Eno River Association Grows State Park’s Acreage and Protects Land in the Upper Eno River Basin

Tributary to Eno River on the Matheson Property. Photo credit Todd Nance.

On December 17th, the Eno River Association donated 14 acres of land to be included into Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area and a 1.86-acre trail easement, adjacent to the Eno River and Pleasant Green Road, to be included into Eno River State Park.  The North Carolina Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST) is proposed to cross through both properties. 

The Eno River Association, in partnership with Orange County’s Lands Legacy Program and the North Carolina Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund, has also secured the purchase of a “working lands” conservation easement on a 38-acre property in Cedar Grove.  The easement serves the dual purpose of protecting prime farmland and protecting the quality of water that flows downstream of the farm.

For more information click here.

You put us over the top!

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Thanks to your generous support, we’ve hit our year-end goals and can start the next year and decade strong.

Together, we can:

  • Expand the 220-acre Confluence Natural Area to protect water quality and habitat, and improve the parking area to safely accommodate visitors seeking the restorative beauty of nature along nearly three miles of Eno riverfront.

  • Grow our acclaimed education programming staff to accommodate a year-round schedule that will serve hundreds more children and adults.

  • Open the canopy in the diabase sill of the Lower Eno to help the rare and endemic species thrive.

  • Develop a new strategic plan to keep our focus sharp, assure that the protection and education projects we undertake are the right ones, and ensure that our organization welcomes all people who live and play in our diverse region.

  • With your support, we can respond quickly when key properties become available for conservation and preservation.

You can still make a gift to support these key goals for our Durham and Orange County communities.

Photo by Holly Reid

Occoneechee Mountain – Reflections

A documentary by Protected Places Media, presented in honor of our expansion of Occoneechee Mountain State Natural Area

Occoneechee Mountain: Reflections from Ernie Sears on Vimeo.

2020 Eno River Calendar

Our 2020 calendar is a soul-inspiring, story telling and photographic  encounter with the Eno River.  Eyes on the Eno is both looks at the river we love, and those who are watching in nature and in our community. We hope it also inspires you to join our extraordinary journey to save more of the places you love along the Eno and its tributaries.

Read more…

Introducing Our New Executive Director

The Eno River Association (ERA) is pleased to announce that Jessica L. Sheffield will join the Association as its new Executive Director on October 28, 2019. Jessica succeeds Robin Jacobs who will retire after 14 years in the ERA’s top leadership role and six years on the organization’s board of directors. The search was guided by moss+ross, a Triangle-based consulting and executive search firm with expertise in nonprofit management. Click here for the full details.

2019 Festival for the Eno

Thanks to over 500 volunteers, our wonderful sponsors, contributors, participants and attendees, the 40th Festival for the Eno was a fabulously good time celebrating the best of our region’s musics, arts, nature and foods! Even lightning strikes and downpours could not diminish the energy and enthusiasm of the thousands of folks who came to West Point to celebrate the Eno River.

Click here for highlights and look for more pics and stories to come!

77 Acres Protected Along Little River

Seventy-seven acres of newly protected forestland will forever protect water quality and habitat along the North Fork Little River. The Eno River Association, working in partnership with a willing landowner, Orange County, the City of Raleigh, and the City of Durham, has placed a permanent conservation easement on the property located a mile upstream of Little River Regional Park, and less than five miles upstream of Durham’s Little River Reservoir. This land lies within the zone designated by Orange County as the Little River Protected Watershed and as a priority by the City of Durham Land Conservation for its Water Quality Protection Model.

The new conservation easement protects approximately 3,300 feet (0.6 miles) of frontage along the North Fork Little River and 2,300 feet (0.4 miles) of frontage along the river’s Tapley Creek tributary, and permanently extinguishes the landowner’s rights to develop the property. This conserved land will be maintained as forest and riparian habitat for plants and wildlife native to the North Carolina Piedmont. The Eno River Association and Orange County will co-hold the easement.

The Little River is a major tributary of the Eno River, flowing into the Eno between Penny’s Bend and Falls Lake Reservoir. The North Carolina Natural Heritage Program has rated the Little River’s aquatic habitat as being “of state significance.” Little River Regional Park lies on the boundary between Durham and Orange counties, and was created as a joint project between the two counties, the Eno River Association, and Triangle Land Conservancy.  Durham’s Little River Reservoir is a primary drinking water resource for the city.

The remains of former rock dams are evident in two places along the river on the property. One of the dams is upstream of a former mill site. An earthen mill race with periodic rock supports runs parallel to the river approximately 1,000 feet eastward before entering the mill site.  The remains of the mill include a rock foundation, sluiceway, and an iron shaft and gear works that once turned to operate the mill. According to documents in the possession of the landowner, the mill was built for the Smith family in 1809. Smith Mill, later Wagoner Mill, was one of many mills that operated in rural Orange County before the 20th century. The remnants of this will now be protected from future development.

Eno River Association Adds 93.38 Acres to Eno River State Park

THE WILDFLOWER HIKE FOR MAY 12 ON OCCONEECHEE MOUNTAIN IS CANCELLED DUE TO THE PROBABILITY OF STORMS

On December 19, 2019 the fascinating and important 87-acre Bacon Quarry property became part of Eno River State Park. The property has been a priority for acquisition by NC State Parks for a number of years. Until the sale this month it had been owned by descendants of the Bacon family for more than a hundred years. READ MORE

ENO RIVER SUITE

John Bachmann tells the Eno River Story in soaring vocals and stirring video set to his original song ENO RIVER SUITE. (Click on the top title to see the uncropped version on YouTube).

New Year’s Day Hike

A tradition since 1971 of the Eno River Association is our popular New Year’s Day Hike. We gather together as one Eno family and take either a short, family-friendly hike or a longer, more adventurous one at the Eno River State Park.
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