This conserved land will permanently protect clean water and wildlife habitat and now hosts a segment of the Carolina Thread Trail
Great things are taking place on and around Catawba Lands Conservancy’s (CLC) Long Creek Conservation Area, including a new 2.1-mile segment of the Carolina Thread Trail that opened in the summer of 2012! Our Long Creek Conservation Area now permanently protects 175 acres of land near southwestern Mecklenburg County along Long Creek (a tributary of the Catawba River) near the U.S. National Whitewater Center. In December of 2011, CLC conserved this prime property within an area experiencing residential and industrial development.
The new trail that opened this summer, available for walking, hiking, running and biking, weaves through CLC’s conserved area and connects with existing trails at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. This protected area also provides significant watershed protection that helps keep our waterways clean and improves surface water quality, including more than four miles (23,311 feet) of stream/river frontage and 153 acres of floodplains.
Additionally, this area protects significant wildlife habitat. There are a variety of tree forests consisting of sycamore, sweetgum, American beech, and tulip poplar trees. However, the oak forest is the most dominate with a mix of hardwoods and pines, including eastern red cedars, loblolly pines, and Virginia pines. A flock of rusty blackbirds and a Gulf Coast spiny softshell turtle have been observed within the forest wetlands – both of which are species on North Carolina’s conservation watch lists.
Clariant Corporation and ReVenture Park™, corporate partners with CLC, have been instrumental in conserving the area and supporting environmental and conservation stewardship efforts. Land adjacent to the conservation area is a brownfield redevelopment site that was recently delisted from the Federal Superfund National Priorities List. The developer of the site, Forsite Development Inc., is committed to continuing extensive efforts to clean up the area while providing environmental benefits to the community.
“Environmental responsibility is a core element of the ReVenture Eco-Industrial Park development plan. This easement will ensure the substantial water frontage areas are protected and parts of it will be able to be enjoyed by the public,” said Tom McKittrick, president of Forsite Development, Inc.
Clariant Corporation has supported local land conservation through past generous donations to CLC, including a 1997 conservation easement donation involving 17 acres at Long Creek Bluff.
“We are committed to conservation efforts near our sites and throughout the region,” said Ken Golder, head of Clariant’s North American region. “We understand the importance of preserving our waterways and conserving the lands that will benefit our communities now and in the future.”
You can now find trails that are part of the Carolina Thread Trail by using the new interactive map. Go to carolinathreadtrail.org and select the “Find a Trail” or “Map” links or click here to find the Long Creek Trail or others trails in our area.