In the early 1980s, more than 150 citizens of Region J (Chatham, Durham, Johnston, Lee, Orange and Wake counties) gathered to look ahead to the year 2000, making recommendations to chart the course for the Triangle's growth. One of these recommendations was to preserve land.
After a task force studied the feasibility of a land trust, the Triangle J Council of Governments (TJCOG) approved the recommendation. As the initial development phase began for a conservation organization, TJCOG provided temporary office space and administrative support.
Not long after, on February 17, 1983, North Carolina’s Secretary of State officially certified the formation of Triangle Land Conservancy (TLC). TLC's efforts to protect conservation land began promptly.
White Pines Nature Preserve became the first major--and most biologically significant--land purchase project. In 1987, TLC launched an effort to save this natural area from potential development, purchasing 136 acres from two landowners and forming the core of the nature preserve. Today, this mountain-like sliver of the Piedmont provides a refuge for a curious collection of Mountain, Piedmont and Coastal Plain flora and fauna. Located at the confluence of the Deep and Rocky Rivers, it is renowned for its isolated stand of white pines (Pinus strobus). Thanks to willing landowners and additional land acquisitions, White Pines Nature Preserve now covers more than 270 protected acres.
TLC continues to identify and preserve sites throughout the Triangle that are logical locations for open space. Through permanent land conservation, TLC is ensuring our region will have clean water, a healthy wildlife habitat, local farms and fresh food, and plenty of places for people to connect with nature.
"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."