Foothills Conservancy partners with businesses across the region to celebrate a day of land protection

May 9, 2018

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 ...

Foothills Conservancy hosts dog-friendly picnic outing at Smith Cliffs/Henry Fork River Preserve

May 7, 2018

On Saturday, May 19, Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina will host “Picnic With the Pups,” an outing for dogs and their owners, at its Cane Brake property, part of the Smith Cliffs/Henry Fork River Preserve in Burke County. Cane Brake is a beautiful 32-acre property along the Henry Fork River in Burke County, featuring a large ...

Foothills Conservancy purchases 90 acres in McDowell County for Fonta Flora State Trail expansion

April 18, 2018

Foothills Conservancy purchased 90 acres of land near Old Fort in McDowell County on February 27 and conveyed the property to North Carolina State Parks on April 17. The acquisition was a conservation partnership among Foothills Conservancy, Camp Grier, and Dan and Denisa Allison, all of whom purchased portions of the property to help expand ...

Saving Hemlocks organization conducts predator beetle release on Foothills Conservancy property in Burke County

April 13, 2018

The Eastern hemlock trees on Foothills Conservancy’s Cane Brake property in Burke County are getting some special treatment courtesy of Saving Hemlocks, an organization based in Western North Carolina that promotes biological control of Hemlock woolly adelgids. Cane Brake, which is part of the conservancy’s Smith Cliff/Henry Fork River Preserve, recently became a stop on Saving ...

Foothills Conservancy hosts mountain biking adventure on Fonta Flora State Trail

April 10, 2018

On Saturday, April 21, Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina will host a mountain biking trip on the Fonta Flora State Trail loop around Lake James, led by the conservancy’s executive director and avid mountain biker, Andrew Kota. The 8-mile bike ride is a challenging course and previous mountain biking experience is suggested. Bikers will follow the ...

Foothills Conservancy Assists Tuttle Forest Foundation in Land Acquisition for State Forest

April 2, 2018

On March 23, the Tuttle Forest Foundation acquired 20 acres of land adjoining the 288-acre Tuttle Educational State Forest in Caldwell County with support from Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina. The Tuttle Educational State Forest is a unique educational resource to teach the public, especially children, about the forest environment. It features self-guided trails that include ...

Gallery: Acres and Ales 2018

April 2, 2018

4th Annual Acres and Ales Friendraiser The rain and cold didn’t keep people away at our 4th Annual Acres and Ales on March 24th! We were astounded by the outpouring of support we saw at this always-fun ‘friend’raiser. Brown Mountain Bottleworks was extremely generous in not only hosting, but donating $1 for every pint sold at ...

Gallery: Hiking at our Sank Gap and South Mountains Preserves

March 12, 2018

South Mountains Preserve Hike Winter weather subsided for the weekend as five Foothills Conservancy supporters came from all around—two as far as Raleigh—to hike a section of the South Mountains Headwaters Preserve. Conservation Associate Ryan Sparks led the hikers along an old logging road up to a small knoll. The area was impacted by wildfires in ...

“The Great Green Hope” – Foothills Conservancy featured on BlueRidgeOutdoors.com

March 9, 2018

Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine is a prestigious outdoor magazine that focuses on outdoor sports, health, and travel in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic. It is distributed every month from Baltimore to Atlanta. We were contacted by Blue Ridge Outdoors Magazine Online writer Brian Cooke, who was interested in writing a story about the work that land ...

Foothills Conservancy Hosts Guided Hike on South Mountains Headwaters Preserve March 3

February 26, 2018

On Saturday, March 3, Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina will host a public hike at its South Mountains Headwaters Preserve, led by the conservancy’s conservation associate, Ryan Sparks. The hike will begin with a short, strenuous ascent up to a beautiful, flat cove, followed by an easy walk along a primitive road at the shared boundary ...

Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina Welcomes New Members to Board of Directors

February 21, 2018

Foothills Conservancy is pleased to announce the addition of Michelle Garey, Andrew Blumenthal, and Robin Brackett (pictured above, respectively) to its board of directors. The conservancy strives for board representation from each of the eight counties it serves: Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Cleveland, Lincoln, McDowell, and Rutherford. In this new class of board members, Garey ...

Foothills Conservancy Hosts Guided Hike at Sank Gap Property Near Old Fort

February 12, 2018

On Saturday, February 17, Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina will host a hike at its Sank Gap property in McDowell County, led by the conservancy’s land protection director, Tom Kenney. Now part of Foothills Conservancy’s Catawba Headwaters Preserve near Old Fort, the tract’s 259 acres include source streams of Little Crooked Creek, Sank Gap, and ...

