Natural Capital Investment Fund loans are designed to help businesses, non-profits and farms grow operations, increase profitability, create employment opportunities, and have positive environmental and community impact. 

For more information on how to apply for a loan, visit the NCIF website
Natural Capital Investment Fund (NCIF) and The Conservation Fund (“The Fund”) are committed to protecting your privacy. Our privacy policy covers information we collect on our website and the manner in which we use it.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact us via e-mail at webmaster@conservationfund.org.

What information do we collect?
Your IP (Internet Protocol) address is used to gather broad demographic information such as the geographic regions most interested in our site and what type of browser most of our visitors prefer. This information helps us to better maintain and update our site to be the most user-friendly and relevant. IP addresses do not provide us with any identifiable personal information such as your name, address, or email address, thus keeping visitors anonymous.

NCIF and The Fund collect information volunteered by visitors, such as answers to survey questions, information collected when purchasing a publication or class, and during the donation process. Information we collected in these interactions include personally identifiable information, information about organizational affiliation, and information about your conservation interests. No personally identifiable information is collected about individuals without their knowledge.

How is this information used by NCIF and The Fund?
NCIF and The Fund have a strict policy against buying, selling, or sharing mailing lists and donor information. Under this policy, personal information provided to the Fund is NEVER shared or sold to any other organization – public, private, or nonprofit.

E-mail policy
NCIF and The Fund provide forms on its site where users can sign-up to receive e-mail newsletters and periodic notices about conservation topics. We limit communications by e-mail to users who have opted in to receive e-mail communications or in the course of business for online transactions including confirmation of contributions and product or course purchases. Each email sent contains an easy, automated way for you to cease receiving email from us, or to change your expressed interests.

Security of Your Information
NCIF and The Fund take the following measures to ensure that information collected on our site is kept secure and is used as intended. All data is stored on secure, firewall-protected servers either at The Conservation Fund offices or those of business partners, and is only accessible to authorized staff and partners.

Sensitive data, such as credit card and other financial information, is collected on secure forms and transmitted using industry-standard Secure Socket Layer Encryption (SSL) technology. Credit card information is retained only as long as necessary to complete the donation or purchase request of the user.

Links to Third Party Sites
NCIF and The Fund provide links to third party sites. While we make efforts to choose our links carefully, we cannot take any responsibility for the content or privacy policies of linked websites. Since we do not control these sites, we encourage you to review their privacy policies posted prior to any use.

Privacy Policy Changes
We may amend this privacy policy from time to time. Your continued use of our website after the date that such notices are posted will be deemed your agreement to the changed terms.

Updated 1/2013


Gat Caperton, Chair
Caperton Furniture Works (WV)

Mikki Sager, Vice Chair
The Conservation Fund (NC)

Carol Davis, Esq.
S.G. Atkins Community Development Corp. (NC)

Jerrell (J) Deaver, Jr.
First Citizens Bank (NC)

Archie Hart
North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (NC)

Wm. A. (Tony) Hayes
TRANCAS, LLC (NC)

Ruth K. Joseck
United Bankshares (WV)

Jena Thompson Meredith
The Conservation Fund (CA)

Erik Meyers

The Conservation Fund

Evan Smith
The Conservation Fund



West Virginia Advisory Committee

Christy Bailey
National Coal Heritage Area Authority
Beckley, WV

Dave Clark
Randolph County Housing Authority
Beverly, WV

Angie & Dee Cowger
The Custard Stand Food Products 
Webster Springs, WV

Jennifer Douglas 
Citizens Conservation Corp of West Virginia
Beckley, WV

Bill Glasscock
Laurel Creek Hardwoods
Richwood, WV

Dale Hawkins
Fish Hawke Acres Farm
Weston, WV

Gene Kisler
Lights on West Virginia
Fayetteville, WV

Cathy Kunkel
Coal River Mountain Watch
Arnett, WV

Sharon Lansdale
Center for Rural Health
Winfield, WV

Savanna Lyons
WV Food and Farm Coalition
Hill Top, WV

Sheri Ryder
Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation
St. Albans, WV

Melanie Seiler
Cabins on Miller Ridge
Fayetteville, WV

Mary Skeens
Community Works WV
Charleston, WV

Kent Spellman
WV Community Development HUB
Clarksburg, WV

Anna Zeigler
Zeigler & Zeigler
Hinton, WV

North Carolina Advisory Committee

DeWayne Barton
Asheville Green Opportunities (GO)
Asheville, NC 

Dawn Battiste
NC Land Loss Prevention Project
Durham, NC

Joyce Bowman
My Sister’s Farm
Burgaw, NC

Carol Jackson 
My Sister’s Farm
Watha, NC

Carol Coulter  
National Committee for the New River
West Jefferson, NC 

Brian Crutchfield
Blue Ridge Membership Coop (retired)
Lenoir, NC 

Jane Hatley
Self-Help Credit Union
Asheville, NC

Betsy McCorkle  
NC Sustainable Energy Association
Raleigh, NC

John Parker
Consultant
Durham, NC 

Napoleon Wallace
Self-Help Credit Union 
Durham, NC

Scott Marlow
RAFI-USA
Pittsboro, NC 

Curtis Wynn
Roanoke Electric Cooperative
Ahoskie, NC

Carolyn Perry
NC Rural Center
Raleigh, NC

December 31, 2014| Freshwater Institute

 

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December 31, 2014| Freshwater Institute

For over 30 years, Freshwater Institute scientists and engineers have published their work to share results with as wide an audience as possible. We are passionate about communicating what we find to those who can use the information. As such, we are committed to Open Access (OA) science and where possible we have provided a link to access publications at no cost, generally under Creative Commons (CC BY) license. Just click on the publication’s title in the list below to access a publication. If you would like to discuss our research in depth please contact any Freshwater Institute staff member listed as an author or co-author; we would be pleased to hear from you. 

