(Photo of Beaverdam Lake by TLC)
Triangle Land Conservancy (TLC) closed on three projects in the last weeks of 2017 that protect an additional 194 acres in the Triangle region. The Beaverdam Lake project (Wake County), WindSong Farm project (Wake County), and Portofino Uplands project (Johnston County) were each protected by conservation easements.
At just over 133 acres, the Beaverdam Lake project protects Beaverdam Lake, mature bottomland forest, and Old Milburnie Farm. This easement also helps protect a future greenway corridor tying into the Neuse River and the scenic viewshed around Beaverdam Lake Elementary. The WindSong farm project protects 21 acres of the historic Joseph Blake Farm and is directly adjacent to TLC’s future Sarah and Bailey Williamson Preserve at Walnut Hill. Finally, the Portofino Uplands project protects just over 39 acres and is the first of a two-phase project in Johnston County that will protect both a scenic pastoral viewshed and pasture as well as a future 1-mile corridor of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST). The MST is a footpath stretching almost 1,200 miles across North Carolina from Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains to Jockey’s Ridge on the Outer Banks.
Each of the projects were protected by utilizing conservation easements. A conservation easement is a voluntary legal agreement between landowners and TLC that permanently limits the uses of land in order to protect conservation values of that property. Easements often limit the right to subdivide or develop properties. Conservation easements benefit the public by protecting land for future generations and the environment. Landowners retain rights to own and use the land and the ability to sell it or pass it on to their heirs. Conservation easements are permanent. Conservation easements are a great tool for protecting local farms as they can enable a farmer to continue to manage and own the land. In addition they can also make this land more affordable for future heirs or other farmers if the land is sold.
Triangle Land Conservancy strives to create a healthier and more vibrant Triangle region by safeguarding clean water, protecting natural habitats, supporting local farms and food, and connecting people with nature through land protection and stewardship, catalyzing community action, and collaboration. TLC operates 7 public nature preserves across the Triangle region and offers over 30 miles of trail for walking and biking by creeks, ponds, forests, and meadows for recreating or just relaxing. More information, trail maps, and events are available at triangleland.org.