OUR MISSION: To protect and conserve natural resources in the Foothills of North Carolina and the Upstate of South Carolina, with emphasis on the lands and waterways with scenic, ecologic or agricultural significance in the North Pacolet and Green River watersheds.

THE VISION: A community living and growing in harmony with our natural heritage.

Welcome to the Pacolet Area Conservancy website!

Through the varied conservation tools at its disposal, the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) has helped protect over 8,700 acres of our area’s valuable natural resources. PAC holds conservation easements on 65 protected properties. PAC owns 25 properties. PAC is responsible for monitoring 73 easements annually, 7 of which are held by the state of North Carolina and one which is held by The Nature Conservancy. PAC is responsible for monitoring a total of 4823.65 acres annually to make certain that the terms of the conservation agreements are upheld.  The land trust also owns property covering over 440 acres.

We’ve moved!

moving-clip-art-xTgjEaETAVisit us at our new location in Valley Plaza, on Hwy 108 in Lynn!

2060 Lynn Road, Suite 1
Columbus, NC 28722

All of our other contact information will remain the same.  Please stop by and check out our new office space in February!



PACWalk and PACRun!

Due to construction and renovation projects at Tryon Estates, PAC’s annual PACRun & PACWalk has a new date and location! Thank you to Foothills Equestrian Nature Center (FENCE) for hosting our fundraising event this year!



Music will be performed by Turtle Power, a local band from Saluda!

Start forming your teams now!

Sponsorships available!

Click here to download a PACWalk & PACRun Flier

Click here to download a PACWalk entry form

Online registration for PACRun available at, “It’s About Time,” https://eventsignup.org/PACRun

Click here to download a PACRun entry form

Grants Available for Conservation in 2017!

IMG_3935The Conservation Trust for North Carolina (CTNC) is continuing to offer grants of up to $20,000 to help NC landowners protect their land and waterways with a voluntary conservation easement in 2017.

Land conservation provides positive benefits to all area families, every single day, and these benefits don’t last for a day, a month, or even a year.  They last forever.

Conserving natural lands provides numerous public benefits, such as safe drinking water, clean air, fresh and local foods, parks and trails for outdoor exercise, scenic views that boost the tourism economy, and extensive habitat for wildlife.

Perhaps the most important benefit of all is the satisfaction and peace of mind from knowing that you’ve conserved the land you love, guaranteeing that it will be as beautiful in the future as it is today.

Grants available through CTNC provide a wonderful opportunity for landowners to protect their land and waterways.  These grants help landowners by covering the costs associated with placing a conservation easement on their property.  The grant will cover the cost of surveys, recording fees, title opinion and title insurance, stewardship endowment, baseline documentation report, project administration cost, appraisals, and legal fees.  Landowners that protect their land with a voluntary conservation easement may also qualify for Federal Tax Incentives.

Landowners interested in learning more about protecting their property and/or waterways with a custom-made conservation easement are encouraged to contact the PAC, the local land trust that will apply for grants on behalf of the landowner.

To learn more about conservation easements and the possibility of qualifying for this grant in 2017, please contact the PAC at 828-859-5060 or landprotection@pacolet.org.  Applications are submitted quarterly: February 3, April 14, July 14, and October 13.

Click here to learn more about this opportunity and its benefits.

The PAC Spring Hiking Series begins February 17th!

Join PAC for five Friday hikes offered to the public, free of charge, this spring!


The community is invited to enjoy the beauty of our Carolinas with PAC.


Come see what the work of local conservation organizations have done for the preservation of our areas natural resources and take in the beauty of the emergence of spring!


  • February 17 – DuPont Stat Forest, Thomas Cemetery loop & Wintergreen Falls, 7-miles, easy, loop
  • March 3 – Pisgah N.F., Coontree loop to Bennett Gap Trails, 6.6-miles, moderate, in the shape of a lollipop
  • March 17 – Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area, Pinnacle Pass and Naturaland Trust trails to Moonshine Falls, 5.6-miles, moderate/difficult, out & back
  • March 31 – Pisgah N.F., paralleling the Davidson River to the North Slope trail, onto theConnector trail, then Art Loeb,8-miles, moderate, loop
  • April 14 – Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Asbury Trail, 6.8-mile, moderate, out & back
PAC invites the public to participate in a “Hiking Challenge!”
Complete all five of the hikes this spring and receive a custom bumper sticker acknowledging your accomplishment!