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December 31, 2014| Conservation Acquisition

Technology for Good

In 1985, we dreamed of doing conservation in a new way. More than 7.5 million protected acres later, that dream is still demonstrated in every project we take on. Through a recent collaboration with Google Street View Trekker, we had the unique opportunity to explore the places we conserve by using state-of-the art mapping equipment that allows us to share these sites with the world. We are using technology for good—to give virtual access to a few of the special places we have worked hard to protect for their natural, historical and human values.

Join us as we explore spectacular views, roaring waterfalls, and some of the places where our history was shaped as a nation.


Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania


EXPLORE THIS TREK

website kelly ingebritson gettysburgKelly Ingebritson at Gettysburg National Military ParkThe Landscape:
Surrounded by the orchards and rolling hills of Pennsylvania's South Mountain landscape, Gettysburg National Military Park offers visitors the opportunity to step back in time. Today, visitors can hike wooded trails on the edge of the Park, stroll through the meadows where the historic battles took place, and view memorials that commemorate this pivotal time.  The history of the United States hung in the balance on the first three days of July 1863, as the Battle of Gettysburg unfolded in the Pennsylvania countryside. It was a turning point in the war and the Civil War’s bloodiest battle, claiming 51,000 casualties. Every year, 1.5 million visitors visit Gettysburg’s hallowed ground, which is administered by the National Park Service.

The Fund's Role: 
We have worked with the NPS for more than 20 years to acquire key parcels for the National Military Park, most recently the historic Harman Farm, where much of the first day of the battle was fought.  During the late 20th century, the Harman Farm parcel was a developed golf course, but The Conservation Fund helped the NPS acquire it from a willing seller in 2011, utilizing the Land and Water Conservation Fund, and now the property is permanently protected.  The NPS is working to restore the grounds to their historical conditions of the mid-1800s.

Key Partners:
National Park Service
Richard King Mellon Foundation

"I am always amazed at how stunning the Gettysburg lands are, and I always come home appreciating those who fought the Civil War battles that define our country's freedoms today. With this footage, you can hike Pickett's Charge, Little Round Top, Devils Den and other sites at Gettysburg National Military Park, experiencing history and nature through Google Trekker. "

–Kelly Ingebritson, Senior Government Relations Representative

Fort to Sea Trail, part of Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, Oregon


EXPLORE THIS TREK
website Tom Pinit Lewis and ClarkTom Pinit on the Fort to Sea Trail

The Landscape:
At the mouth of the Columbia River, on the present-day border of Oregon and Washington, Captain Meriwether Lewis, William Clark and their Corps of Volunteers for Northwest Discovery reached the Pacific Ocean in December 1805. After building Fort Clatsop, they set their sights on discovering other new lands and nearby beaches that include, what are now, Sunset Beach and Seaside. The 6.5-mile Fort to Sea Trail winds through the woods south of Fort Clatsop to Sunset Beach on the Pacific Ocean, cutting through deep woods, muddy bogs and windswept beaches.

The Fund's Role: 
In 2003, in honor of the bicentennial celebration of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, the Fund embarked on a major campaign to commemorate this legendary journey by protecting open space, river corridors and resources associated with the passage. In 2004, we purchased more than 920 acres from Weyerhaeuser. Thanks in part to support from the Centex Land Legacy Fund, we protected several key properties totaling 1,000 acres for addition to the park in 2005. To date, through our Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Initiative, we have helped conserve more than 25,000 acres along the famous route. This includes the land protected at the Lewis and Clark National Historical Park in Oregon and Washington.

Key Partners:
Centex Land Legacy Fund
National Park Service

"It was a beautiful day to trek the Fort to Sea Trail. I could imagine Lewis and Clark exploring this area over 200 years ago, crossing over forested hills, streams and sand dunes to the Pacific Ocean. So many hikers stopped to ask what we were doing. I was proud to explain how The Conservation Fund and our partners helped make this trail a reality, and how our partnership with Google Trekker would let people around the world experience what the Corps of Discovery experienced.”