Five Beautiful (and Free!) Places to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

February 8, 2018

Wracking your brain for unique and low-cost Valentine’s Day ideas? Consider the gift of quality time in nature’s beauty! Our region has so many wonderful, easily accessible outdoor wonders with activities for all ages and ability levels. From beautiful scenic overlooks off the Blue Ridge Parkway, to hikes short and long, the public lands in ...

Town of Valdese purchases 302 acres along Lake Rhodhiss to become town’s first lake park

February 7, 2018

The Town of Valdese in Burke County has acquired 302 acres along Lake Rhodhiss and McGalliard Creek to become Valdese Lakeside Park, the town’s newest and largest public park. Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina secured the purchase agreement with the seller, Caldwell Timber Partners, as well as a grant of $673,247 from the Clean Water Management ...

Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation Awards $35,000 Grant to the Catawba-Wateree Clean Water Initiative

February 6, 2018

Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina received a $35,000 grant from Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation to fund the continuation of the Catawba-Wateree Clean Water Initiative. The Catawba-Wateree Clean Water Initiative was formed in 2013 by Foothills Conservancy, Catawba Lands Conservancy, and The Conservation Fund to identify and protect watershed lands and forests throughout the Catawba-Wateree River Basin ...

Foothills Conservancy Hosts Shortoff Mountain Hike January 20

January 11, 2018

On Saturday, January 20, Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina hosts a hike at Shortoff Mountain in the Linville Gorge, led by Executive Director Andrew Kota. The three-hour hike to the top of the mountain will be strenuous, and will feature views of conservancy-protected lands, including parts of the Linville Gorge and Lake James. Hikers will ...

Beth Willard Patton Promoted to Associate Director of Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina

January 9, 2018

Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina is pleased to announce the promotion of Beth Willard Patton to associate director. In this role, Patton will oversee the organization’s administrative and financial functions and will continue to lead its development program, working with Communications and Outreach Associate Sophie Shelton to achieve strategic marketing, communications and fundraising goals. A valued member ...

Conservation of Wildacres Retreat Promises Clean Water and Pristine Parkway Views

January 3, 2018

Wildacres Retreat, a 1,076-acre property adjacent to Pisgah National Forest and the Blue Ridge Parkway, is now permanently protected thanks to a collaborative partnership among Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina, Conservation Trust for North Carolina (CTNC), and Wildacres Retreat. Wildacres Retreat, located in northern McDowell County near Little Switzerland, is a nonprofit conference center governed by ...

Cannon Foundation Awards $50,000 to Foothills Conservancy for Bear Den Land Acquisition

December 20, 2017

The Cannon Foundation, based in Concord, North Carolina, awarded a $50,000 grant to Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina on December 18 to help the land trust transfer a 208-acre property adjoining the Blue Ridge Parkway at the Bear Den Overlook (milepost 323) into public ownership. The Bear Den property borders 1.7 miles of the Blue Ridge ...

Family Farm in Cleveland County Permanently Protected with Conservation Easement

December 13, 2017

Clover Hill Farm, a 192-acre cattle farm in northern Cleveland County, was placed under a conservation easement with Foothills Conservancy on December 8, 2017. The Century Farm has been owned by Myron Edwards’ family for more than 150 years. A North Carolina Century Farm designation indicates that a farm has had continuous ownership by a ...

Granite Falls Brewing Company Hosts Membership Drive for Foothills Conservancy December 2

November 28, 2017

On Saturday, December 2, Granite Falls Brewing Company in Granite Falls, North Carolina hosts “Brews for Views,” a membership drive for Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina. From 6pm to 9pm attendees can enjoy the brew-pub’s food and beer while supporting and learning more about the region’s nonprofit land trust. In addition to hosting the membership drive ...

Foothills Conservancy Hosts Linville Falls Geology Hike November 4

October 24, 2017

On Saturday, November 4, Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina hosts a geology hike at Linville Falls along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Participants are invited to explore the geology of the falls area as geologist Steve Gurley leads the moderate three-hour hike. In addition to examining the rock types and composition, this hike offers beautiful views of ...

Foothills Conservancy Welcomes Two New Staff Members

October 3, 2017

Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina is pleased to announce two new members of its team: Isaac Crouch, office and finance administrator, and Sophie Shelton, communications and outreach associate. As office and finance administrator, Isaac Crouch oversees daily operations of the conservancy’s office and manages its finances and donor records. Crouch grew up in Morganton and holds ...