Click here to download a brochure of the hiking schedule.

Two additional hiking opportunities!

April 7th – join PAC and Polk County Recreation for a 10-mile, moderate hike along the Palmetto Trail, from Orchard Lake Campground trail head to the Blue Wall Preserve.

April 21Celebrate Earth Day with PAC with a hike at Walnut Creek Preserve! This is a joint hike with hikers from PAC, CMLC, and Keith Viglietta’s hiking group that will take place at Walnut Creek Preserve (WCP). The hike will be 4-5 miles; easy/moderate.

May 13 – PAC/Foothills Humane Society Hike!  Bring your dog or walk a shelter dog for the day with a a 5.5-mile hike at Chestnut Ridge Heritage Preserve in SC.

Click here to access the “Upcoming Events” page to find more information.

River Clean Up at Alexander’s Ford, March 30th!Volunteers needed!

Alexanders FordPAC is partnering with the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) and Polk County Trails on Thursday, March 30th, from 10am until 2pm to host a clean up on the Green River in the section of the river around Alexander’s Ford.

We will be meeting at the Alexander’s Ford parking lot before we begin work for the day. (Follow this link, https://www.polktrails.org/alexander-s-ford, for info about parking and where to meet!)

If you can help, please contact PAC at 828-859-5060, or email, landprotection@pacolet.org.


Click here to download a brochure about our 2017 Education Series

2017 PAC & Walnut Creek Preserve (WCP) Programs


Each month (except December), PAC & WCP will offer a Saturday morning program/presentation at the Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center at Walnut Creek Preserve.  Programs are free of charge, open to all ages, and begin at 10:30 a.m. (more info. below)

PAC/WCP programs are made possible, in part, by a grant from Mary Merritt and Bob and Babs Strickland.

March 25 – Annie Martin (AKA “Mossin’ Annie), will present, “Moss Magic in your Landscape”.

April 29 – Simon Thompson, owner of Ventures Birding Tours, will present, “Confessions of a Birding Tour Leader.”

May 27 – owner of Mushroom Mountain & mycologist, Tradd Cotter, will present, “Mushrooms: Dark matter that binds life.”

*Mushroom Mountain Farm Tour with PAC on June 14th! ($15 tour fee; pre-registration by 6/7/17 required).  Click here for information about the Farm Tour

June 17 – Tanya Poole, NCWRC Education Specialist, will present on Bats!

July 15 – Patrick McMillan, host of ETV’s Expeditions with Patrick McMillan, will present, “The Southern Blue Ridge – Crucible of Life.”

August 12 – David Campbell will present on his Floristic and Biodiversity Study of Polk County.

September 23 – “Wilderness from an ecological, cultural and aesthetic perspective,” presented by Jennifer Frick-Ruppert

October 28 – Naturalist, Tim Lee will present, “Bioluminescence: From Fireflies to Fungi.”

November 11 – Nancy Basket, basket weaver and Cherokee storyteller, will present on “basket making with Kudzu.”


For more information about these programs and scheduled 2017 programs, click on this link to go to the Upcoming Events page of this website.

Great News!
Landrum Library Free Community Events Programs Continue in 2017!
Thanks to a grant from the Polk County Community Foundation (PCCF), PAC and the Landrum Library will continue to offer free nature education programs at the Landrum Library in 2017!


We’re looking forward to working with the Landrum Library to create an exciting schedule on fascinating topics presented by fun and knowledgeable experts in their field!


April 11 – Dr. Timothy Spira will present on “Favorite Spring Wildflowers in the Blue Ridge Mountains” at 6:00 p.m.


May 9 – Dennis Chastain will present “Appalachian Sampler” at 6:30 p.m.


June 8 – naturalist, Carlton Burke, will present “Owls – Masters of the Night” at 2:00 p.m., as part of the “Summer Reading Program.”


July 18 – naturalist, Tim Lee, will present on, “Salamanders of the Carolinas,” at 6:00 p.m.


