 miles of trails across 15 counties. The Conservancy is the lead agency for the Thread Trail and the two organizations partner closely in order to help people experience the wonders of nature. You can find all 12 of the Conservancy’s public preserves here.
Staff from the Conservancy regularly host outdoor programs open to everyone along the Thread Trail and on Conservancy-protected properties. They are excited to share that after a hiatus during the pandemic, their socially-distanced public programs have returned this fall! Whether you like to hike, bike or paddle, make sure you check out their Calendar of Events to find all the upcoming programs.
Help save land for future generations
As our landscape continues to change in the rapidly urbanizing Greater Charlotte Metro Region, the natural places we value as a community and define this region’s character are steadily diminishing. Your support of the Conservancy will help protect the natural beauty of the Piedmont that we cherish.
VOTE NOW: Catawba Lands Conservancy is in the running to win $5K this month thanks to the Amy and Brian France Foundation who have partnered with SHARE Charlotte for this year’s Spotlight Series and YOU can help when you VOTE NOW! You can also check out the other organizations eligible to win this month’s prize, here!