Bringing Eno River State Park to Downtown Hillsborough

The Eno River Association is facilitating the sale of over 200 acres near downtown Hillsborough from Classical American Homes Preservation Trust to the Archaeological Conservancy and the State to be added to Eno River State Park. Once complete, this transaction will increase Eno River State Park to over 4,700 acres in Durham and Orange counties.

As part of the transaction, the preservation trust will donate 23% of the $2,028,480 land value. The remaining funds must be raised over the next year through public and private sources. Along with the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation, we are applying for local, state, and federal funding to support the project.

Eno friends Richard, Lonna, and Carson Harkrader have committed $100,000 to inspire others to make a gift to advance our role in this project and ensure our ability to protect important properties along the Eno River for generations to come.

Donations can be made online or to the Eno River Association, 4404 Guess Road, Durham, NC 27712.



Learn More:

Fact Sheet Media Release
Parcel Map  Location Map

Get Involved:

Sign-up for the Eno River Association’s mailing list — Register online to receive monthly Eno eNews and important updates about the project as we confirm grant funding, closing dates, and transfer to the State Park in the next two years.

Wildflower Society Members of the Eno River Association can join us for private or small group tours. Contact Emily for more information about scheduling a tour.

Join us for an event this fall! Thanks to the popularity of our March 26 public hikes, we’ll provide several opportunities this fall to learn about the natural, historical, and cultural treasures of these properties.

Eno River Association Annual Meeting — Members and donors to the Association will be invited to our annual meeting – held in the fall in Hillsborough this year. Stay tuned for more information.

Neighborhood Event Series — Want to share the project with your friends, neighbors, or colleagues?! We are looking for hosts for small neighborhood or business events. We’ll bring special guests, speakers, hike leaders, or other content experts to join us – and we’ll support you as you organize a unique event for your community.

Corporate Sponsorships —  Align your business with the protection of nature and our community with a corporate sponsorship. Sponsor upcoming events and activities in the park, and receive visibility benefits of the million+ Eno River State Park visitors. Contact Emily for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it important to transfer this land to the State Park? Isn’t it already permanently protected?

While 94% of the property is covered by historical preservation, trail, and conservation easements that protect the resources, that is no guarantee that a different landowner would keep the property open to the public, protect the cultural heritage, or maintain trails and other facilities. In addition, 6% of the property is zoned light industrial, meaning that 12.81 acres along Elizabeth Brady Road could have been sold and converted into warehouses, factories, or similar. With the State Park ownership, this area is available for additional parking, facilities, or other Park amenities.

When is all this happening?

The current timeline is to receive notice of funding decisions in late 2022. Transaction closing and transfer dates will follow in 2023. All parties are committed to transferring these lands to the State Park and the Archaeological Conservancy; however, if 2022 grant funding is not secured for the total sale price, the project may be delayed until funds are identified. 

How is this being paid for?

As part of the transaction, the Classical American Homes Preservation Trust will donate 23% of the $2,028,480 land value. The remaining funds must be found over the next year through public and private sources. Together with the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation, the Eno River Association is applying for state and federal funding to support the project. In addition, the Association has secured a $100,000 gift from the Harkrader Family which will act as the Association’s required match for grant funding. 

Is the Eno River Association buying the property?

Not at this time. The Eno River Association was brought into the project to connect the key partners, manage the sale, identify resources, and support the transition of the properties. Since 1966, the Association has been bringing together property owners, environmentalists, and state and local governments to protect over 7,500 acres of green spaces, walking trails, farms, and cultural sites. The Association’s goal is most often to transition these protected lands to government agencies and parks departments who would open them to the public, such as with the creation of Eno River State Park. The Eno River Association and the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation are applying for local, state, and federal funding to support the project, and the Association will provide the match of at least $100,000 required in the grant applications. Should grant funding not be secured, the Eno River Association will support the partners in finding other avenues for public and private funding, though the timeline will be delayed.

Will these areas be kept in their current condition?

Most of the property is protected through a variety of permanent easements and historical registries that mean they are protected from major change. You may see some changes upon new ownership — but we hope for the better! Once funds have been secured, the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation will review the site and begin creating a master plan for the property, which may include new trails, signage, and other amenities.

How can I get involved?

First, you can help by spreading the word and sharing your enthusiasm about the project with your friends, family, and neighbors. Take a walk at the property, or join the Eno River Association for a guided hike this fall. You can also make a donation to any of the nonprofit organizations who are a part of the project, including the Eno River Association, the Archaeological Conservancy, or who helped originally protect the property Classical American Homes Preservation Trust or Preservation NC. You can sign up to volunteer with the Eno River Association, who will support stewardship efforts and host educational programs and hikes once the property is transferred to the State.