• 28°

Editorial: Guardians of the Earth

When the state purchased Chimney Rock Park last year, Gov. Mike Easley described Fred and Alice Stanback of Salisbury as the “guardian angels” whose generosity had made it possible for North Carolina to preserve this unique mountain landscape for the enjoyment of future generations.
The governor wasn’t exaggerating. Fred and Alice Stanback have made a habit ó actually, a life’s work ó of being guardian angels for the Earth, whether it’s here in Rowan County, eastward into the Uwharrie National Forest, westward toward North Carolina’s craggy peaks, along the Blue Ridge Parkway ó or in countless other places around the state. Carrying on a deep-rooted family tradition, they’ve helped to protect thousands of acres of our most treasured natural areas.
As many here can attest, they’re richly deserving of the North Carolina Award, the state’s highest accolade for civilians, which they received along with 10 other honorees Monday at a ceremony in Durham. They thus join the list of distinguished recipients who’ve been recognized for their contributions to public service, the fine arts, science or literature. It includes at least three other previous honorees with Salisbury ties: educator Elizabeth Duncan Koontz (1977), Sen. Elizabeth Dole (1991) and actor Sidney Blackmer (1972).
In addition to being generous contributors to environmental causes, the Stanbacks also are generous with their time and energy, serving on boards and councils for organizations such as the LandTrust for Central North Carolina, Catawba College, North Carolina Nature Conservancy, Southern Environmental Law Center and the Duke University Nicholas School of the Environment. In Rowan County, their lasting legacy will include the Center for the Environment at Catawba, which the Stanbacks helped establish and which exemplifies their commitment to protecting our natural resources and educating future stewards who will carry on the causes they champion.
Of course, these are only a few of the endeavors we know about. In many cases, the Stanbacks are identified only as “anonymous donor.” In fact, that’s initially how their contribution to the Chimney Rock Park purchase was described, until nosy reporters figured out their identity.
Admittedly, that didn’t require a lot of investigative legwork. Whenever you read about major conservation initiatives locally or elsewhere in North Carolina, chances are, there’s a Stanback involved. Whether it’s helping preserve Rowan County farmland, supporting greenways and nature trails or setting their sights on higher ground like the recently opened Dunn’s Mountain Nature Preserve and Park, which they also helped make possible, these guardian angels have spread their wings over a multitude of special places.

Comments

Comments closed.

Local

Political Notebook: Interim health director to talk COVID-19 at county Democrats breakfast

Local

‘Their names liveth forevermore:’ Officials dedicate Fire Station No. 6 to fallen firefighters Monroe, Isler

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury man charged for breaking into Salisbury high, getting juvenile to help

Nation/World

With virus aid in sight, Democrats debate filibuster changes

Local

City officials differ on how, what information should be released regarding viral K-9 officer video

High School

High school basketball: Carson girls are 3A champions

Lifestyle

High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Local

With jury trials set to resume, impact of COVID-19 on process looms

Legion baseball

Book explores life of Pfeiffer baseball coach Joe Ferebee

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Board of Education to receive update on competency-based education

Business

Biz Roundup: Kannapolis expects to see economic, housing growth continue in 2021

Business

A fixture of downtown Salisbury’s shopping scene, Caniche celebrates 15th anniversary this month

Local

Slate of new officers during local GOP convention; Rev. Jenkins becomes new chair

Landis

Landis officials narrow search for new manager to five candidates; expect decision within a month

Lifestyle

Together at last: High school, college sweethearts marry nearly 50 years later

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools sorts out transportation logistics in preparation for full-time return to classes

High School

Photo gallery: Carson goes undefeated, wins 3A state championship

Nation/World

Europe staggers as infectious variants power virus surge

Nation/World

Biden, Democrats prevail as Senate OKs $1.9 trillion virus relief bill

Nation/World

Senate Democrats strike deal on jobless aid, move relief bill closer to approval

News

Duke Life Flight pilot may have shut down wrong engine in fatal crash

News

Two NC counties get to participate in satellite internet pilot for students

Local

PETA protesters gather in front of police department

Coronavirus

UPDATED: Eight new COVID-19 deaths, 203 positives reported in county this week