-Tom Pinit, Associate, Conservation Ventures

Flight 93 National Memorial and State Games Lands 93, Pennsylvania


EXPLORE THIS TREK

Flight93 FlickrFlight 93 National Memorial/Flickr. The Landscape:
September 11, 2001 is etched in many Americans' minds as one of the most tragic days in our nation's history. While nearly 3,000 people died due to terrorist actions, the number may have been much higher were it not for the heroic actions of 40 passengers aboard Flight 93, bound for San Francisco, California. After discovering that their plane had been hijacked and was heading towards Washington, D.C. as a weapon, those brave people fought back and stormed the cabin before the plane crashed in an open field in rural Pennsylvania, killing everyone onboard. The crash site in Shanksville, PA—only 20 minutes flying time from downtown Washington, DC—is now memorialized as the Flight 93 National Memorial, and has since been complemented by several hundred acres that make up the State Game Lands 93 site, which are open for recreation while simultaneously preserving the memorial's natural setting.

The Fund's Role: 
When Congress passed the Flight 93 Memorial Act authorizing the creation of the Flight 93 National Memorial at the crash site in 2002, The Conservation Fund began working with the National Park Service and other public and private partners to secure funding and land for the memorial.

In 2006, the Fund and the Pennsylvania Game Commission established State Game Lands 93, to complement the memorial and protect the viewshed, by protecting 100 acres located immediately north of the Flight 93 National Memorial site. The land was purchased from the Berwind Natural Resources Corporation. Public and private partners, including the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the McCune Revolving Fund, National Park Service and Richard King Mellon Foundation helped with the acquisition.

Also in 2006, the Game Commission approved three parcels totaling approximately 300 acres for State Game Lands 93 and an additional 96 acres was donated by CONSOL Energy to the Fund in September 2007. In 2011, the Fund acquired a 56-acre property within the Flight 93 National Memorial boundary, which will become part of State Game Lands 93, from the Families of Flight 93, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing a permanent memorial to the crew and passengers of Flight 93.

State Game Lands 93 is open to the public for recreation and hunting. It also protects wildlife habitat, provides open space, serves as a land buffer for the entrance to the Flight 93 National Memorial and maintains the memorial’s setting and viewshed.

Key Partners:
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
McCune Revolving Fund
National Park Service
Richard King Mellon Foundation

“The Flight 93 National Memorial and State Game Lands 93 stand as testament to the resiliency and strength of this nation, and ensure that this site remains a place of honor and remembrance for the passengers and crew of Flight 93. Visiting the Memorial stirs the soul, and I hope this trek can provide a piece of that experience to those unable to make the trip.” 

-Kyle Shenk, Pennsylvania Representative, Conservation Acquisition

Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, Georgia


Explore these Treks
ARABIA MOUNTAIN HERITAGE AREA ALLIANCE   PANOLA MOUNTAIN STATE PARK

website Stacy Funderburke Arabia Mtn Trekker 1Stacy Funderburke at Arabia MountainThe Landscape:
Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area is spread across DeKalb, Henry and Rockdale Counties. Only twenty minutes from the bustling hub of Atlanta, the site is well known for its distinct natural beauty, including wildflowers, streams and granite outcrops. The site bears evidence of 19th century human settlement and 20th century quarrying activities. Protection of this landscape is critically important due to its proximity to Atlanta, which is losing hundreds of acres of green space to development each week.

The Fund's Role: 
Working with community leaders, local and state government partners, and private nonprofits, we protected a total of 2,173 acres at Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area. This nearly doubled the size of the county park and created part of a corridor linking the Davidson-Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve to nearby Panola Mountain State Park. When combined, these two parks constitute one of the largest natural areas in the metropolitan Atlanta region, providing ample opportunity for trail systems, heritage preservation and education, recreation, and ecosystem and wildlife protection.

Key Partner:
Arabia Mountain Heritage Area Alliance

"Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area is an incredible destination for hiking, biking and exploring, just 30 minutes from downtown Atlanta.  The expansive granite outcrop of Arabia Mountain, with its unique geology and plant and animal species, is my kids’ favorite local hike.  I am thrilled that The Conservation Fund’s collaboration with Google Trekker allows me to share this amazing natural area with others – I hope their next step will be to come out and discover it for themselves."

-Stacy Funderburke, Southeast Region Assistant, Regional Counsel, and Associate, Conservation Acquisition 

Black Mountain Crest Trail, North Carolina


EXPLORE THIS TREK

Website Black-Mountain JazminVarela High-Peaks-Trail-Association-Jazmin Varela, Justin Boner, and members of the High Peaks Trail Association at Black Mountain Crest TrailThe Landscape:
The challenging 11-mile Black Mountain Crest Trail takes you over a dozen peaks higher than 6,000 feet. Whether you choose to start or end there, at some point you'll be at Mount Mitchell, the tallest peak in the Appalachian Mountains and the highest point east of the Mississippi River. From this elevation you'll enjoy the company of red spruce, fire cherry, yellow birch, mountain ash, and mountain maple. Wildflowers like purple-fringed orchid and St. John's wort blanket the ground, and if you're lucky, you might see a peregrine falcon zip past you on its way up the mountain. The Black Mountain Range is the highest in the eastern United States with 17 named peaks over 6,000 feet. Dr. Elisha Mitchell, Mount Mitchell’s namesake, was a University of North Carolina Professor who in 1835 established that the mountain was the highest in the United States at that time. In 1916, Mount Mitchell became the centerpiece of North Carolina’s first state park, a treasure for generations past and future.

