The Eno River Association is pleased to announce that a project to sell over 200 acres near downtown Hillsborough has received full funding from federal, state, and private sources. Since 2021, the Association has been working to initiate the sale of property owned by Classical American Homes Preservation Trust to The Archaeological Conservancy and the State to be added to Eno River State Park.
As part of the agreement, the Preservation Trust will donate 23 percent of the $2,028,480 land value. In addition, the project received funding support from the US Land and Water Conservation Fund, NC Land and Water Fund, and the City of Raleigh’s Watershed Protection Program as well as matching funds of $100,000 from the Eno River Association.
The transaction ensures the long term protection of the riverside parcels which include four known early settlements dating back to A.D. 1000, the former Occoneechee Speedway, the only surviving dirt track from NASCAR’s inaugural 1949 season, the James M. Johnston Nature Preserve, and parts of the Riverwalk and the NC Mountains-to-Sea Trail.
“Through these efforts this historic property will remain open to the public for research, education, recreation, and respite,” said Jessica Sheffield, executive director for the Eno River Association. “We are thrilled that our friends at the federal, state, and local level value its continued protection, and have invested in this way. We are especially grateful to our donors and the Harkrader family for their participation in the matching challenge, raising funds for the Association’s role in the project.”
The transaction closing is scheduled for 2023, with property management transferring hands over the next year.
“I am thrilled to bring the Historic Speedway into our state parks family! Adding this jewel to Eno River State Park will ensure that the area is protected for future generations through conservation, recreation, and education,” said Kimberly Radewicz, Superintendent for Eno River State Park. “Our park staff’s management of the area will increase the health of its ecosystem and add educational programming to introduce the public to the history of the Speedway.”
Learn more about this project at www.enoriver.org/eno-to-hillsborough