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.
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 www.CoastalLandTrust.org 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: www.villagecraftsmen.com/news112115.htm.