Wednesday, January 13, 2016

24 Acres

Many of our readers may already have learned of the acquisition of 24 acres of undeveloped land on Ocracoke Island by the North Carolina Coast Land Trust. I was out of the country late last month when Camilla Herlevich, Executive Director of the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust, issued a press release. But I want to share it with our readers now because the land is a significant parcel that should provide many benefits to island residents and visitors.  

Coastal Land Trust acquires land on Ocracoke Island

The North Carolina Coastal Land Trust announced that it has recently acquired 24 acres of barrier island hammock and marshes on the east side of Ocracoke Village. Located between Cape Hatteras National Seashore and the Ocracoke Community Ball Field, its preservation is a critical conservation addition to the island. Conservation of the property protects habitat for bird species such as Seaside Sparrow, Saltmarsh Sparrow, Black Rail, Yellow Rail, and Painted Buntings, and also protects the scenic view from N. C. Highway No. 12.

The property was conveyed to the Coastal Land Trust by the Ocracoke Preservation Society, a community-based organization dedicated to Ocracoke Island’s historical and cultural heritage. Philip Howard, President of Ocracoke Preservation Society, said “We are delighted to be able to partner with the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust in preserving this significant tract of undeveloped land, both because of its environmental importance, and because of its potential to provide islanders and visitors with an appreciation for the beauty and significance of a pristine Outer Banks marsh.” The property was originally donated to Ocracoke Preservation Society by Ross Lampe and family of Smithfield, NC.

The Coastal Land Trust hopes eventually to construct a nature walkway and interpretive signage on this newly-acquired property to enhance its enjoyment by the community. An additional management goal will be eradication or control of an invasive plant species, Phragmites, along one boundary of the property. 

The Coastal Land Trust also owns and manages the island’s largest nature preserve, Springer’s Point Nature Preserve, located on the west side of Ocracoke Village. “Ocracoke Island is such a special place,” said Lee Leidy, Northeast Director of the Coastal Land Trust. “We are delighted to be involved in preserving one of the largest remaining tracts of undeveloped land in the village. This conservation tract will be a great asset to the community, especially because it adjoins the exciting new Community Ball Field, which is the island’s first sports field. We are so pleased to work with the wonderful residents of Ocracoke Island once again.” With this new tract, the Coastal Land Trust becomes the largest non-government land owner on Ocracoke Island.

The Coastal Land Trust received two grants that helped defray, in part, its acquisition expenses; one from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and one from the Conservation Trust of North Carolina; additional funds are being sought in the amount of $5,000.

About North Carolina Coastal Land Trust:

The North Carolina Coastal Land Trust works to save the lands you love at the coast, for the benefit of all North Carolinians.  A membership organization, the Coastal Land Trust has helped save 65,000 acres of land in 22 coastal counties of the state since 1992.  The Coastal Land Trust has offices in Elizabeth City, Wilmington and New Bern.

For more information on North Carolina Coastal Land Trust, please visit and join the email list. 

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is the story of Capt. Horatio Williams and his schooner, the Paragon. You can read the story here:


  1. Bear MacDonald7:16 AM

    Today's post and yesterday's Q&A seem to me to go hand in hand. The question as posed seems intelligent and most logical. Of what "value" is an acquired 24 acres or an inlet?

    In the Book "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance", the protagonist attempts to define or quantify the word "quality." his efforts only serves to exacerbate his underlying mental illness.
    "Zen..." is truly a literary classic that may never be out of print.

  2. Anonymous10:09 AM

    As a fan of the island who appreciates every opportunity to explore its various nooks and crannies, this seems to me good news. To your knowledge, Philip, might you share a link to a map of this property. I have a rough idea of it but would be keen to see and "aerial view" (more or less). Wasn't aware you were president of the OPS, though that seems good news to me as well. Now I appreciate not only your efforts to keep us informed and entertained via this forum--as always--but also your clearly far greater efforts on behalf of Ocracoke preservation. Literally. Nice work. As if I needed one more reason to return to Ocracoke, I'm now eager to someday tour the nature walkway on this new preserve. Congrats to all who worked to make this happen, and keep up the terrific work--please and thank you! :-)

    1. I am not very adept at locating parcels on the Hyde Co. web site. I will try to find someone more knowledgeable to provide a link. And to clarify, I was President of OPS for several years. Beginning Jan. 1 Ruth Toth is the new President. I am still a member of the executive committee.

    2. Anonymous12:56 PM

      I'm not Al Gore and I did not invent the internet or google but I searched "Ocracoke Island community ball field" and something appeared and a .org site with an artists conception of the locale plus Ocracoke Field of Dreams may be useful too. Hope this Helps. DD

  3. Anonymous10:45 AM

    A sports commentator today on NPR pointed out that NFL players can weigh more than 300lbs (Obese), professional baseball players possess Extraordinary hand and eye coordination to excel (small segment of the population), basket ball players average 6' 6" (not the average boy next door) this along with the disconnect of popularity vs the participation rate of the fan base in the USA (Shrink alert) and the depression when your team looses a game O-M-G..... However, the bright spot on the ball field -- soccer, as the members of the home of the brave call it vs Football everywhere else in the WORLD. It is a sport where the athlete indeed looks like the guy next door-- if you don't live in the USA - my point, I hope the Community ball field offers a space for the Everyman sport of soccer.

  4. Anonymous6:36 PM

    did you guys know that Philip went out of the country?

  5. Anonymous6:04 PM

    yes, I think he mentioned it more than a few times.....As far as the nature walk way for the piece of land - great! I just hope they make it a long walkway where you could really enjoy it. I can't wait to walk it..

  6. Anonymous10:50 AM

    He mentioned the Berlin trip in the November 30 post - his first post about the Spencer houses on Lighthouse Road.