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IN MAY: MORE THAN A MILE PROTECTED
On Monday, May 17, the Eno River Association acquired 56 acres and over a mile of riparian corridors along the Upper Eno and two tributary streams in Orange County. The move will safeguard local drinking water and further the protection of undeveloped forestland in the Eno River watershed in the Neuse River basin.
“This beautiful tract has an astonishing amount of river frontage,” says Executive Director Robin Jacobs. “We are very grateful to the landowners, who worked with their realtor to contact us before putting the land on the open market.”
The acquired property has nearly seven tenths of a mile of frontage on the Eno and an additional 2,200 linear feet along two tributaries, including an unnamed stream and Panthers Branch. The land lies north of US Hwy 70 West and is upstream of Corporation Lake and Lake Ben Johnston, which provide drinking water for Orange and Alamance counties as well as the Town of Hillsborough.
The project also benefits over a half million residents and businesses downstream. From its headwaters in northwestern Orange County, the Eno River flows 33 miles through Hillsborough, then Durham, and into Falls Lake, the primary water supply for the City of Raleigh and other Wake County communities. The newly protected stretch of river is also home to numerous rare aquatic species. A NC Significant Natural Heritage Area, it provides habitat for freshwater mussels and fish, including the Atlantic pigtoe, creeper, notched rainbow, and Carolina darter.
Support for the project has been provided by the City of Raleigh, the Eno River Association’s Allen Lloyd Fund for the Protection of the Upper Eno, the Margaret C. Nygard Land Acquisition Fund, and most importantly, the landowners. Grants and contributions are still being sought to defray $285,000 in the organization’s remaining out-of-pocket costs.
“The Eno River Association and its members are proud to be able to bring about this land acquisition,” says Barbara Driscoll, President of the Association. “These public-private-nonprofit partnerships are increasingly important in our land protection efforts. Conserving private lands is absolutely necessary to protect water quality and rural landscapes.”
The Eno River Association is a nationally accredited land trust that has protected more than 7,130 acres for public parks and natural resources conservation on private land in Durham and Orange counties. It is well known for its Festival for the Eno, held annually since 1980 over Independence Day weekend. The event raises funds for land and water protection and public awareness about local conservation issues.
We are hiring!
The Eno River Association is looking for a Conservation and Education AmeriCorps Coordinator. The position is time-limited and will begin October 2, 2017 and end July 31, 2018. The application deadline is June 15, 2017. Click here for the application and more details.
YOU CAN JOIN US CELEBRATING NATIONAL TRAILS DAY
New to the area? Want to explore? Don’t like hiking alone? Come hike with us! The Eno River Association is leading a guided hike along the Eno Saturday, June 3 on National Trails Day. It’s a great way to get outdoors, learn something new, and meet new friends. No registration is required. The hike will start at 10 Am at the Cole Mill Access and we will hike the 2.6 miles to Bobbitt Hole and Back. Click here or check out our Events on the Eno Calendar on the right side of this homepage for details. See you on the Eno!
LAND PROTECTED BY ENO RIVER ASSOCIATION UNLOCKS NEXT PHASE OF THE MOUNTAINS-TO-SEA TRAIL IN THE TRIANGLE
The Eno River Association secured a critical 1.9-acre conservation and trail easement on the Eno River at Pleasant Green Road on December 28. The project is a vital link in the future course of the North Carolina Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST), fills an unprotected gap along the river, and brings the organization’s 50TH Anniversary year to a fitting and celebratory close.
The Association will donate the permanent easement, which protects over 500 feet of river frontage, to the State of North Carolina to manage as part of Eno River State Park and the NC Mountains-to-Sea Trail. Duke Energy, the Eno River Association, the Friends of the NC Mountains-to-Sea Trail, and Great Outdoor Provision Company funded the acquisition.
As a result of the project, four miles of trail will be added to the park’s existing trail system and the MST. The new section will connect the Pleasant Green access area with the Few’s Ford access at Cole Mill Road. Future plans for the site include constructing a footbridge over the river to remove hikers from the adjoining highway bridge, improving safety for park users.
Thanks to the landowners, Beth and Tandy McConnell, for making this project possible. They have made a positive and permanent impact on our river, our community, and our environment! Click here for a short video of the property.
73-Acre Historic Pope Farm Protected
In partnership with Orange County’s Lands Legacy Program, the NC Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund (ADFP), and City of Raleigh’s Upper Neuse Clean Water Initiative (UNCWI), the Association placed a “working lands” conservation easement on this Century Farm in Cedar Grove. The Captain John S. Pope Farm is owned by Robert and Gail Pope, and is located on Efland-Cedar Grove Road. A spring-fed tributary flows through the farm and merges with the East Fork Eno River less than 2,000 feet downstream from the property. The East Fork Eno River flows directly into Lake Orange, a drinking water supply reservoir for the town of Hillsborough. The farm, currently in organic tobacco production, has remained in continuous operation by the Pope family since at least 1870 and retains the 1874 acreage as well as its historic arrangement of fields and forest. Most of the buildings on the farm date back to the late 19th and mid-20th century. The Pope Farm is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is designated by Orange County as a Local Historic Landmark.
In addition to protecting the prime agricultural land on the property, the easement will have significant water quality benefits. The farmland is located within the Upper Eno protected watershed and has approximately 2,000 feet of stream frontage. As part of the project, Mr. and Mrs. Pope are protecting a forested buffer along the farm ponds and a tributary traversing the property, providing direct benefits to the quality of the water in this stream and the East Fork Eno River.
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Resolution Regarding House Bill 2
Whereas, the Eno River Association is an organization deeply rooted in its community, dedicated to protecting the special natural places in the Eno River basin for the benefit of all people; and
Whereas, HB2 has already had a significant negative effect on plans for the 2016 Festival for the Eno; and
Whereas, the Board of Directors of the Eno River Association finds the discriminatory provisions of House Bill 2 and the curtailment of legal protections against discrimination under state law to be disappointing, mean-spirited, wrong, and clearly not in the best interests of North Carolina;
Now Therefore Be It Resolved, that the Board of Directors of the Eno River Association urges the North Carolina General Assembly to repeal House Bill 2 at the earliest opportunity.
– adopted by the Eno River Association Board of Directors on 4/14/2016