Improving Our Lives Through Conservation
TLC makes a positive, permanent impact on the Triangle’s quality of life by acquiring land to protect water, forests, and farms.
Safeguarding Clean Water
Population growth in our community increases demand for clean water, while associated pollution has compromised supply. TLC’s work toward under the clean water benefit reflects our core strengths in protecting streamside buffer zones and highlights continued partnerships in the Upper Neuse Basin as well as opportunities for more focused work in the Upper Cape Fear Basin to protect the Jordan Lake drinking water supply and partner to create new financing mechanisms. While we continue to look for land protection opportunities, newer strategic areas include collaborating with universities, utilities, and other organizations to restore funding for land protection and serving as a regional convener on water issues.
Protecting Natural Habitats
Natural areas and well-managed forests support healthy ecosystems and balance our built environment by providing habitat for native plants and animals. TLC’s core strengths in this area continue to be identifying, prioritizing and securing protection of areas that still have high ecological or natural value. A key strategy to reach additional outcomes is to develop and complete comprehensive management plans for our preserves, allowing us to clearly define our ecological restoration goals. Finally, we see opportunities to develop pilot projects in urban areas, like urban forestry and pollinator gardens, which also overlap with our work under Connecting with Nature.
Connecting People with Nature
Connecting people with nature is essential as we look to balance our increasingly indoor, urban lives with the benefits and fun of being outside. Access to open space has been linked to healthier people. This core area of this benefit focuses on “activating” TLC preserves by planning, funding, and opening two more preserves (Brumley and Walnut Hill) and engaging people on our land through volunteer work and outings. Both initiatives are moving forward, with more than 30 outings scheduled this year. As we extend our work, we see a clear role for TLC to reestablish itself as a leading advocate for open space throughout the region, starting with a series of regional analyses to help make the case for conservation. Finally, new opportunities to connect people with nature in urban areas are already presenting themselves and must be further explored and evaluated.
Supporting Farms and Food
Well-managed farms and associated woodlands enhance our communities by producing food and other crops and sustaining local economies. TLC’s farms and food benefits builds on our core work to identify and protect traditional farming communities (like our work in Chatham County’s Silk Hope community) to increase opportunities for local food production by playing a more active role in local food initiatives including food policy councils. We will seek to increase access by farmers to TLC lands by looking to replicate our success at Irvin Farm, and look to support community gardens.
"I just really love the outdoors. For me, it’s the belief in something bigger than myself and also having the ability to leave a legacy, because this is all we’ve got."