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.

Click here to read the March newsletter!



Grants up to $25,000 are available for conservation in 2016!

(Deadline – October 15th)


Contact PAC if you are interested in learning more about Conservation Easements and taking advantage of this wonderful opportunity!


Click here for more information about the grant

PAC Fall Hiking Series schedule announced!

Join the Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) for five Friday hikes offered this fall, free of charge.*


September 23 – Rainbow Falls accessed from Jones Gap State Park (part of the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area) in SC.  5-miles, strenuous, out & back *($5 park fee; $3.25 for SC seniors).

October 7 – DuPont State Forest, Cedar Rock. 3-miles, moderate, loop. Gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains right at the onset of autumn!

October 21 – Lookout Rock on the grounds of Montreat College. 4.7-miles, moderate/strenuous, loop.  Beautiful views of the surrounding mountains in full fall color!

November 4, John Rock, in Pisgah National Forest. 5-miles, strenuous, loop.  Even more beautiful views of the surrounding mountains still speckled with autumn colors, including a view of Looking Glass Rock.

November 18 Carl Sanburg National Historic Site to the summit of Glassy Mtn.  Approximately 4-miles, moderate, out & back.  After the hike, consider visiting the historic residence (a $5 fee) and the prize winning goats!

Also, PAC invites the public to participate in a “Hiking Challenge!”  Complete all five Friday PAC hikes this fall and receive a custom bumper sticker acknowledging your accomplishment!

Hiking ChallengeClick here to download the Fall Hiking Series brochure!


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 Delores Lastinger.


NEW!  PAC & Landrum Library Programs

In 2016, PAC will be offering free educational programs at the Landrum Library!  Keep an eye on the schedule below for program dates, times, and details.

The PAC/Landrum Library programs are made possible thanks to a Free Community Events grant from the Polk County Community Foundation.



Upcoming Events at Walnut Creek Preserve & the Landrum Library in 2016!


September 27th – Landscape Architect, Mark Byington will be presenting, “The Nature of Landscape,” at the Landrum Library at 6:30 p.m.!


October 22, Dan Lazar will present on “the Southern Appalachians During the Ice Age” at the Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center at Walnut Creek Preserve at 10:30 a.m.


(Photo Credit: © George)

November 5th – Denise Furr, a malacologist (terrestrial snail) researcher and collector for the Schiele Museum, will present a program on SNAILS at the Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center at Walnut Creek Preserve at 10:30 a.m.  Ms. Furr will present on snail ecology and biology and give an introduction to snail field research.


More to come!

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

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!

monarch-butterflies-on-a-flowerMigratory Monarch Waystation Habitats

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.

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.


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.