Ad Spot

October 16, 2021

Grants to double size of Spencer nature preserve

By Carl Blankenship
carl.blankenship@salisburypost.com

SPENCER — Three Rivers Land Trust has received funding to significantly expand the Fred and Alice Stanback Educational Forest and Nature Preserve.

The existing 42-acre property will gain 50 more acres, connecting the preserve to Grants Creek. The Duke Energy Foundation contributed $10,000 to Three Rivers for the acquisition, and the trust has received another $10,000 private donation. The rest of the funding has been “provisionally” awarded for the acquisition by the N.C. Land and Water Fund, with the remaining amount expected to be made available in early 2021.

The land will be transferred to the Town of Spencer after Three Rivers acquires the property from a private owner and added to the existing park.

Crystal Cockman, preservation director for Three Rivers Land Trust, said the trust has a conservation easement on the existing park with the town to preserve it. The funding for the initial purchase was in honor of the Stanbacks, notable local philanthropists, and collected from a number of private donors. Cockman said it is unique to have an undeveloped and intact natural community with as much biodiversity as the park does near a downtown area.

Cockman said the land trust tries to maintain and improve habitats. It performed a natural heritage inventory on the area this spring and found a rare plant species in the park along with a number of native species, such as wild ginger and Jack-in-the-pulpit.

A Catawba College intern also performed an inventory of invasive species, and the trust has had some goats who were volunteered to feast on the kudzu in the park trim back the vine.

The current park has about 2.5 miles of trails. The addition will allow more trails to be built as well as creek access so locals can cast off on canoe or kayaking expeditions.

A passive park means the intention is to keep human intervention minimal by not cutting trees or having many structures.

“We’re trying to keep it in its natural state,” Cockman said, adding nearby Salisbury has always been the trust’s home. Having the amenity close for everyone in the county is a great resource, she said. Cockman walked the trails at the park on Tuesday for national Take a Hike Day.

Spencer Mayor Jonathan Williams said the expansion is a great opportunity to grow what he called a jewel in Spencer.

“It protects important, undeveloped natural land,” Williams said. “As we know, in our municipal areas, there is not a lot of that these days.”

Williams said the town is continually wanting to promote its green spaces, including through an N.C. Department of Transportation grant it was awarded to provide pedestrian and bicycle access from the Yadkin trailhead into town.

Comments

Nation/World

Clinton recovering from infection 

Crime

Teen charged in shooting at Mount Tabor High School held without bond

Nation/World

Marine officer receives reprimand for Afghanistan criticism

Elections

Beasley top fundraiser in third quarter for Senate race

Farm & Garden

Nearly 1-ton pumpkin sets record at state fair

High School

High school football: Loeblein throws record six TD passes for Falcons; Cavs, Hornets romp

Nation/World

UK lawmaker stabbed to death in terrorist act

Crime

Cooleemee man arrested after trading gunfire with Davie County investigators in Rowan

Elections

Salisbury council candidates list crime reduction, hiring a new city manager among city’s top priorities

Crime

Blotter: Man charged with trio of vehicle break-ins

Coronavirus

Catawba College will require COVID-19 vaccinations in 2022

Local

City selects Sada Stewart Troutman as new Downtown Salisbury Inc. director

Local

Rowan Republicans’ Lincoln-Reagan Dinner brings conservatives together for night of speeches, awards

High School

Photos: South Rowan volleyball team’s Senior Night, Falcons’ unblemished SPC season

Coronavirus

Four new COVID-19 deaths make 433 in Rowan since start of pandemic

Nation/World

Bill Clinton in hospital for non-COVID-related infection

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

FDA panel endorses lower-dose Moderna COVID shot for booster

High School

High school volleyball: West edges South for unbeaten SPC season

Nation/World

Full pension restored for FBI official fired under Trump

News

Former Gov. Perdue leading standardized testing board

Elections

Salisbury mayoral candidates Alexander, Heggins talk leadership style during Chamber of Commerce forum

Local

Photos: Rowan deputy’s funeral procession passes through downtown Salisbury

Crime

24-year-old man jailed for kidnapping, rape charges