Conservation Success Stories: Best of 2019
1. DuPont State Forest: No More Missing Link!
We’ve helped protect DuPont State Recreational Forest since the beginning. This year we added the 402-acre Continental Divide Tract, which connects DuPont to a vast conservation corridor that spans over 100,000 acres. We also acquired another 315 acres with the goal of adding it to DuPont.
2. Weed Patch Mountain Trail Wins National Award
If you’ve hiked our trails in the Hickory Nut Gorge, you’ve hiked some of the best new trails in the U.S. Last year, our Wildcat Rock Trail won a national award from the Coalition for Recreational Trails. This year, that award went to our Weed Patch Mountain Trail in Lake Lure.
3. Bearwallow Mountain Field Trips
Through school field trips to Bearwallow Mountain, kids get to play on a wide-open protected mountaintop. They love it up there—and these experiences could spark a lifelong love of nature. Last year, we supported field trips by FernLeaf Community Charter School, Edneyville Elementary, and Lake Lure Classical Academy.
4. Saluda Land Protected
Land in Saluda on the edge of the Green River Game Lands that was once targeted for a shooting range is now a protected natural area. Conserving Carolina purchased the 78-acre property on Macedonia Road this spring. Our goal is to add it to the Game Lands.
5. Restoring a Floodplain to Bring Back Muskie
An ambitious floodplain restoration on the French Broad River could help bring back muskie—our largest native fish. This project also helps all kinds of wildlife, including bees, bats, birds, ducks, turtles, salamanders, otters, foxes, and more. Plans include walking trails and a river put-in.
6. Conservation + Affordable Housing
900 acres of the land that Conserving Carolina purchased at Little White Oak Mountain are now protected forever and open to the public—expanding the Green River Game Lands and a local park. There’s also going to be a workforce housing development, complete with conservation design.
7. Ecusta Trail Moves Forward
Trail advocates have been pushing for the Ecusta Trail for over a decade—a rail trail connecting Hendersonville and Brevard. The Ecusta Trail took a huge step forward when Conserving Carolina secured a $6.4 million grant to purchase land along the 18-mile corridor. (Photo courtesy of BlueRidgeNow.com)
8. Transylvania French Broad River Stewards
A grassroots group that advocates for health, beauty, and economic vitality of the French Broad River in Transylvania County is now a Conserving Carolina program. We’re proud to support these volunteers as they care for the beautiful headwaters of the French Broad!
9. Hiking Challenge 5 Kicks Off
Our popular Hiking Challenge is back! The goal of the WPA White Squirrel Hiking Challenge 5 is to go on 8 hikes, all on lands that Conserving Carolina helped protect. It’s a great way to get to know the places you’re conserving.
Thank You for All of Your Support!
You made these great stories happen—and so much more. As we look forward to the new year, we are deeply grateful for how much we’re able to do with your support. Have a joyful holiday season!