Foothills Conservancy Protects 183 Acres Along Tim’s Creek in Burke County

September 26, 2017

A 183-acre property along Tim’s Creek in the Icard Township of eastern Burke County is now permanently protected thanks to conservation-minded landowners who worked with Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina to place it under a conservation easement. Diane and Jacques Geitner donated a conservation easement on their property to Foothills Conservancy, ensuring that the land will ...

Guided Hike at Wildacres Retreat Center September 23

September 13, 2017

On Saturday, September 23, Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina, Conservation Trust for North Carolina, and Wildacres Retreat Center will co-host a public hike on the beautiful Wildacres Retreat Center trail network. Beginning at 10:30 a.m., the moderate two-hour hike will weave through rhododendron forests, pristine streams, and scenic vistas. Following the hike, the land trusts will ...

Foothills Conservancy Names Andrew Kota Next Executive Director

August 23, 2017

Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina’s Board of Directors is pleased to announce its next executive director, Andrew Kota, who currently serves as associate director of Foothills Conservancy. Kota was unanimously selected by the search committee after it conducted a nationwide search for the 22-year-old regional land trust’s next leader. He will officially become executive director on ...

Study Underway to Identify Key Conservation Lands for Water Security in Catawba-Wateree River Watershed

August 7, 2017

Project funded by the Catawba-Wateree Water Management Group and Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina A study is underway by RTI International of Raleigh to examine the future impacts of land use changes on the water resources of the Catawba-Wateree Basin. Funded by the Catawba-Wateree Water Management Group and a grant to Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina, ...

Foothills Conservancy 2017 Blue Ridge Foothills Protection Challenge Underway

August 3, 2017

Gifts made by August 31 matched dollar-for-dollar Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina’s 2017 Blue Ridge Foothills Protection Challenge is underway and this year the goal has been increased to $80,000. Two anonymous individuals together have pledged $37,500 and the von Drehle Corporation of Hickory has pledged $2,500 to match up to a total of $40,000 for this ...

Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina Seeks Next Executive Director

June 13, 2017

Nominations, expressions of interest, and applications currently being accepted The Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina Board of Directors has formed a search committee and retained Capital Development Services, a fundraising counsel and executive search firm based in Winston-Salem, to conduct the search for its next executive director. Founding Executive Director Susie Hamrick Jones announced in May that ...

Foothills Conservancy Executive Director Susie Hamrick Jones to Retire

May 23, 2017

MORGANTON, NC—Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina’s executive director Susie Hamrick Jones will retire, effective September 1, 2017. Hamrick Jones was among Foothills Conservancy’s founding board members in 1995 and has led the organization as its executive director since 1997. During her tenure, Foothills Conservancy has grown from a small grassroots group that coalesced to protect the ...

Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina to Benefit Catawba River Basin with $100,000 Grant from Duke Energy

May 17, 2017

Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina received a $100,000 grant to continue its work to protect the waters of the Catawba River Basin in North and South Carolina. The grant is part of the Water Resources Fund, a $10 million commitment from Duke Energy. Foothills Conservancy is one of 14 organizations across North and South Carolina to ...

Foothills Conservancy’s Catawba Headwaters Preserve Grows by 259 Acres

May 4, 2017

Acquisition funded entirely through private contributions Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina is pleased to announce that, in an effort fully funded by private contributions, it has purchased and permanently protected 259 acres in the Catawba River’s headwaters near Old Fort in McDowell County. The property, known as the Sank Gap tract, contains nearly a mile of the ...

Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina Expands Staff

March 30, 2017

Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina is pleased to announce that it is growing its staff to provide additional communications, financial and administrative support. To increase its team’s administrative and communications capacities, the conservancy is seeking a full-time communications and outreach associate, a part-time staff accountant and a part-time office administrator. Now in its twenty-second year, the ...

Foothills Conservancy and Camp Grier Collaborate to Conserve 203 Acres

March 23, 2017

Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina and Camp Grier in Old Fort have collaborated to permanently conserve 203 acres in the Jarrett Creek watershed portion of the non-profit camp’s property. Conservation easements on the land will protect forested stream buffers and include other conservation provisions to ensure that stream water quality, extensive natural habitats, and scenic public ...

Tanawha Adventures’ South Mountains Marathons Net Donation, New Members for Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina

March 20, 2017

The South Mountains Marathons, a pair of trail races in the South Mountains created by Tanawha Adventures, netted a $3,500 donation as well as 10 new members for Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina, the land trust serving the South Mountains area. Brandon Thrower, founder of Tanawha Adventures, selected the conservancy as one of the beneficiaries of ...