The grueling Black Mountain Crest Trail trek wouldn't have been possible without the NC High Peaks Trail Association: they housed us, fed us, hiked sections of the trail for us, and provided transportation, equipment, and guidance. High Peaks members are trail builders and hikers, and High Peaks will be a key partner in relocating the current unsafe trail access to a safer location on a Fund-owned parcel. Given how challenging, long and steep the Black Mountain Crest Trail is, it was truly a team effort to provide the footage of this historic area.

The Fund's Role: 
In 2014, the Fund began assembling over 2,700 acres adjacent to Mount Mitchell and the Cane River valley, which protects nearly a mile of frontage along the Cane River and over 30 miles of frontage along its tributaries. The project area is adjacent to Pisgah National Forest and will result in a significant expansion of Mount Mitchell State Park, providing the latter with year-round facilities for environmental education programs, interpretive trails, backpacking, fishing, and camping. Mt. Mitchell State Park was the first official state park in North Carolina, and the park will celebrate its centennial in 2016.

The site will also provide a new, more accessible northern terminus for the Black Mountain Crest Trail (the trail that was trekked). One of the dozen peaks over 6,000 feet on this trail, Cattail Peak, is the fifth highest peak in the eastern U.S. at 6,583 feet and is currently the highest peak still in private ownership! In May of 2015, the Fund purchased this peak and the surrounding 1,300 acres to add to the conservation efforts in this area.

Key Partners:
NC High Peaks Trail Association
Friends of Mount Mitchell State Park 

"The Black Mountain trail hike was an opportunity to see, smell and feel the potential to complete eastern North America’s highest elevation hiking trail!"

-Dick Ludington, former Senior Associate, The Conservation Fund

Roanoke River Partners Paddle Trail, North Carolina


EXPORE THIS TREK

Website Dick Ludington and Justin Boner RoanokeHeber Coltrain and Justin Boner on the Roanoke River Partners Paddle TrailThe Landscape:
Flowing from the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia across the Coastal Plain to the Albemarle Sound and Atlantic Ocean, the Roanoke River runs through the largest intact bottomland hardwood swamp forest east of the Mississippi. In a small boat, kayak or canoe, people traveling the paddle trail can immerse themselves in one of the East Coast's most extensive stretches of unfragmented forested wetlands. While paddling along the lower Roanoke River floodplain, you may spot some of its local wildlife, like wild turkeys, black bears, river otters, and bobcats. There is also a spectacular amount of bird activity: 214 documented bird species, including 44 species of neotropical migratory birds that winter in the Tropics and nest in North America.

The Fund's Role: 
In addition to the abundant wildlife and natural resources, the Roanoke River region is home to five of North Carolina’s poorest counties. Historically, people along the Roanoke have depended on the river's abundance for their own food as well as for commercial goods: naval stores, lumber, cypress shingles, fish and more. After recognizing the ecotourism value of the river and the paddling and camping possibilities—and with support from the Fund's Resourceful Communities program—Roanoke River Partners, a nonprofit, created and now manages 15 camping platforms along the Roanoke Paddle Trail, providing paddlers and nature enthusiasts the opportunity to experience the river’s beauty and unique wildlife.

In addition, working to support goals identified by Roanoke River Partners, Resourceful Communities has provided funding for their projects as well as direct technical assistance for fundraising and strategic planning and training at our regional leadership workshops.  Through Resourceful Communities, Roanoke River Partners has successfully partnered with other community groups in the region, including Concerned Citizens of Tillery, Roanoke River Mayors Association and the Sylvan Heights Bird Park to build a broader network of engagement and support.

Key Partner:
Roanoke River Partners 

"Camping on The Roanoke River platforms is like no other camping experience where wilderness, darkness and silence will take into a different meaning."

-Jazmin Varela, Information Manager, Strategic Conservation Planning

Antietam National Battlefield, Maryland


EXPLORE THIS TREK

Claire Robinette Antietam Claire Robinette Cooney at Antietam National Battlefield.The Landscape:
The Battle of Antietam is known as the bloodiest single day battle in the Civil War. It took place on  September 17, 1862 on a landscape which pans over 12 square-miles. More than 23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded or went missing during the battle.

The Fund's Role: 
Since our founding, we’ve worked to protect several hundred acres at Antietam through a variety of projects:

  • Grove Farm: This is the site where President Lincoln met with U.S. generals after the battle of Antietam. We were able to add this land to Antietam in partnership with the state of Maryland and the Save Historic Antietam Foundation.
  • Roulette/Callas farm: This 200-acre farm, just outside the National Battlefield, was the site of the Confederate advance on the morning of the battle and the Confederate line at the end of the day-long battle.  This is now protected with an easement held by the Maryland Environmental Trust.  We helped establish the easement in partnership with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Open Space Program, the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program and the Civil War Preservation Trust.
  • The Cornfield:  Site where the Federals were hit by Confederate artillery fire
  • The West Woods: Site where U.S. forces suffered more than 2,200 casualties in 20 minutes
  • Bloody Lane: An additional 12 acres, in the field of fire where J.E.B. Stuart’s artillery slowed the attacking U.S. troops, was donated on the 135th anniversary of the battle. More than 10,000 U.S. troops advanced across the 179-acre Roulette Farm in such intense fighting that this route became known as Bloody Lane. The farm was donated to the Antietam National Battlefield on the 136th anniversary of the battle.
  • The Fund has helped protect 83 battlefields in 14 states.


