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 December newsletter!




In 2015, PAC helped four area landowners protect their lands with a voluntary Conservation Easement, protecting nearly 100 acres in Western NC/Upstate SC!  These properties collectively protect important wooded and openspace habitat for native flora and fauna as well as providing watershed protection and riparian buffers to area streams, creeks, and rivers!

Join PAC for our 5th annual PACRun & 11th annual PACWalk! 

Come celebrate Earth Day with these two “feel-good” Springtime Fundraising Events that will help PAC preserve more of our mountains, farms, forests, waterways & greenspaces!

April 23rd at Tryon Estates, 617 Laurel Lake Drive, Columbus NC.

PACRun begins at 8:00 a.m. & PACWalk begins at 10:00 a.m.

$20 per entry for PACWalk & PACRun, if registered by April 8, 2016 & you’re guaranteed a t-shirt.

$25 Late Entry, for PACRun, if received after April 8, 2016 including day of the event, t-shirts for late entries available until we run out.

(PACWalk: Students (K-12) – $5 per entry; Family (two adults, unlimited children) – $45 per entry; BE A SPONSOR (couple or individual) FOR $100)

Awards & a free luncheon following the event, with special recognition of sponsors!

group photo IMG_1409      IMG_1494

info for web

Register for PACRun online at www.strictlyrunning.comstrictly running logo

Click here to download the PACWalk registration form

Click here to download the PACRun registration form

To be a business sponsor, click here

Sponsor levels, click here

At the Polk County Commissioners meeting on December 7, 2015, the Pacolet Area Conservancy (along with three others) received a Certificate of Recognition (Beautification Award) for the Native Plant/Butterfly Gardens that we created at the Polk County Library and the PAC office!

We are so grateful for this recognition from the county! These projects would not have been possible without the generosity of Loti Woods, who provided a grant for the projects, and the wonderful volunteers that have helped create and continue to maintain the gardens! Thank you!

beautification award


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 grant from the Polk County Community Foundation.


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

February 20th – naturalist, Tim Lee, will present “Trillium of the Carolinas” at Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center at Walnut Creek Preserve at 10:30 a.m. 

Tim Lee

March 26th – naturalist and storyteller, Doug Elliott, present “More Woodslore andWildwoods Wisdom—Stories, Songs, and Lore Celebrating the Natural World” at the Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center at Walnut Creek Preserve at 10:30 a.m.

Wild tales

April 12th – Todd Elliott will present, “Natural History and Ecology of the Carolinas,” at the Landrum Library at 6:00 p.m.


April 30th – Joyce Pearsall will present “The Monarch Butterfly: Biology and Current Status” at the Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center at Walnut Creek Preserve at 10:30 a.m.


May 14th – botanist and naturalist, David Campbell, will present a program on Butterflies and Butterfly Identification at the Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center at Walnut Creek Preserve at 10:30 a.m.

June 14th – Julie Schmidt, Education Outreach Coordinator at Hollywild Animal Park will present at the Landrum Library‘s summer reading program for kids at 11:00 a.m.

June 25th – Dr. Richard McDonald, an entomologist with Symbiont Biological Pest Management, will present on the biological control of the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid using the beetle, Laricobius nigrinus (“Lari”) at the Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center at Walnut Creek Preserve at 10:30 a.m.
HWA and Lari shown (3)

July – Jennie Giles and David Weintraub will present, “Come Hell or High Water – Remembering the 1916 Flood” at the Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center at Walnut Creek Preserve at 10:30 a.m.


August 6th – Dr. Bill Stringer, a retired professor of crop science at Clemson University, will
present on native grasses at the Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center at Walnut Creek Preserve at 10:30 a.m.

September 17, Melissa Pilgrim,Director of Research and Associate Professor of Biology
at the University of South Carolina Upstate will present on Amphibians at the Anne Elizabeth Suratt Nature Center at Walnut Creek Preserve at 10:30 a.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.

NEW!!!  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!

Stanback Volunteer Conservationist of the Year Award

presented to Bob & Babs Strickland!

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Bob Strickland, PAC’s Executive Director, Mary Walter, and Babs Strickland, PAC President of the Board of Directors. (photo by Rebecca Hankins)

Click here to read an article about North Carolina’s Local Land Trusts Annual Awards to Eleven Conservation Leaders.

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 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.

Seed packet

Memorial Planting of Rare, Potentially Blight-resistance American Chestnut Trees in Polk County!

On Saturday, February 7 at 11:00 a.m., The American Chestnut Foundation (TACF) directed a memorial planting of four potentially blight-resistant American Chestnut trees at Harmon Field in Tryon, NC, as well as four American Chestnut trees at the PAC protected Norman Wilder Forest. This planting is a living memorial to Mara Smith, local photographer and writer, who died February 5, 2014.

This is a partnership between Ford Smith & family, The American Chestnut Foundation, Harmon Field/The Town of Tryon, and the Pacolet Area Conservancy.

by Bob Bruce_10

Click here to hear Tom Saielli, Southern Regional Science Coordinator for the American Chestnut Foundation, summarizes the purpose and importance of reintroduction efforts by the Foundation and the public.

Gil's slide

PAC is pleased to announce that we have received a grant from the Polk County Community Foundation for our Kudzu Eradication Initiative!

We can always use more volunteers for this worthy cause!

Click here to visit our tab about Kudzu eradication projects in the area.

The Polk County Community Foundation is also funding a grant to PAC for a survey of flora and fauna of Polk County!

Botanist, David Campbell, will conduct the study and identify and document 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 survey, a report will be written, all data recorded, and then will be distributed to all interested individuals, organizations, universities and colleges, etc. The data enables the land trust to take a proactive role in protecting habitats supporting species of concern at both the county and municipal levels. 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 stories for the Tryon Daily Bulletin called “Polk County’s Most Wanted” about plants and animals unique to our area.

PAC would also like to thank the Polk County Community Foundation for making it possible for seven PAC representatives to attend the Land Trust Alliance 2015 Southeast Conference for Land and Community Conservation at Kanuga Conference Center in May!

Land trust professionals and board members from all over the southeast came together for a two-day training and information sharing event. Topics ranged from forest and farmland conservation to fundraising and media tactics.

PAC extends grateful thanks to the Polk County Community Foundation for their support.

millikenThe Pacolet Area Conservancy (PAC) is pleased to announce a recent gift from Spartanburg based Pacolet Milliken Enterprises, Inc. The generous award will be used in support of PAC’s mission to protect and conserve the natural resources of our area.

Pacolet Milliken Enterprises, Inc., has also awarded a grant to PAC for the purpose of strategic planning.

“We applaud the Pacolet Area Conservancy’s efforts to create a strategic plan for the organization’s future growth and are happy to support the decision to bring in experts to lead the process,” said Rick Webel, president of Pacolet Milliken. “You won’t find a successful company or organization out there that hasn’t invested in putting together a strategic blueprint for its future and listened to the advice from experts. The PAC has done great work for the last 25 years, and I have no doubt that going through this process will position them for greater success for the next 25 years. I would encourage all non-profits to consider doing the same.”

PAC extends grateful thanks to Pacolet Milliken Enterprises, Inc. for their support.

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

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, just drop in or contact PAC to for details on how you can watch or borrow our “Saving Horse Country” DVD.

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.