102 Acres of NC Watershed Protected
CHARLOTTE, NC, 9/25/01 – Another 102 acres of the Mountain Island Lake watershed were permanently protected Wednesday in the busiest year yet for the Mountain Island Lake Initiative, a public private partnership aimed at protecting 80 percent of the lake’s remaining undeveloped shoreline and stream banks. The Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit conservation organization, conveyed the 102-acre Robbins property in Cornelius to Mecklenburg County, which committed $3.56 million of its resources for the acquisition.
The Robbins property, located on Catawba Avenue in Cornelius, contains 50 acres of woodlands and creeks, including 10,000 feet of creek frontage, which will be managed for watershed protection by Mecklenburg County as part of their extensive system of nature preserves. “With this acquisition, the County has protected and now manages more than 3,200 acres of nature preserve in the Mountain Island Lake watershed. This is a tremendous accomplishment in this era of rapid land development and urban sprawl,” said Steve Law, manager, Division of Natural Resources for Mecklenburg County.
In an innovative partnership, the remaining 52 acres of uplands will be developed and maintained as a community park by the Town of Cornelius. “Our community is very excited about this project with Mecklenburg County and the Trust for Public Land,” said town manager Bob Race. “Conserving the Robbins property as open space will not only protect sensitive watershed lands, it will also provide much needed recreational opportunities for residents of Cornelius – it is truly a win-win situation.”
This is the fourth project that the Trust for Public Land and Mecklenburg County have completed together this year, bringing an additional 267 acres of the Mountain Island Lake watershed into public ownership. The successful completion of these four projects marks 2001 as the busiest year yet in the watershed protection partnership between the Trust for Public Land and Mecklenburg County.
The first three projects are:
- Dellinger Property: 67 acres that are now part of Mecklenburg County’s nature preserve system on the lake’s northeastern shore. Mecklenburg County committed $1.273 million of its resources for the acquisition of this property.
- Banks Property: 25 acres on McDowell and Torrance creeks in northern Mecklenburg County. This property has 3,000 feet of creek frontage and is a North Carolina historical landmark. Mecklenburg County committed $425,000 of its resources for the acquisition of the Banks property.
- Kidd Property: 73 acres with 5,000 feet of creek frontage on McDowell Creek, one of Mecklenburg County’s most pristine waterways. Mecklenburg County committed $889,000 of its resources to the acquisition of this property.
“TPL has now helped protect more than 2,000 acres of the Mountain Island Lake watershed in Gaston, Lincoln, and Mecklenburg counties,” said Bridgett Thompson, Mountain Island Lake program director for the Trust for Public Land. “We are indebted to Mecklenburg County for their ongoing commitment to this program, and look forward to reaching our overall goal of protecting 80 percent of the lake’s remaining undeveloped shoreline and stream banks soon.”
More than a million people in Gaston, Lincoln, and Mecklenburg counties get their drinking water from Mountain Island Lake. In 1998, TPL helped spearhead the development of the Mountain Island Lake Initiative, a diverse coalition of individuals, conservation groups, foundations, and local governments, committed to protecting the water quality of Mountain Island Lake through land conservation.
The Trust for Public Land (TPL) is a national conservation organization dedicated to protecting land for people. Since 1972, TPL has protected more than 1.2 million acres nationwide valued at $2 billion. TPL has helped protect more than 10,000 acres across the state, from the shores of Mountain Island Lake to the headwaters of the Chattooga River. The Wall Street Journal’s Smart Money magazine recently named TPL the nation’s most efficient large conservation charity, based on the percentage of funds dedicated to programs. For more information, please visit www.tpl.org.