What We Do | Catawba Lands Conservancy

What We Do

We conserve land in the beautiful Southern Piedmont of North Carolina. By conserving land, we are improving water and air quality, and protecting wildlife habitats, farmland and open natural spaces.

Open meadows, hardwood forests, working farms, bogs and marshes, streams, ponds, historical landmarks and breathtaking views — these features define the unique and amazingly beautiful character of our region.

As our landscape continues to change in the rapidly urbanizing Greater Charlotte Metro Region, the natural places we value as a community and define this regions character are steadily diminishing.

CLC is dedicated to helping balance the inevitable growth of our communities with the protection of those places that improve our quality of life, sustain our way of life and provide our communities with many ecological and environmental benefits.

Wildlife Habitat and Ecological Diversity

Protecting ecologically diverse natural habitats is of primary importance to CLC. As the only land trust serving this region, CLC has a responsibility to ensure that wildlife and various plant species thrive and our natural systems function properly. Many of CLC’s protected properties are designated natural heritage sites where biologists have identified uncommon natural communities. The 506-acre Stanley Creek Forest and the 107-acre Buck-Smith-Long Property are two examples.

Clean Water and Enhancing Water Quality

Safeguarding the region’s water supply and protecting the integrity of riparian buffers is another focal point for CLC, which has permanently protected several hundred acres in the Mountain Island Lake Watershed, the main drinking water supply for Charlotte, Mount Holly, Gastonia and other local communities. The South Fork Catawba River, which flows through Catawba, Lincoln, and Gaston counties, has long been a focus area for CLC, having protected more than 3,500 acres and 86 miles of river and stream frontage.

Since 1998, CLC has received grant awards from the North Carolina Land and Water Fund totaling more than $12.5 million, which resulted in protection of more than 2,500 acres and 35 miles of stream and river frontage.

Farmland and Open Space

In the last 20 years, North Carolina has lost approximately 2.8 million acres of farmlands and open space. Charlotte, the state’s largest metropolitan area, lost 26% of its total cropland and forestland for a staggering total of 300,000 acres, more than any other region in the state. Over the years, CLC has worked hard to preserve the rolling fields and wooded areas of our rural communities, as illustrated by our protection of the 48-acre Hunter Farm in Union County, the 180-acre bicentennial Rhyne Farm in Gaston County and the 63-acre Oakwood Farm in Catawba County.

Connecting Lives to Nature

The Carolina Thread Trail offers our communities access to recreation and open space in many areas in our region. Through a community-focused approach, we work with communities to provide trails, greenways and blueways the provide better community connectivity, access to recreation and alternative transportation while providing a connection to nature.

Please consider giving a donation to Catawba Lands Conservancy. Every dollar helps us save land and improve our environment and quality of life. We appreciate your support.

Photo: South Fork Rail Trail by Debbie Warren