/ Trails and Recreation, Volunteers and Events,

Event Cancelations and Trail Closures Due to COVID-19 Response

A Message from Our Executive Director

 

Dear friends,

I hope this message finds you well! This has been a trying time for all of us, but we are encouraged to see people working together to protect the public health. To do our part, at Conserving Carolina, we have decided to take further steps to slow the spread of COVID-19.

We are canceling all public events through May 15. We chose this date because, based on expert guidance, Gov. Cooper has ordered all public schools in our state closed until this time. We are following our state’s leadership in calling off public events during this time.

Canceled events include our Spring Hiking Series, expert speaker series at Landrum Library and Walnut Creek Preserve, and volunteer workdays. Many board, committee, and task force meetings are being held online. Our April Green Drinks events will also be offered in a digital format.

We miss seeing our community in person! During this time that we need to stay physically apart, we are exploring new ways to stay connected. In the coming weeks, we will be launching new efforts to connect through social media and other online forums. A silver lining for us is the need for creativity and innovation, which will serve us well, even after this public health crisis has passed.

With great reluctance, we have also decided to close our trails in the Hickory Nut Gorge due to overcrowding. At this time, our Bearwallow Mountain, Trombatore Trail, Wildcat Rock Trail, and Florence Nature Preserve are closed. You can learn more here.

We appreciate that so many people in our community have been turning to nature during these difficult times. Time in the outdoors has certainly been important for me and for many members of our team. Nature lifts us up.

However, with so many people going outdoors, we were seeing extreme crowding at our trails. This overcrowding poses too great a risk of transmission of the virus. Overcrowding also damages the trails and surrounding natural areas. We need to take care of our trails for people to enjoy long after the current public health crisis has passed. 

It is always the case that nature lifts us up, and I hope you are still are able to connect with the wonder of nature and the beauty of spring.

One thing that these events have made very clear is that people love our trails and natural areas—and we need to provide more places for people to get outside. We are currently building 7.5 miles of new trails for you to enjoy and we are advancing 5 potential new greenways, including the proposed Ecusta Trail.

While our offices are currently closed, our staff is still hard at work. We are working from home and in the field, continuing the vital work of conservation.

Thank you for helping to keep our community safe and for helping us continue to protect land and create trails. We look forward to seeing you again, before too long.

Sincerely,

Kieran Roe,

Executive Director