What is your role at TLC? I serve as our Associate Director of Conservation and Stewardship. I primarily focus my work on land protection and conservation management planning in Wake and Johnston County, but also help support other projects throughout the Triangle. I began my work at our conservation planner and really enjoy supporting partnerships and projects that help implement many of our long-term conservation initiatives.
Favorite TLC Preserve: That’s a tough question, I love them all and my favorite sometimes changes. At the moment, I would have to say Walnut Hill is at the top of the list. The 410-acre property is really a keystone tract for the whole Marks Creek Initiative, a partnership with Wake County that has helped protect over 2,500 acres in the area. It is a great property with a long agricultural, cultural, and natural history. On a walk, you might see old barns, come across and old still, or find resurrection fern on some of the large boulders along the creeks. The property also crosses the Wake/Johnston County line and once opened as a public preserve, future trails will eventually connect into the Neuse River Greenway.
What is your spirit animal? Great Blue Heron. I love to paddle and have always been drawn to rivers. I remember going on a canoe trip at a very young age and following one down the Haw River. They always seem to wait and check on me when I am on the water.
Leigh Ann Hammerbacher first began her career at TLC in 2007 as our Conservation Planner and now serves as our Associate Director of Conservation and Stewardship. She has over 10 years of experience in natural resource protection in the Triangle. Originally from Guilford County, she grew up exploring the creeks and woods of the Piedmont which instilled a great passion for resource conservation. Leigh Ann recently returned to TLC after helping lead the Watershed Protection Program for the City of Raleigh. She also has also worked on numerous conservation plans across TLC’s service area as well land projects, conservation partnerships, land management planning, and easement stewardship.
Leigh Ann focuses her efforts on land protection, planning, and stewardship in the eastern Triangle. She primarily works on land projects in Wake and Johnston County but also helps coordinate partnerships and preserve planning efforts. Leigh Ann has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill in City and Regional Planning with a focus on Land Use and Environmental Planning. She has traveled the world exploring its natural habitats but is most at home with her husband Scott and two young boys, Christopher and Charlie, in her garden near the Neuse River in Wake County.