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Morrow Mountain State Park gains 45 acres along Mountain Creek

Morrow Mountain State Park has an additional 45 acres along Mountain Creek, thanks to a partnership among property owners Ron and Nancy Bryant, LandTrust for Central NC and North Carolina State Parks.

The Bryants approached LandTrust as “conservation buyers” in February 2014. They were interested in a like-kind exchange to buy some land with conservation value in Stanly County. LandTrust contacted local real estate agent Curt Dorsey, who helped locate the right parcel.

“This property has over 3,000 linear feet of stream frontage on scenic Mountain Creek, a stream that has rare mussels and high water quality,” said Crystal Cockman, land protection director for LandTrust. “The site is part of Stony Hill Church Hardwoods, which is identified as a natural heritage area by the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program because of its mature hardwood forests and rocky outcroppings.”

State park employees received a grant from the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund for a portion of the purchase price. With financial support from Fred and Alice Stanback, LandTrust was able to close the funding gap.

“We are grateful to all those who came together to see this spectacular property added to Morrow Mountain State Park, Stanly County’s No. 1 tourist destination,” said Executive Director Travis Morehead.

Park Superintendent Jeff Davidson says he is excited for the addition to Morrow Mountain.

“Public lands inspire people to be good stewards of their natural environment and help to connect people with nature,” Davidson said. “This new property will help preserve a unique ecosystem that is home to several rare species including the Carolina Creekshell and the timber rattlesnake. This is the also the first piece of property added to the park on the south side of Mountain Creek, further protecting the water quality and the creek’s natural beauty.”

For more information about the project or to learn how to support LandTrust for Central NC in its mission to conserve land in the central Piedmont, visit its website, www.landtrustcnc.org, or contact Crystal Cockman at crystal@landtrustcnc.org or 704-647-0302.

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