Key Partners:

National Park Service

Richard King Mellon Foundation

Trekking Antietam National Battlefield was an incredibly humbling experience. The tragic events that happened on these very grounds are a dark moment in America’s history. I hope this trek can give people a glimpse into the powerful place that Antietam is and the importance of protecting historic lands.”

–Claire Robinette Cooney, Sr. Major Gifts and Communications Officer

Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, Chesapeake Bay


EXPLORE THIS TREK
Erik Meyers at Captain John Smith TrailErik Meyers at Captain John Smith Trail

The Landscape:
Over 400 years ago, Captain John Smith arrived in the New World—and changed it forever. In addition to helping found Jamestown, the first permanent American settlement, Smith became the first English explorer to map the Chesapeake Bay. He and his small crew traveled the bay in a small open boat, or shallop, chronicling its beauty, resources and Native American communities. Smith and his crew of just over a dozen men courageously traveled and mapped almost 3,000 miles along the Chesapeake Bay, and visited scores of thriving Native American communities between 1607-1609. The voyages ensured the survival of the English settlers at Jamestown and the birth of democracy in North America.

The Fund's Role: 
The Conservation Fund led the creation of the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail, the first entirely water-based trail in the National Trail System, by forging key partnerships and bipartisan Congressional support.

Key Partners:
Chesapeake Conservancy

“A small boat is all you need to time travel on the Captain John Smith Chesapeake National Historic Trail.  More than 400 years ago, English explorer John Smith set out from Jamestown, VA on a nearly 3,000 mile voyage around the Bay watershed.  During that epic journey, Smith and his crew navigated the Bay’s major rivers, including the Potomac and its Eastern Branch, the Anacostia, all the way to heads of tide. As Smith travelled, he observed and recorded the abundant fish, game and other resources in his journals. Remarkably, today’s Trail visitor can still savor Smith’s experience by heading upstream on the Potomac from DC’s busy Georgetown waterfront to hear cascades splashing down from the Virginia Palisades and see bald eagles overhead searching for fish in the river’s depths or by ducking under the railroad bridge on the Anacostia and paddling into placid, slow moving waters where egrets and herons stalk the shallows hunting fish among the marsh grasses.”

–Erik Meyers, Vice President

First State National Historic Park, Delaware


EXPLORE THIS TREK

Whitney Flanagan at First State National MonumentWhitney Flanagan at First State National Historic Park The Landscape:
The Brandywine Valley and Woodlawn property represents the very start of America—a place where General Washington fought for independence, Benjamin Franklin printed ideas that changed lives, and artist Andrew Wyeth captured a pastoral beauty that defined our nation. The Brandywine River is truly one of our nation’s founding rivers.

William Penn originally acquired Rockland Manor, which includes the Woodlawn property, from the Duke of York in 1682. Industrialist William Bancroft purchased the land in the 1900s, and the property has been maintained as open space all this time, even as development has encroached.

The Fund's Role: 
The Conservation Fund purchased and protected the historic 1,100-acre Woodlawn property in 2012. The Woodlawn acquisition—made possible by a generous gift from Mt. Cuba Center and the property’s trustees’ wanted to see the land protected for the public. We donated Woodlawn property to the National Park Service, and on March 25, 2013, President Obama designated it as a national monument—Delaware's first.

Key Partners:
National Park Service
Mt. Cuba Center

As The Conservation Fund's Creative Director, showcasing the beautiful landscapes we protect is my passion. I chose to trek First State National Historic Park (Delaware's first National Park) because of its historical significance as a place that inspired generations of artists including Andrew Wyeth.

-Whitney Flanagan, Creative Director

Grandfather Mountain State Park, North Carolina


EXPLORE THIS TREK

The Landscape:
This place is a natural wonder and home to 70 rare and endangered species, 16 distinct communities,  and is the only private park designated by the United Nations as an International Biosphere Reserve. Even the weather conditions on Grandfather Mountain are unique to this part of the continent, with a registered maximum wind speed of 120.7 mph, a maximum snowfall of 129 inches in one winter, and a record minimum temperature of -32 degrees. The headwaters of the Watauga and Linville rivers meet here, and a gorgeous natural canvas of wildlife habitat make it a top destination for people who love the outdoors. While you're out hiking along the popular trails you'll see breathtaking mountain views that can be passed down from generation to generation. 

The Fund's Role: 
In 2009, we helped protect 2,456 acres of this truly spectacular area in western North Carolina. To do this we worked with The Nature Conservancy to help the state acquire this property, which was financed through North Carolina’s Parks and Recreation and Natural Heritage trust funds.

Key Partners:
Grandfather Mountain State Park and Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation

The Trekker transcends a lot of fields and interests; mapping technology, photography, engineering, physical challenge, adventure and just love for nature.

