On October 30, 2020, the Eno River Association accepted the donation of a conservation easement on an 8.8-acre property in Durham adjacent to Eno River State Park. This land was formerly part of Dr. Robert Holloway’s Farm. This property, which was near his tuberculosis sanctuary known as “Rivermont,” contained the collect structures associated with the former Rivermont Carbonated Spring Water. The springs were known to be naturally carbonated and the water was bottled and sold. In the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, this mineral water was considered beneficial to those afflicted with lung and kidney diseases.
The Nancy Rhodes Creek Conservation Easement is owned by Weaving Water, LLC and is located on Rivermont Road across from the popular Pump Station Trail access. The protection of this land will ensure that the view from this trailhead will never be a development but rather a beautiful forested area. The eastern boundary of the property is shared with land owned by the City of Durham which is proposed for a portion of the Nancy Rhodes Creek Trail.
The property is located within the Eno Watershed Protection Area and contains 2,035 linear feet on Nancy Rhodes Creek and feeder streams. Nancy Rhodes Creek is a primary tributary to the Eno River located just 1,500 feet downstream. The vegetated riparian buffers along this stream provide not only protection against nutrient and sediment inputs to this important source of drinking water for the cities of Durham and Raleigh but also provide important travel corridors for wildlife.
The easement will protect a 7.7-acre portion of the Middle Eno River Bluffs and Slopes Natural Area and two important plant species identified by the NC Natural Heritage Program. Additionally, the Eno River Aquatic Habitat is located just 1,500 feet downstream and supports several rare freshwater mussels and fish, including the state endangered Atlantic pigtoe (also federal proposed threaten) and yellow lampmussel, as well as the state threatened Eastern Lampmussel, Notched Rainbow, Creeper, and Triangle Floater and the state significantly rare Roanoke Bass.
Conservation easements are written agreements that permanently protect land for its natural or cultural resource values while leaving it in private ownership. The Nancy Rhodes Creek easement is the eleventh conservation easement held by the Eno River Association totaling 1,130 acres. The project would not have been possible without the support of Triangle Community Foundation and the generous gift by the landowners, Weaving Water, LLC.
The Eno River Association has been working on land and water quality conservation in the Eno River Basin for 54 years. It was instrumental in the creation of the Eno River State Park in the early 1970s and continues to actively work to expand protected areas throughout the Eno River basin. The Association’s efforts have resulted in the protection of more than 7,480 acres in the watershed.