Foothills Conservancy Protects 81 Acres Along the Broad River in Rutherford County

March 2, 2017

Eighty-one acres along a half-mile of the Broad River in Rutherford County are now permanently protected thanks to two conservation-minded landowners who worked with Foothills Conservancy to place a conservation easement on the land. Siblings Nancy Koone Montgomery and Max Koone donated a conservation easement on the family land to Foothills Conservancy, thus ensuring that it ...

Foothills Conservancy Adds 26 Acres to Smith Cliffs/Henry Fork River Preserve in Burke County

February 21, 2017

Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina has added 26 acres along the Henry Fork River in Burke County to its Smith Cliffs/Henry Fork River Preserve. The addition of this tract brings the preserve’s size to 116 acres and connects the preserve lands to River Road, giving the conservancy better access for management. The tract is positioned between ...

Andrew Kota Promoted to Associate Director of Foothills Conservancy

February 10, 2017

Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina is pleased to announce the promotion of Andrew Kota to associate director. As associate director, Kota is now second in charge at the conservancy, reporting to Executive Director Susie Hamrick Jones. In this role, he will oversee the organization’s administrative and financial functions as well as its conservation program, comprised of land ...

Ryan Sparks Joins Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina as Conservation Associate

January 31, 2017

Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina is pleased to announce that Ryan Sparks has joined its team as conservation associate. In this role, Sparks’ primary responsibility will be to steward Foothills Conservancy’s more than 3,500 acres of conservation easement lands and its more than 4,000 acres of conservancy-owned preserves. This includes annual monitoring of these properties and ...

Foothills Conservancy Protects History and Headwaters with 93-acre McDowell County Acquisition

December 2, 2016

Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina has acquired a 93-acre tract in the Dysartsville Township of eastern McDowell County that permanently protects important headwaters of Cane Creek and a piece of Revolutionary War history. The property, known as the Melton Tract, adjoins the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission’s South Mountains Game Lands to the west, and U.S. ...

Fonta Flora State Trail Stakeholder Meeting – Thursday, December 8, 2016

November 16, 2016

A message from Tim Johnson, Burke County Community Development: Please join us for the first Fonta Flora State Trail Stakeholder Meeting in Morganton, North Carolina!  Learn more about the Fonta Flora State Trail – What is a State Trail?  Where does it go?  How will it benefit my community? On Thursday, December 8, 2016, from 1:00 – ...

Foothills Conservancy Protects 208 Acres at Bear Den Overlook on Blue Ridge Parkway

October 3, 2016

A key portion of the scenic view from the popular Bear Den Overlook along the Blue Ridge Parkway is now permanently protected thanks to Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina. Foothills Conservancy moved swiftly to acquire 208 forested acres along 1.6 miles of the parkway between mileposts 323 and 325 in McDowell County. The conservancy purchased the ...

Lake James State Park Grows as Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina Donates Historic Whippoorwill Farm Property

August 26, 2016

Lake James State Park has grown by 41 acres with Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina’s donation today of the historic Whippoorwill Farm property to the State of North Carolina. In a 10 o’clock dedication ceremony this morning, N.C. State Parks officials gathered with members of the community, project donors and funders, including representatives from the N.C. ...

Foothills Conservancy Receives $1M Clean Water Management Trust Fund Grant for Conservation of Wildacres Retreat

August 24, 2016

A $1 million grant from North Carolina’s Clean Water Management Trust Fund recently awarded to Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina brings the 1,100-acre Wildacres Retreat one step closer to permanent protection. The critical tract lies along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Little Switzerland, N.C. Wildacres Retreat is a nonprofit conference center governed by a board of ...

Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina Earns National Recognition

August 19, 2016

Accreditation Promotes Public Trust, Ensures Permanence Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina, a nonprofit regional land trust based in Morganton, N.C., today announced it has achieved renewed accreditation—a mark of distinction in land conservation. The Land Trust Accreditation Commission awarded renewed accreditation, signifying its confidence that Foothills Conservancy’s lands will be protected forever. Almost 15 million acres of ...

Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund Protects Key Pisgah National Forest and Blue Ridge Parkway Tract

August 9, 2016

On July 20, Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina completed transfer of the Buck Creek Gap tract in McDowell County to the United States Forest Service. The Forest Service competed for funding at the national level and ultimately received $330,000 in Recreational Priority Access funds from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) program in ...

Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina Reaches 50,000-Acre Milestone with 377-Acre South Mountains Acquisition

July 28, 2016

Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina reached an important milestone this week with the acquisition of 377 acres in the Ivy Creek watershed of the South Mountains, which brings the land trust’s 20-year protection record over the 50,000-acre mark to a total of 50,322 acres. “Foothills Conservancy formed in late 1995 to protect the 18,000-acre Rollins Tract ...