-Jazmin Varela, Information Manager, Strategic Conservation Planning

Chimney Rock State Park


Explore these Treks:
SKYLINE TRAIL   HICKORY NUT FALLS TRAIL

Jazmin Varela and Reggie Hall at Chimney Rock State ParkJazmin Varela and Reggie Hall at Chimney Rock State ParkThe Landscape:
Deep in the heart of North Carolina, hikers disappear into another world—a world of waterfalls and rocky cliffs, sweeping views and misty caves. It’s a world worth saving—and with The Conservation Fund’s assistance—the state of North Carolina did just that.

The Fund's Role: 
In 2005 the NC state parks system acquired more than 2,260 acres of pristine park land—an area that surrounded 1,000 acres of the Chimney Rock property—land which had been privately owned by the Morse Family since 1902. The state park system had just launched the New Parks for a New Century initiative, and the acquisition of Chimney Rock was critical to the concept as it would provide a high-profile focal point for Hickory Nut Gorge State Park and would offer readily available public access and facilities.

The Conservation Fund played a key role in the final stages of negotiations with the owners of Chimney Rock Park and attracted private funds to match significant state support for the acquisition.

Key Partners:
Chimney Rock State Park and Chimney Rock Management, LLC, Chimney Rock at Chimney Rock State Park.

DuPont State Forest


Explore these Treks:
HIGH FALLS   TRIPLE FALLS   HOOKER FALLS

The Landscape:
Nestled between the cities of Hendersonville and Brevard, the horseshoe-shaped DuPont State Forest covers 10,400 acres within the Blue Ridge Mountains. It’s a gem of North Carolina’s outdoors, known for its numerous waterfalls and large pockets of granite cover. This beautiful forestland offers the public a place to get outside for hunting, fishing, hiking, horseback riding and mountain biking. But this land was once in private ownership and it was only through partnership and long-term dedication to conservation that this forest came to be.

The Fund's Role: 
We assisted the state in acquiring the land by purchasing more than 8,000 acres. We held the land until a year later, when, with funding from the North Carolina Natural Heritage Trust Fund, the state purchased 7,600 acres from us. In 2000, an additional 500 acres, which we continued to hold while the state gathered additional funding, was added to the forest. After the Fund’s assistance in acquiring more than 8,000 acres, the state completed its land acquisition with the purchase of 2,200 acres from a separate developer.

We work hard to make conservation a reality and are pleased to have been part of this public/private partnership that led to the creation of DuPont State Forest. Now, this outdoor
space is saved and available so that future generations can enjoy the natural beauty of North Carolina as we do today.

Interesting fact:
The 2012 blockbuster, The Hunger Games, was filmed in DuPont State Forest. This Huffington Post article talks about how the N.C. State Forest Service was onsite during the filming to make sure that “people didn't hurt the forest and that the forest didn't hurt the people.” Read it here: The Hunger Games Take Over North Carolina.

Key Partners:
DuPont State Recreational Forest, NC Department of Agriculture 

Farm Creek Nature Preserve, Connecticut


EXPORE THIS TREK

Reggie Hall at Farm Creek Nature PreserveReggie Hall, The Conservation FundThe Landscape:
The Norwalk Land Trust, based in Connecticut in an all-volunteer group with an annual budget of less than $10,000. They were able to purchase a coveted 2.2-acre waterfront parcel on Long Island Sound, completing a community nature preserve...How?

The group’s first break came when the parcel was auctioned and the $4 million winning bid came from a buyer who did not want “McMansions” built on land that foxes, coyotes and migratory birds call home. The buyer agreed to hold the property until the land trust could raise the funds to buy it back from him. The fundraising effort caught the community’s imagination. Kids sold lemonade and cupcakes. A story in Forbes magazine boosted the project’s visibility. Donations from the residents of Norwalk and two nearby communities poured in.

The Fund's Role: 
The Conservation Fund contributed a critical $2 million loan. Thanks to all our efforts, this cherished place will still be around for our children to enjoy as much as we do. Since the Land Conservation Loan Program’s first loan in 1993, we’ve made a lasting impact on American land conservation. Today, our fund stands at roughly $50 million. By continually revolving these dollars, we have provided more than $140 million in more than 200 loans to roughly 100 partners. With our backing, local conservationists have protected more than 100,000 acres across 33 states—lands valued at nearly $250 million. These include at least seven battlefields, five state parks, 25 natural areas for wildlife, eight forests, 35 farms, 17 historic sites, eight trails, 23 open space areas and much more.

Key Partners:
Norwalk Land Trust

Growing up outdoors while exploring the seacoast of New Hampshire helped me to appreciate my natural surroundings and fostered a love for the special places of my hometown. Working with Google and being able to use the trekker to highlight and share places that other people love that The Conservation Fund has had a role in protecting really resonated with me. It was a meaningful experience because now anyone who needs to be reminded of what lies outside of the confines of their office or the security provided by their own home, can virtually visit a favorite vista in central Massachusetts, a natural oasis along Long Island Sound, or a iconic natural feature in Western North Carolina and find inspiration to get out and go explore!

