We treasure the memory of our good friend, Rick Merrill, who passed away in February of 2023. Rick came to Western North Carolina as a VISTA volunteer, the predecessor to AmeriCorps. He was actively involved in real estate marketing, focused on acreage, for half a century.

Back in 2004, JoAnne and Rick donated a conservation on their Flat Rock horse farm. Rick served on the land protection committee ever since. He found the ability to merge real estate deal making with land protection and conservation incredibly invigorating. It was something unique that Rick did very well. His served on our board for 13 years. He served on almost every committee and was board president in 2009 and 2010.

Rick said that the passion of Conserving Carolina’s staff for their work impressed him and made it easy to want to do everything possible to help advance Conserving Carolina’s mission. He was instrumental in protecting thousands of acres that include rare mountain bogs, restored muskie habitat, and the vast Headwaters State Forest. We are grateful for all of the ways that Rick gave generously to protect these special places.

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