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 nearly 8,700 acres of our area’s valuable natural resources. PAC holds conservation easements on 64 protected properties. PAC owns 25 properties. PAC is responsible for monitoring 72 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 4,818 acres annually to make certain that the terms of the conservation agreements are upheld. The land trust also owns property covering over 440 acres.
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.”
Thank you for a wonderful PAC Fall Hiking Series!
The Fall Hiking Series offered five hikes to beautiful protected lands in our area, most of which offered glorious views for enjoying the beautiful array of autumn colors!
The Fall Hiking Series was attended by 80 participants, and two participants attended all five hikes and were awarded a bumper sticker acknowledging their accomplishment!
Congratulations to Dan Easley and Jean Shaw for completing PAC’s Hiking Challenge!
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.
January 21 – macro-photography with Ben Mullinax
February 18 – “North Carolina’s Red Wolves: An Imperiled Future” with Christian Hunt with Defenders of Wildlife.
May 27 – Mycologist, Tradd Cotter, will present, “Mushrooms: Dark matter that binds life.”
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.”
Keep an eye out for more confirmed dates and interesting topics!
March 14 – Dr. Gillian Newberry will present on “Endangered Plants of the Piedmont” at 6:00 p.m.
April 11 – Dr. Timothy Spira will present on “Favorite Spring Wildflowers in the Blue Ridge Mountains” at 6:00 p.m.
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!
Follow this link to download and print the pocket guides!
Each fall, as conditions in the north become unfavorable, millions of Monarch butterflies migrate from the U.S. and Canada to overwintering sites in Mexico and California. As spring returns and conditions become more favorable, these butterflies return to their summer range in the north. North America’s Monarch migration is one of the greatest natural history spectacles on Earth, but these beautiful insects are threatened due to habitat loss in their summer breeding range.
Consequently, many non-governmental groups, including the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC), are encouraging their members, partners, and area residents to restore milkweed and native nectar-plant habitat for Monarchs and the need is critical.
Therefore, PAC is urging the public to create butterfly gardens that cater to the Monarch butterfly, Monarch Waystation Habitats. Monarch Waystations provide the necessary plants for Monarchs to produce successive generations and sustain their annual migration. Milkweeds, the host plant to the larvae (caterpillars) of the Monarch, enable Monarch’s to produce successive generations, resulting in the migration each fall. Likewise, without nectar from flowers, the butterflies migrating in the fall would lack the necessary energy to be able to make the long journey to their overwintering grounds.
Thanks to a grant from Loti Woods, PAC has created three Monarch Waystations and distributed over 300 Monarch Waystation Seed Kits that include approximately 100 seeds each, with 8 varieties of nectar plants and 3 varieties of Monarch larval host plants (milkweed) that are all native to Polk County.
Let’s work together to save the migratory Monarch!
For more information on this topic, click here.
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”:
-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!
If 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.