- Reggie Hall, Land Conservation Loans Director

Mount Sugarloaf State Reservation, Massachusetts


EXPLORE THIS TREK

The Landscape:
Since 1987, our partner, Franklin Land Trust (FLT): has protected more than 20,000 acres—farmhouses, fields and the historic beauty that is the Connecticut River Valley (as seen from our footage at the top of Mount Sugarloaf State Reservation). Mt. Sugarloaf offers a commanding view of the Connecticut River, the Pioneer Valley, and the Pelham and Berkshire Hills.

The Fund's Role: 
The Conservation Fund is a steady partner in this effort, providing dozens of loans to protect this iconic part of the country. We’re joined in this important endeavor by landowners eager to protect their properties for future generations, government leaders who value rural land and dedicated land trust staff. Together, we’re protecting a favorite place before it becomes just a memory. To date, we have lent FLT more than $11,000,000 in over 50 loans to protect more than 4,000 acres of family farms and local forests in Franklin and neighboring counties of western Massachusetts.

Key Partners:
Franklin Land Trust
 
December 31, 2014| Working Forest Fund
The Conservation Fund recognizes that forest certification is a critical component of objective, sustainable forest management and commits to third-party certification of its working forests. When ownership of our Working Forest Fund (WFF) properties is planned to exceed one year, we will seek independent certification under the standards of Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) and/or Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®).

Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC) Certificate - PDF
Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI) Certificate - PDF

For more information on our forest certification program you may contact Brian Dangler at bdangler@conservationfund.org

Summary of our monitoring program - PDF

WFF Management Plan summary - PDF
December 31, 2014| Business Partnerships
Our Business Partnerships team can share their extensive experience in conservation acquisition via land transactions, conservation finance, sustainable forestry, carbon, climate resiliency, mitigation, community visioning and economic development, restoration, and stakeholder engagement to create innovative conservation solutions with our partners. We work across all of the Fund’s program areas and have earned the trust and confidence of business leaders nationwide to deliver positive impact together.

Learn more about our leadership ›
Learn more about all of The Conservation Fund’s experts ›



Learn more about our Business Partnerships › 
December 31, 2014| Business Partnerships
We work with our business partners to achieve significant results that are good for land, water, wildlife, people and the bottom line.



See a list of our corporate supporters ›
Return to Business Partnerships › 
December 31, 2014| Business Partnerships
Positive Impact Together:
+30 years partnering with business

96% of funds go to programs, more than any U.S. environmental group

+8M acres of land protected since 1985

+2,000 projects

$6B worth of land conserved

We believe business and conservation are strongest when they work together.

Sustainability goals and practices are essential to global business growth. That’s why leaders in every industry trust the Fund to craft innovative, market-based conservation solutions.

With a focus on collaboration, we can help you meet your business goals and deliver measurable, positive and lasting results for conservation and communities across America. 

Join us to:

Protect & Regenerate
Water, forests, farms and ranches important to your packaging, sourcing and operational supply chain.
Learn more: Apple and C&S Wholesale Grocers

Benefit
Communities where you live, work and play to expand access to local food, parks and trails.
Learn more: Dow, CSX and U-Haul

Engage
Customers and employees with opportunities to participate to improve our environment. 
Learn more: Dell and UPS

Invest
In green entrepreneurs to create jobs and improve the livelihoods of farmers and communities of color. 
Learn more: Wells Fargo

Offset
Carbon emissions to meet your energy and climate goals. 
Learn more: Disney and The North Face

Mitigate
Natural, cultural and environmental impacts of your operations and energy projects
Learn more: Williams

Amplify
Your leadership in cities and communities you care about through a customized grants program.
Learn more: CSX and Williams


By signing up for our e-newsletter, you agree to receive periodic communication about the latest news and work done by the Conservation Leadership Network. You can easily unsubscribe at any time, and we commit to only contacting you with pertinent, timely information. (See our Privacy Policy for details.)

Curtis-Branch-c-Bill-Bamberger-390x260Farmer Curtis Branch. Photo by Bill Bamberger
Natural Capital Investment Fund’s Accounting Assistance for Disadvantaged Farmers program helps farmers of color and limited resource farmers in Eastern North Carolina establish good recordkeeping and build financial stability.  The program enables disadvantaged farmers to contract with qualified CPAs at a reduced rate. 

NCTTF sponsoredThe Accounting Assistance Program is supported by a grant from the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund Commission.  


 

Farmers can download an overview and application HERE (Word) or HERE (PDF).
Accountants can download an overview and application HERE (Word) or HERE (PDF).

 

Farming is hard work, and even harder for small farmers.  Farmers of color face additional challenges– discrimination, difficulty accessing capital, and the loss of family lands.   NCIF is committed to helping disadvantaged farmers – who lack access to financial resources -- diversify their enterprises and build greater financial stability.  Raising vegetables or beef for the local market, for example, or developing a CSA, can provide more revenue streams and reduce risk. 

Of course, branching out into new crop or animal production requires more than just agricultural knowledge. Farmers need good financial recordkeeping, tax returns and careful planning to access debt capital and take advantage of federal and state grant opportunities.  That’s where the Accounting Assistance project comes in.  

How It Works

Through this pilot program, farmers who aren’t currently working with Certified Public Accountants will be able to do so at a fraction of the usual cost.  They’ll get help filing their 2015 tax return and will develop a financial recordkeeping system to help keep track of their costs and be ready for future tax years.  