August 29 – Dr. Jack Turner and Beth Button, from the USC Upstate Watershed Ecology Center, will present on “Watersheds,” at 6:00 p.m.
community-matters-pccf-seal_transparentCheck out our “Upcoming Events” page for more information!

A Special Thank You to Foothills Riding Club!
Foothills Riding Club (FRC) awarded the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) $500 from their 2016 charitable donations!


FRC board member, Carrie Knox, explains, “The entire board of FRC chooses several nonprofits for our members to select from.  FRC is very happy that we can help Pacolet Area Conservancy.  PAC protects riding trails, hay fields, horse farms and other natural areas that are so important to the equestrian community.”

carrie-and-rebecca-horizontalRebecca Kemp, PAC president, receives a donation for PAC’s land conservation work from Carrie Knox, right, publicity chair of FRC.

Help PAC locate “Species of Interest” in Polk County!

Check out the new Polk County’s Most Wanted “pocket guides” for (1) Plants and for (2) Animals and Habitats!

Polk County's Most Wanted pocket guide to plants       Polk County's Most Wanted pocket guide to animals

Follow this link to download and print the pocket guides!

Gil's slide

PAC is in need of tools to help us continue our stewardship efforts!  If you happen to have tools lying around that you are no longer using and you would like to donate them to PAC, we would greatly appreciate it!

On our “wish list”:

-chain saws

-weed whackers

-brush saws



-work gloves

-eye and ear protection

-push lawn mower

The Polk County Community Foundation funded a grant to PAC for the first year of a survey of the flora and fauna of Polk County!

Botanist, David Campbell, has been conducting a field study and identifying and documenting important species in our area. Polk County is considered one of the ‘Jewels in the Crown’ by the botanical community in our state but is one of only five counties where no study has been done. The primary focus is on species of concern: plants, animals, natural communities, and habitats most at risk of extinction at the global or local level.

At the end of the two-year survey, all data will be recorded, a report will be written, and then the report will be distributed to all interested individuals, organizations, universities and colleges, etc.

The data will enable PAC and other organizations to take a proactive role in protecting habitats supporting species of concern at both the county and municipal level. These projects have been used by conservation organizations for decades to help prioritize their work and incorporate the data into comprehensive plans.

Campbell has been writing articles for the Tryon Daily Bulletin and Polk County News Journal, called “Polk County’s Most Wanted,” about plants, animals, and habitats unique to our area.


PAC & Landrum Library Programs

In 2016, the Polk County Community Foundation awarded PAC a Free Community Events grant which allowed us to offer seven free educational programs at the Landrum Library in 2016!  The programs were attended by a total of 400 people (277 adults and 123 children) in our community!

PAC and the Landrum Library extend their gratitude to the Polk County Community Foundation for making these programs possible!


Do you know of a sensitive area that is scheduled for clearing and contains a lot of beautiful, native plants? Contact PAC! We would love the opportunity to visit the site and, perhaps help rescue the native plants there!

For information on Voluntary Conservation Easements (Agreements), click on the link below to download the latest in depth publication, Voluntary Conservation Agreements: An Introduction for North Carolina Land Owners, or contact the Pacolet Area Conservancy for a printed version.


Click here to download the 3 MB pdf: Voluntary Conservation Agreements: An Introduction for North Carolina Land Owners


Contact us to get information about how protecting your property may qualify you in for FEDERAL TAX BENEFITS!  And how preservation of your land can set the standard for our area’s conservation efforts.

Visit us to SEE A MAP showing where your property fits in the landscape of permanently protected land in the area, and/or see where your farm fits into protected land in Horse Country!

Saving Horse CountryIf you’d like to see a 10 MINUTE VIDEO about protecting our horse country, featuring interviews about how Virginia’s Piedmont Environmental Council protected their vast Horse Country, click here. If you’d like to borrow our “Saving Horse Country” DVD, contact PAC to for details.

PAC works not only with landowners, but also with other land trusts, state and federal agencies to accomplish conservation goals. PAC also endorses the North Carolina Wildlife Action Plan, or SWAP, which encourages the preservation of wildlife through habitat conservation.

Office Hours:

Monday – Friday – 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Saturday and Sunday – Closed

Other times by appointment or by chance.