On Saturday, June 2, Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina is partnering with businesses in Morganton, Hickory, and Marion for the conservancy’s first-ever Proceeds for Land Protection fundraising event. More than 20 participating businesses will donate a portion of their sales from June 2, Land Trust Day, to the conservancy.
Foothills Conservancy staff and board invite the public to join them in supporting the participating businesses that are donating a portion of their June 2 sales to conservation. Participating businesses (as of May 9) include: art and soul, Benjamin’s and Libba’s, Breathe Yoga & Wellness, Brown Mountain Bottleworks, CarbN Supply Co., Craft Beer Cellar Hickory, The Dapper Doughnut – Morganton, Gregory Jewelers, The Grind Cafe, Hamilton Williams Gallery & Studio, Homer’s, Kathryn’s Custom Framing, Maria’s Italian Eatery, Moondog Pizza, The Nook Homebrew and Tavern, Patterson’s Amish Furniture, Refinery 13 Taproom, Root & Vine Restaurant, and SideTracked Taproom.
Though this is Foothills Conservancy’s first Land Trust Day fundraising event, Land Trust Day itself is not new. In 1992, the American Hiking Society designated the first Saturday in June as National Trails Day. Great Outdoor Provision Company, an outfitter in North Carolina and Virginia, decided to also use that day to give back to the land trusts whose land protection work benefits the outdoor recreation industry, so they designated it Land Trust Day as well. Since that first Land Trust Day, land trusts across the nation have partnered with their local businesses to raise funds for land conservation on this day.
“I’m so excited for the overwhelming support we have received from the small businesses in our service area,” said Beth Willard-Patton, associate director of Foothills Conservancy. “Owning a small business is hard. We understand that these entities are someone’s livelihood and they are frequently asked for donations to help support worthy causes in our community. We are so grateful for everyone who has agreed to participate in this inaugural event.”
In addition to the day-long Proceeds for Land Protection fundraising event, Refinery 13 Taproom in downtown Marion is also hosting a fundraising drive to benefit Foothills Conservancy the same evening, June 2, from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Refinery 13 opened in 2017 with a passion for serving craft beers unique to North Carolina. Owner Sarah Jacobs is pleased to host the taproom’s first drive for Foothills Conservancy, during which $1 from each pint sold will be donated to the conservancy.
“We’re excited to partner with Foothills Conservancy on this fundraising evening,” said Jacobs. “We hope folks from around the Marion area will come raise a glass and support the conservancy’s land protection work.”
Foothills Conservancy has permanently protected 8,016 acres in McDowell County, including the Catawba Falls trailhead that was transferred to public ownership by the U.S. Forest Service in 2010. Just last month, the conservancy purchased 90 acres in McDowell County which were transferred to North Carolina State Parks to expand the Fonta Flora State Trail between Old Fort and Black Mountain. The land trust’s upcoming work includes assisting North Carolina State Parks to establish a new 3,000-acre State Natural Area south of Marion.
This fundraising event at Refinery 13 is free and open to the public, but donations are welcome and new supporters are encouraged to make a first time gift.
Tourism is a driving force for the economy of Western North Carolina. Many people travel to this area to visit state parks, national forests, and national parks, take advantage of outdoor recreation and scenic mountain views, and appreciate the beauty of the region. Three state parks are located in Foothills Conservancy’s service area, including Lake James State Park, 2017’s most visited park, South Mountains State Park, the largest in North Carolina and winner of the 2017 NC Park of the Year, and Chimney Rock State Park. Each of these iconic attractions offers the opportunity for tourists to visit nearby businesses.