Foothills Conservancy Receives Urban & Community Forestry Grant from the North Carolina Forest Service

Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina (FCNC) has successfully applied for conceptual plan development project focusing on options for greenspace on the Western Piedmont Community College campus and adjoining state institutional lands.  The project is funded by the NCFS Urban & Community Forestry Program and is being delivered by the Community Design Assistance Center (CDAC), an outreach center within the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech. The goal of this project is to foster a healthier community through open spaces, greenways, and natural resource enhancement.

“This is an exciting project for Foothills Conservancy”, comments Andrew Kota, project leader for the conservancy, “because of the opportunity to partner with Western Piedmont Community College, and to engage stakeholders in the community in a collaborative effort to evaluate and plan natural resource enhancements, recreational improvements, and other value-added projects on the college’s campus and adjoining institutional lands for the benefit of the local community.”

CDAC will work with a stakeholders committee and the community to develop a conceptual plan for the project area that will examine areas for open space conservation, water quality protection along Hunting Creek, viewshed protection, trail development, and public use and education.  It will identify opportunities to link existing open space areas of the campus to adjoining institutional lands and nearby neighborhoods and trail systems, such as to the City of Morganton’s pedestrian greenway and bicycle pathway system, and the Commemorative Motor Route of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail.

CDAC staff will host public meetings to engage the community in the planning process.  Meeting dates will be announced in the upcoming weeks.

The purpose of the “Community Design Assistance” project is to work with Appalachian communities of NC, KY and VA, to develop conceptual plans to conserve, protect and enhance community natural resources. Such work has the potential to improve the environment, citizen health, and the economy. In NC, funding for this project is provided in part through Urban & Community Forestry Program, North Carolina Forest Service, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service, Southern Region.

The CDAC assists communities, civic groups, and nonprofit organizations in improving their natural and built environments through research, community engagement, and interdisciplinary design. CDAC believes that every community deserves quality design that promotes a healthy, sustainable way of life.

This means that all communities, regardless of their location, socio-economic status, population size, or ethnicity, should be afforded the opportunity to improve the communities in which they live in a way that advances citizen well-being, economic growth, and environmental health.