In addition, The Conservation Fund’s Resourceful Communities program will help participating farmers with crop planning and cost management. Learn more.

Farmer Eligibility

To be eligible for the program, farmers must:

  • Be able to show at least $10,000 in farm revenue for the previous year.  You may submit receipts of transactions of commodity sales, contracts, W-9s, Schedule F’s, etc.
  • Have NOT have used an accountant for the previous two years.
  • Agree to pay 20% of the cost of accounting services, up to $250.
  • Be located in Eastern NC or the Sandhills region: Beaufort, Bertie, Columbus, Craven, Duplin, Edgecombe, Greene, Halifax, Hertford, Lenoir, Martin, Nash, Pitt, Sampson, Warren, Wayne, and Wilson counties.
  • Agree to complete a survey and interview at the end of the program period to help assess this program.
  • Agree to utilize an accountant from a pre-approved list, OR an accountant of their choice who has experience working with farmers and is current on all certifications and licenses.  

 

Accountant Eligibility

To be eligible for the program, accountants must:

  • Have substantial experience working with agricultural enterprises and preparing their tax returns;
  • Be current on all licenses and certifications;
  • Have no overdue tax debts, as defined by N.C.G.S. 105-243.1, at the federal, state, or local level; and have no personal and/or professional relationships with the NC Tobacco Trust Fund Commission or Natural Capital Investment Fund (state requirement).   

 
December 31, 2014| Resourceful Communities

 

Rural Community COVID-19 Emergency Grants

Resourceful Communities is excited to announce our Rural Community COVID-19 Emergency Grants, available to our NC partner network! Please read carefully through our eligibility requirements.

Grant Information:
We are humbled and encouraged by the resourceful relief and recovery work happening across rural NC. We are providing grants of either $5,000 or $10,000 to support the rapid response efforts of rural, grassroots organizations addressing both the new and exacerbated challenges their communities face due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Such relief efforts may include: food purchasing and distribution, cold storage for food distribution, wellness checks on homebound individuals, mental health support, child-care services for essential workers, providing protective equipment to meet safety standards, or any other COVID-related operating expenses (utilities, transportation, insurance, etc.).

Deadline: 
Applications are DUE Monday, June 1, 2020 by 11:59 pm (EST) via our online application.
Click here to apply.

Final Reports:
If you receive grant funding, a short final report will be due December 15, 2020.

Eligible Organizations:
· Existing Resourceful Communities partners, including: nonprofits, town and county governments, churches and other faith-based groups (If your organization is not a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, you can still apply for grant funds in partnership with a nonprofit fiscal agent).
· Applicants must be located in rural communities.
· Former and current Creating New Economies Fund 2020 grantees can apply.

Ineligible Applicants:
· Organizations in urban counties are ineligible to apply. These counties include: Buncombe, Durham, Forsyth, Guilford, Mecklenburg, New Hanover, Orange, and Wake.
· Statewide and regional agencies are ineligible.

Funding Priorities include:
· Direct relief efforts
· Organizations not receiving any or substantial COVID-19 relief funding
· Organizations currently doing COVID-19 relief work
· Limited budget organizations
· Organizations led by and serving communities of color and/or low-income communities
· Organizations active in the Resourceful Communities network

Grant Amount:
All grants will be $5,000 or $10,000.

Grant Application:
Resourceful Communities recognizes that community organizations are stretched. We’ve tried to make the application as simple as possible. In addition to contact information, we will only be asking two questions related to your project and requesting a simple budget.

APPLY HERE


Please note:
All applicants will be required to submit additional materials such as a W-9 and IRS 501(c)(3) determination letter, or a group ruling letter for churches. If you are unable to submit these documents with your online application, you will have until June 8th to email these additional documents.

If you have additional questions, email smallgrants@conservationfund.org or contact anyone on our team:
· Donna Pratt: dpratt@conservationfund.org / (919) 902-0889
· Izzie Hirschy: ihirschy@conservationfund.org / (919) 576-6933
· Jaimie McGirt: jmcgirt@conservationfund.org / (910) 231-6760
· Kathleen Marks: kmarks@conservationfund.org / (919) 619-5811
· Margaret Conrad: mconrad@conservationfund.org / (919) 818-8138
· Mikki Sager: msager@conservationfund.org / (919) 949-5687
· Monica McCann: mmccann@conservationfund.org / (919) 612-7110
· Olivia Percoco: opercoco@conservationfund.org / (631) 905-9550
· Tatia Ash: tash@conservationdfund.org / (919) 423-5496

We are able to provide these relief funds thanks to the generosity of the Oak Foundation and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Foundation.

December 31, 2014| Business Partnerships
We practice conservation to achieve environmental and economic outcomes. Every Fund program places conservation at its center to effectively implement innovative, practical solutions to benefit the natural world and the well-being of Americans from every walk of life.



Return to Business Partnerships › 
December 31, 2014| Conservation Acquisition
Our experienced team consists of some of the most skilled and creative conservation real estate experts in the field including knowledgeable practitioners, attorneys, lenders, and foresters.  Many work in small offices across the country, living in the communities they help conserve.