One Year Later: Schweinitz’s Sunflowers at Buffalo Creek Preserve
October 27, 2022
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Committed to Conserving North Carolina’s Future

North Carolinians love the outdoors. Visitation to NC State Parks increased to 22,800,000 in 2021 – 3,000,000 more than in 2020. Outdoor recreation contributes over $10 billion annually to the NC economy, an economic driver that wouldn’t be possible without the incredible natural landscapes we have across the state.

Our organization has witnessed this desire to get outside as residents here in the Greater Charlotte region flocked to the Carolina Thread Trail and Catawba Lands Conservancy’s public preserves during COVID-19 lockdowns. As people have rediscovered a connection with nature and the outdoors, we are working harder than ever to conserve land and provide access to it for Carolinians to enjoy. And these efforts could not be successful without funding from NC’s Conservation Trust Funds.

Last year the NC General Assembly earmarked the largest ever recurring funding for the Trust Funds, a huge win for conservation in our state. Our conservation projects, like Bigleaf Bluff (ranked the #1 conservation project statewide through the NCLWF competitive grant process in 2022), depend on this funding. We join the Land for Tomorrow Coalition in expressing our gratitude to state leaders for their strong support of the Conservation Trust Funds. We hope our local legislators, Governor and the entire General Assembly will continue to build upon this success.

In 2023, we support the following actions to protect our state.

NC Land and Water Fund

Increase recurring funds to:

  • $30 million recurring in FY23-24
  • $20,000,000 in non-recurring funds

The Land for Tomorrow Coalition strongly supports NC Land and Water Fund’s recently developed nature-based flood resilience grant program.

  • $15,000,000 to continue NCLWF’s flood risk reduction program

Parks and Recreation Trust Fund

Increase recurring funds to:

  • $30 million recurring in FY23-24
  • $20,000,000 in non-recurring funds

Agricultural Development & Farmland Preservation Trust Fund

Support NC Dept of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ request to increase recurring funding to $15,000,000.

Funding North Carolina’s Trails

The Land for Tomorrow Coalition supports requests from the Great Trails State Coalition for appropriations to establish the Great Trails State Fund.

Dedicated Funding and Conservation Tax Credit 

The Land for Tomorrow Coalition supports restoring dedicated funding from state deed excise stamp tax revenues to the Land & Water Fund and Parks & Recreation Trust Fund and restoring the 25% conservation tax credit.

Support Job Expansion and Additional Staffing

The Land for Tomorrow Coalition strongly supports requests by the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources, NC Wildlife Resources Commission and Department of Agriculture requests for staff to manage the conservation trust funds and to manage new state parks, historic sites, game lands and state forests.

Download a PDF of Land for Tomorrow priorities.


Photo by Nancy Pierce.