Battaglia Land Gift Sets Stage for Future Nature Preserve

January 11, 2023

OXFORD, NC – A significant land donation from Fred Battaglia to Tar River Land Conservancy (TRLC) has ensured that 59 acres of open space will remain undeveloped in the growing community of Oxford. The transfer of the land to TRLC was completed in December 2022. Mr. Battaglia donated the land to TRLC to safeguard its forest, wetlands, and wildlife habitat. In the coming years, TRLC plans to work with local officials to create a new nature preserve on the property, which will include a network of hiking trails for visitors.

The Battaglia Tract is located southwest of downtown Oxford near Lewis Street (US-15). The property adjoins the “Village at Hatchers Creek” neighborhood that is currently under construction. The Battaglia Tract is completely forested except for six acres of wetlands that provide habitat for dozens of species of wildlife. The wetlands buffer Hatchers Run, a stream that flows through the Battaglia Tract. Prior to Mr. Battaglia’s purchase of the land in 2001 and 2002, the property was owned by several generations of the Kersey family.

“Fred’s incredible gift ensures that this land will remain green space forever,” noted Derek Halberg, TRLC Executive Director. “As the communities of Granville County continue to grow, TRLC is working with wonderful landowners like Fred Battaglia to set aside important tracts of land for conservation, and where possible, to create new outdoor recreational destinations for residents and visitors.”

Since 2016, TRLC has opened 10.8 miles of public hiking trails on four nature preserves in southern Granville County. Mr. Battaglia’s land gift now opens the door for TRLC to begin planning for a future nature preserve in the central part of the county.

“The people of Granville County have been very kind to me and the land has brought me great enjoyment over the years,” noted Mr. Battaglia. “I’m comforted to know that this land is now permanently protected and that TRLC will in the future open the property for the people to explore, enjoy and find a sense of tranquility that only nature may bring.”

Streams on the Battaglia Tract flow into Fishing Creek, which is a tributary of the Tar River. Since the protection of the property helps protect water quality and important wildlife habitat, TRLC was awarded a grant from the North Carolina Land and Water Fund ( to cover costs of the land transaction.

If you or a family member are interested in speaking with a TRLC representative about options to protect your land, please contact Derek Halberg by email at or by calling 919-496-5902 during business hours.