Davidson Lands Conservancy (DLC) hosted a Conservation Celebration on Saturday, January 7 at the Hurt Hub.  The event was a gathering of about 100 Conservancy supporters and interested community members.  The celebration party included food, drink, and music by Mike Orlando and Gene McIntosh.  A raffle of artisan gifts contributed to the event vibe – a good time was had by all.

DLC Board President Paul Freestone conducted the organization’s annual meeting and reported on advances in four conservation programs or pillars: land conservation; greenways; urban forestry; and wildlife habitat.  During the meeting, Pay Hay was voted in for a second term on the Conservancy’s Board of Directors.  Pam, a longtime Conservancy supporter, co-chairs DLC’s Education & Engagement Committee and serves as Chair of the Wildlife Enhancement Collaborative, a community effort to enhance the wildlife habitat at Fisher Farm and Abersham Parks.

John Griffith, Board member, and Development Committee chair announced the public launch of the Now & Forever Campaign, the Conservancy’s capital drive for high impact and sustainability.  The campaign has raised a total of $850,000 to date in the quiet phase toward a total goal of $1,750,000.  The organization will now reach out to the broader community to secure funding to ensure the continuation of its conservation work.

Dave Cable, Executive Director, summarized the goals for the coming year and revealed his emotional connection to conservation in expressing deep appreciation for the community’s extraordinary support.  Trane Technologies was recognized as an outstanding corporate partner, received by DLC Board member and Trane executive, Scott Tew.  The Town of Davidson, represented by Mayor Rusty Knox, was presented with DLC’s outstanding community partner award.  Brent Evans, DLC Board member, treasurer, and TreesDavidson co-chair, was awarded DLC’s 2022 Volunteer of the Year.

One attendee and supporter noted, “What we saw and experienced at the gathering was a transformation of the DLC – new supporters, civic and business partners, and partnerships all focused on the mission of DLC.   This meeting showed very positive growth and interest in conservation that will continue to benefit Davidson.”

This was a celebration of great local conservation achievements and a realistic summary of the challenges and importance of the Conservancy’s work.

DLC Achievements – 2021 & 2022

  • Permanently conserved 120 acres, and advanced numerous local land conservation projects
  • Met all land stewardship requirements
  • Led community review of the proposed West Branch Stream Restoration resulting in significant project improvements and cost savings
  • Planted 266 15-gallon containerized trees with community volunteers
  • Launched the Treasure Tree program with underwriting from Trane Technologies
  • Established and led the Davidson Tree Council
  • Completed a comprehensive organization review and established DLC 3-year strategic plan
  • Developed and advanced the Now & Forever Campaign
  • Received $700,000 in grant funding for various land, tree, and greenway projects
  • Launched Wildlife Enhancement Collaborative for Fisher Farm / Abersham
  • Completed the corridor plan for the West Branch Greenway
  • Met operational targets, completed clean audits, and ran budget surpluses each year
  • Successfully hosted Run For Green, NatureFest, three stream clean-ups, 17 community and student events, and numerous collaborative children’s events with WOW
  • Led a conservation education summer program at the Freedom School at Ada Jenkins
  • Partnered with eight Davidson College student interns
  • Received Davidson College’s Community Partner of the Year designation
  • Transferred Cook Preserve to the State of North Carolina as part of a nature preserve