Our excitement is growing as work kicks into high gear at the Sarah and Bailey Williamson Preserve at Walnut Hill for the Grand Opening on April 25, 2020! We have welcomed the first farmers to the property through our partnerships with Wake County’s NextGen Farming Program and the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) and have added two new staff members who will help get the preserve ready for you.
We recently completed exterior rehabilitation of an old barn that will serve as Welcome Center and entry to the preserve. Soon, the interior will be complete to provide office space for the farm staff. Meanwhile, we’ve started building 14 miles of trail across Walnut Hill and onto the adjacent Riverwalk property in Clayton. You will also be able to access the preserve from the Neuse River Greenway by next spring.
If you’d like to lend a hand (and maybe a bit of sweat), please join us for a Walnut Wednesday volunteer workday or one of our monthly Trail Crew volunteer days. You can sign up here.
Meet Dymond and Eliza
Dymond Generette is a North Carolina native from Raeford and a recent alumna of North Carolina State University with her B.S. in Environmental Sciences and a minor in Wildlife Sciences. After graduation, she accepted an internship with the Conservation Trust of North Carolina as the Walnut Hill Community Engagement intern at TLC. She is currently working on a comprehensive community engagement plan for Walnut Hill that includes a spreadsheet of potential partnerships surrounding Walnut Hill, a tentative event schedule, and social media strategies to promote Walnut Hill. She is also responsible for creating monthly events at Walnut Hill, such as the nature walk event in June and upcoming events for summer and fall.
Dymond returned this September as a CTNC AmeriCorps member at TLC, working as the Community Engagement Coordinator at Walnut Hill. She will focus on implementing the monthly event schedules, organizing volunteer workdays, organizing cultural and community outreach, and developing ArcGIS mapping solutions with community organizations and networks across a 5-10 mile radius at Walnut Hill Preserve. Dymond brings a wealth of energy and creative skills to our team and provides strong acumen and discipline for project deliverables. She will be instrumental with our efforts leading up to the grand opening of the Sarah and Bailey Williamson Preserve at Walnut Hill in April of 2020.
Eliza Lawdley joined the Triangle Land Conservancy team in summer 2019. As the Farm Manager at Walnut Hill, Eliza is excited to get to work with visitors of all ages to steward such a historic property.
Eliza was raised in downtown Durham, NC, receiving her bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the College of Charleston, where she gardened across the city in her free time. This early experience inspired Eliza and three friends to create the Sol Food Mobile Farm, a retired school bus retrofitted to run on waste vegetable oil, which they drove 12,000 miles around the US teaching students about agriculture. When they returned to Durham in 2012, Eliza began working for LoMo Market, a mobile farmer’s market that sold farm-fresh products in neighborhoods. Eliza has since served as the Durham Urban Agriculture Manager for the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle, the Director of Community Development for Bee Downtown, and as a Board Member and Curriculum Coordinator for the Durham Public School’s Hub Farm. Her experiences in these positions have ranged from developing learning gardens to teaching beekeeping workshops.
Eliza currently owns and operates property in east Durham County where she and her family are working to develop an agroforestry farm. She is pursuing a master’s degree in Landscape Architecture at the College of Design at NC State University and hopes to continue to overlap design and farming at Walnut Hill. Eliza is thrilled about the Farm Manager role at Walnut Hill as it weaves together cultural heritage, habitat restoration, local food systems and regenerative farming. In this new position, Eliza is excited to work with school groups, plan and co-host events on the farm and revitalize Walnut Hill as an ecological and agricultural hub for the region.