As a supporter of Triangle Land Conservancy, you have likely heard of our goal to conserve 25,000 acres of land in the Triangle by 2025. It is a bold goal, and its magnitude is not limited to the size and scope of the acres protected— the public benefits of conserving land roughly equal to the size of Hilton Head Island in the next few years is immense.
From providing outdoor recreation and keeping our drinking water clean, to supporting local farms and protecting habitat for wildlife, TLC’s mission is ensuring that the land, nature and people of the Triangle have a vibrant, healthy future ahead. Thanks to you, we have protected 22,000 acres— including two recently acquired properties that we’ll share a few details on later— and we have another 1,000 acres in the pipeline.
At the same time as we have added properties, the ones we maintain are generating more interest than ever. Over the last year, demand for outdoor recreation has grown considerably— at TLC we have seen thousands more visitors to our preserves, with double the number of people using trails at some locations. By the end of the year, TLC will maintain 50 miles of trails spread across six counties within the Triangle region, more than double the mileage we managed in 2015.
For an organization like TLC to fulfill our mission to the public, a lot of stewardship work comes along with conserving that much land. Countless staff and volunteer hours go into work like planting trees (like the 12,000 seedlings planted at Williamson, for example), managing invasive species, conducting landowner outreach and education, building and maintaining dozens of miles of hiking trails, and monitoring 120 conservation easements— along with so much else.
As TLC continues to grow and people’s engagement with outdoor spaces continues to increase, our small staff is tasked with doing more and more to keep up with the work that goes on behind the scenes to keep our preserves, both public and not, maintained in order to maximize the public benefits of land conservation.
As a small nonprofit, we rely on the support of the community to continue doing the work of creating a happier, healthier Triangle region— one trail, one tree, and one acre at a time.
We sincerely appreciate the support we have received from our members over the years and continue to receive. And because of the growth we have seen this year in the scope of our work and the people that rely on TLC to protect the land they love, that support has never been more crucial.
One of the major ways your support for TLC helps advance the mission of land conservation in the Triangle is one of the most straightforward—providing us the resources to protect and steward more land. As we noted above, TLC has recently acquired two properties that we think you will love.
Without further ado, let’s introduce them!
The forest is located between Johnston Mill Nature Preserve and Duke Forest, having the potential to serve as an important connector between the two. On the property are several streams and other bodies of water where salamanders like to lay their eggs, as well as some spectacular large rock outcroppings. Aside from salamanders, Dickerson Forest is home to dozens of other species that will have their homes protected for many years to come.
The property is also home to wetlands that may one day be engaging spaces for community education and scientific observation. The Dickerson family managed this property for generations and were inspired to donate it in order for it to continue to provide open space and habitat benefits.
Little Beaver Dam Creek Slopes
This 226 acre property was previously home in part to Three Bear Acres, a popular outdoor play space in northern Wake County. The property sits on the shores of a critical area of the Falls Lake Watershed, which provides drinking water to over 500,000 people in Wake County and the surrounding area. TLC’s acquisition of this land will protect over five miles of stream and has been identified as a high priority for water quality protection.
The project will create a sizable area of protected natural habitat— over 500 acres! More than 40 bird species have been documented on the site, including bobwhite quail, as well as many special plant species, such as pecan, post and white oak, slippery elms, hop-hornbeam, fringe tree, ghost pipe, and sparkleberry.
Funding was made possible, in part, by the City of Raleigh Watershed Protection Program, Wake County Open Space Bonds, and the Caterpillar Foundation through a partnership with the Conservation Trust for NC. TLC was able to secure the initial contract for the property by using our catalyst fund.
The property will not be open to the public for several years, although TLC will host guided tours and partner with groups to provide environmental education opportunities in the meantime.