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154 Acres in Falls Lake Watershed Acquired
Tar River Land Conservancy recently purchased 154 acres near Creedmoor in southern Granville County. The land will remain permanently off-limits to development to protect extensive wetlands and forest found on the property.
Robertson Creek flows through the newly preserved property before converging with Falls Lake one mile downstream. Falls Lake serves as the primary drinking water for Raleigh and other downstream communities.
Funding to acquire the Robertson Creek property was provided by the State of North Carolina’s Clean Water Management Trust Fund, the City of Raleigh, and the City of Creedmoor. The Conservancy purchased the land from the Haynes and Suitt families. Officials from Raleigh, Creedmoor, and other land trusts toured the property on June 5, 2014, to discuss the project and the benefits to Falls Lake and local community.
Farming occurred on the Haynes and Suitt land at one time but was discontinued years ago. “Trees have reclaimed most of the formerly open land to create some wonderful wildlife habitat,” noted Derek Halberg, Executive Director of Tar River Land Conservancy. “Beavers have also created large wetlands along Robertson Creek, providing prime habitat for migrating and resident waterfowl.”
One sign of the land’s past use is a former hog waste lagoon that was abandoned in the late 1980s. Working with the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and Granville County Soil & Water Conservation District, the Conservancy expects to clean up the lagoon and restore the site to native plant cover later this summer.
“By removing the old hog lagoon and replanting the site, we can eliminate a threat to water quality,” Halberg emphasized. “We are thrilled that we can address such a lingering risk to drinking water and also preserve habitat on the same property.”
The Conservancy’s land connects to land previously preserved by Creedmoor and the Clean Water Management Trust Fund. Creedmoor’s long-term plans call for greenway trails to link the protected properties to residential neighborhoods.
Tar River Land Conservancy plans to offer a guided hike on its Robertson Creek tracts this coming fall. People who would like to receive the announcement about the hike should send an email with their contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.