Morganton’s Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina reached a milestone –50,000 acres of protected land – with the addition this week of 377 acres in the South Mountains.
The conservancy formed in 1995 to protect an 18,000-acre tract in the South Mountains.
“It is fitting that 20 years later we reached and surpassed 50,000 protected acres with a project in the South Mountains,” said executive director Susie Hamrick Jones.
The total area of North Carolina’s state parks, by comparison, is about 159,000 acres.
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Contributions from Fred and Alice Stanback of Salisbury and Cary’s Tim Sweeney helped make the new acquisition on Ivy Creek, Jones said. The land will later become part of South Mountains State Park.
The conservancy has helped protect land in iconic places including Wilson Creek, Lake James, Linville Gorge, Chimney Rock and Catawba Falls. Its work in the Blue Ridge Mountains and foothills covers eight counties.