North Carolina’s Local Land Trusts Present Annual Awards to Five Conservation Leaders

May 31, 2016

Press release from Conservation Trust for North Carolina: North Carolina’s 24 local land trusts bestowed their annual awards on deserving winners during a dinner celebration at the 2016 Land Trust Assembly in Raleigh on Wednesday, May 25.  The NC Land Trust awards are given annually to businesses, nonprofits, governments, and individuals who lead efforts to protect ...

Acres + Ales Event at Brown Mountain Bottleworks Nets Record Number of Members For Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina

April 8, 2016

The March 19 Acres + Ales membership drive hosted by Brown Mountain Bottleworks in downtown Morganton netted a record-setting number of memberships for Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina. The evening raised $1,931 for Foothills Conservancy, including 29 new or renewed memberships, making it the conservancy’s most successful membership drive, and nearly doubling the number of memberships gained ...

Foothills Conservancy Commemorates 20th Anniversary with Public Celebration April 23

April 5, 2016

In honor of its 20th anniversary, Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina is hosting a public celebration on Saturday, April 23 from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Camp Golden Valley in the South Mountains of northern Rutherford County. The event is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are required by 5 p.m. Friday, April ...

Foothills Conservancy and Fonta Flora Brewery Partner to Protect Historic Whippoorwill Dairy Farm

March 23, 2016

Whippoorwill Dairy Farm, a beautiful, historic Burke County farm, will soon be permanently protected thanks to a unique partnership between Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina and Fonta Flora Brewery. With funding from private donors and the N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund, Foothills Conservancy has purchased the majority of the scenic farm, approximately 40 acres which ...

Foothills Conservancy adds 32 acres to Smith Cliff/Henry Fork River Preserve

February 12, 2016

Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina has added 32 acres along a half-mile of the Henry Fork River in Burke County to its Smith Cliff/Henry Fork River Preserve. The tract, known as the Cane Brake Property, is positioned between the Smith Cliff/Henry Fork River Preserve and the conservancy’s South Mountains Headwaters Preserve. The property is mainly forested, ...

Foothills Conservancy Hosts Presentation on the History of Pisgah National Forest by Author Marci Spencer, February 20

February 12, 2016

WHAT: Presentation: A History of Pisgah National Forest WHO: Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina WHERE: Historic Burke County Courthouse, 102 E Union St, Morganton, NC 28655 WHEN: Saturday, February 20, 2016 • 10:30 a.m. – noon COST: Free to Foothills Conservancy members; Non-members $10 On Saturday, February 20, Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina hosts “A History of Pisgah National Forest,” ...

Lake James North Carolina

Governor McCrory Announces Property Acquisition for Lake James State Park

January 11, 2016

Press Release from North Carolina State Parks Governor Pat McCrory announced today that a high-quality tract of land, formerly owned by Crescent Communities, has been added to Lake James State Park with the help of The Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina and grants from two conservation trust funds. “This acquisition will allow us to preserve the natural ...

Lake Hickory Lots for Sale

August 14, 2015

Interested in owning property with views of Lake Hickory? Foothills Conservancy is seeking one or more buyers for 28 ready-to-build residential lots it owns in the Diamond Pointe Estates Subdivision at Lake Hickory. Bid and purchase a lot between August 18 – 25! The lots are located in an active subdivision ten minutes from Hickory, on ...

Public Comments Invited: Foothills Conservancy Seeks to Renew National Accreditation

August 13, 2015

Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina is pleased to announce it is applying for renewal of national accreditation as a land trust. The land trust accreditation program recognizes land conservation organizations that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. In 2010, Foothills Conservancy was among the first 113 land trusts in ...

2015 Blue Ridge Foothills Protection Challenge

July 2, 2015

Make a 2-for-1 Natural Investment This Summer! Invest in the beautiful lands and waters of the Blue Ridge Mountains and foothills this summer and watch your dollars double during Foothills Conservancy’s 2015 Blue Ridge Foothills Protection Challenge. Between now and August 31, your gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar, doubling your impact and helping us reach our $60,000 goal! Other ...

Plough to Pantry: Preserving the Catawba River (Winter 2015)

June 30, 2015

From the Winter 2015-Vol.1 Issue 1 of Plough to Pantry, an article highlighting Foothills Conservancy’s protection work in the upper Catawba River basin and at Wild & Scenic Wilson Creek.