Each year, in our Annual Report, we recognize all of our generous supporters and report back to you on what we were able to achieve with your support. This year’s report highlights important conservation achievements that result in clean water, beautiful views, more public lands and trails, restored habitat for wildlife, and improved quality of life in our communities. The report also introduces our new five-year Strategic Plan, which will guide our work going forward.

Thank you so much for your support, as members, donors, and volunteers!

Strategic Plan Overview

In 2019, we updated our Strategic Plan, charting a course to meet the challenges and opportunities of the next five years. The Annual Report debuts our refreshed mission statement: “To protect, restore, and inspire appreciation of the natural world.” It also outlines five strategic directions for the coming years. Learn more about Conserving Carolina’s vision, mission, and strategy.

Conservation Map and Infographic

The Annual Report includes our updated conservation map, showing all of the land we’ve helped protect so far, with a focus on 9 special projects from 2019. You can scroll down to explore the updated map. The report also includes an infographic summing up how much we were able to achieve last year, thanks to supporters like you. See our Conservation by the Numbers infographic.

Donor Recognition and Financial Statements

Most importantly, the Annual Report recognizes each and every one of the people who make this work possible. All of our members receive the Annual Report in the mail. You can also view the report online here, including our full donor lists and financial statements.


Dr. Larissa Bowman and Dr. Randy Wetzel, who are among the Conserving Carolina members honored in our Annual Report, say:

“We choose to support Conserving Carolina because of their record of landscape preservation, outstanding trail-building, and outreach in our community. We feel like we are working with our neighbors to leave a legacy of conserved wild places for all of us to enjoy.”

Sunrise in Hickory Nut Gorge
Sunrise in the Hickory Nut Gorge

2019 Conservation Highlights

This map shows the 45,716 total acres that Conserving Carolina has helped to protect, with a focus on some highlights from 2019. Scroll below to learn about the extraordinary 2019 projects numbered on the map.

1. Mountain Creek Protected

Humans and trout can enjoy clean water, with 246 acres protected on Abe’s Creek, which flows into the Horsepasture River. The creek provides exceptional habitat for native brook trout.

2. New Bracken Mountain Trail

Our volunteers and Summer of Service members helped create a new trail in Bracken Mountain Preserve—now open for hiking and mountain biking.

3. DuPont Forest: No More Missing Link!

We added 402 acres to DuPont State Recreational Forest, connecting it to a 100,000+ acre corridor of public lands. We also acquired another 315 acres with the goal of adding it to DuPont by the end of 2020.

4. Ecusta Trail Moves Forward

The long awaited Ecusta Trail—an 18-mile rail trail linking Hendersonville and Brevard—took a huge step forward when Conserving Carolina secured a major grant toward purchasing the land

5. Conservation Burial Ground Restored

Carolina Memorial Sanctuary used to be full of invasive plants. Following extensive restoration, the conservation burial ground now offers healthy streams, meadows, woods, and wetlands.

6. Partnering for Affordable Housing

We transferred land to a local affordable housing nonprofit to build workforce housing next to two protected properties—Little White Oak Mountain and a bog in Flat Rock. 

7. Saluda Land Protected

Land near Saluda that was once targeted for a shooting range is now a protected natural area. We purchased the 78-acre property with the goal of adding it to the Green River Game Lands.

8. Teaching and Research Reserve Expanded

Our Teaching and Research Reserve in Bat Cave grew by approximately 100 acres with an addition that connects it to Chimney Rock State Park and includes high priority wildlife habitat.

9. National Award for Weed Patch Mountain Trail

Our Weed Patch Mountain Trail won a national award—recognizing it as one of the best built new trails in the country! 2019 was the second year in a row that Conserving Carolina won this award.

Thank you for your ongoing support of Conserving Carolina! 


Summer of Service alum, Hazel Freeman, at the now expanded Teaching and Research Reserve in Bat Cave.