• 66°

LandTrust works to keep Spencer Woods the way it is now

By Karissa Minn
kminn@salisburypost.com
SPENCER — Thanks to concerned local residents and a land preservation group, a 40-acre hardwood forest in Spencer could be saved from clear-cutting.
The LandTrust for Central North Carolina wants to create a natural public park there in honor of Fred and Alice Stanback, long-time conservation advocates in Rowan County.
Executive Director Jason Walser said the group will need the community’s help to buy the property by the end of this year.
The LandTrust is $100,000 away from purchasing the 40-acre tract — called “Spencer Woods” by neighbors — that runs along South Rowan Avenue between 17th and 11th streets.
It was set last year to be clear-cut, graded flat, and re-planted in loblolly pine trees. The Post had a story about it in February 2010.
“When I came to the office on Monday morning after the article ran, I had eight voice mails on my phone related to the story in the paper, and three more emails,” Walser said in a written statement. “Every single one of them asked us to try to get involved to save the trees if at all possible.”
If snow and rain had not delayed logging efforts, they may not have had a chance. Landowner Craft Development, a Charlotte-based real estate development company, had scheduled the clear-cutting one week before the Post story was printed.
Buddy Gettys, former mayor of Spencer, said he contacted Walser to see if something could be done.
“It’s beautiful. I’ve been there all my life, and I didn’t want anybody to cut it down,” Gettys said. “If they were going to put something in there that’s valuable, that’s OK, but they weren’t.”
David Cuthberson and Scott Twiddy of Craft Development were willing to find a way to conserve the woods, Walser said. The LandTrust talked with them and agreed to put $10,000 down toward an option to purchase the property.
Mayor Jody Everhart said he and the Spencer Board of Aldermen have been working with the LandTrust to help it buy the land and create a passive recreation park.
“It would be an added attraction, not just for Spencer, but for Salisbury and northern Rowan County,” Everhart said. “Where else can you go in town that has 40 acres of natural woods and trails you can walk through?”
Joann Gobbel, who lives on West 17th Street in Spencer, said saving the trees would be “absolutely wonderful.”
“I would just have a dying fit if somebody came down and cut that out,” Gobbel said. “It’s the only bit of forest we even have left.”
Jackie Cernohorsky said she is glad the area won’t be clear-cut but has concerns about the idea of changing it into a public park. Her property on South Rowan Avenue borders the woods.
“To be honest with you, I sort of like it just like it is,” Cernohorsky said. “It’s very private this way. … It’s real natural-looking, and I think it’s pretty.”
Walser said there are no set plans for the project, and local residents will be invited to share ideas and take ownership of their community park.
The LandTrust was hoping to receive a grant from the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, but the state redirected nearly all of the available funds this year to help balance its budget.
Walser said Julian Robertson Jr. contributed to the project earlier this year in honor of Fred and Alice Stanback. Other private donors, including friends of the Stanbacks, have given since then.
To raise the remaining $100,000 needed to buy the property, The LandTrust will hold a public fundraising campaign later this summer and into the fall.
“We are going to need the support of everyone who enjoys these trees and this beautiful property to ensure that the ultimate goal is realized,” Walser said.
For more information, or to make a donation toward the conservation of Spencer Woods, email landtrust@ landtrustcnc.org or call 704-647-0302 .








Comments

Comments closed.

Coronavirus

Rowan Health Department clarifies county’s COVID-19 death total is 301

Landis

Landis approves new land development ordinance, zoning map

Landis

Landis approves body camera, stun gun purchase for public safety officers

Crime

One charged, another dead on sheriff’s most wanted list

Crime

No injuries after car shot eight times on Old Concord Road

Education

RSS talks first steps for new federal relief totaling $66 million

China Grove

Gary’s Barbecue staff, customers look back at 50 years

News

Salisbury Lions Club names Person of the Year, Lion of the Year at 78th annual banquet

Education

Student COVID-19 numbers show first decline since plan A

High School

High school golf: Fowler competes in state tournament

News

Amazon announces new distribution center for North Carolina

News

House passes bill to bar Cooper from mandating COVID shot

Coronavirus

Rowan County sees death 302 from COVID-19; Health Department to host final mass vaccine clinic

Ask Us

Ask Us: What happened to work on South Fulton Street home?

Crime

Blotter: Woman says she was shot in hand on Lincolnton Road

Crime

Rowan Sheriff’s Office charges Salisbury man with operating illegal gambling business

Crime

Blotter: Rockwell man arrested on felony drug, breaking and entering charges

Local

Rep. Amber Baker discusses legislative session during Rowan Democrats breakfast meeting

Local

Thousands of locals, out-of-towners gather for a groovy time at annual Hippie Fest

News

N.C. Zoo ready for expansion if lawmakers OK funding

Education

RSS budgeting for tens of millions in federal COVID-19 relief funding

East Spencer

‘Back in full swing’ for the spring: East Spencer community gathers for food, fun and fellowship at Spring Fest

Local

Rowan native Lingle among those honored with NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame induction

Business

Former pro baseball player, Tar Heel standout Russ Adams finds new career with Trident Insured