Protecting One Mile of River Frontage

PLC Acquires More Land for Mayo River State Park

Images and video footage in this blog were generously donated by AFC Consulting Drone Services

PLC closed more gaps along the Mayo River in Rockingham County last month, with the acquisition of two tracts that preserve nearly 1 mile of river frontage. These properties, totaling 95 acres, will be added to Mayo River State Park to create more recreational access to the river while protecting important conservation areas.

Longtime supporters of PLC will recall that we have acquired many parcels along the Mayo River in Rockingham County. Our efforts there are generally to acquire tracts and act as a caretaker until they can be transferred over to the Mayo River State Park. At that point they not only continue their role of safeguarding water quality in the Mayo River but they also become a public amenity. Generally, these efforts take years to materialize, but not always.

This spring PLC was notified of two parcels on the market that shared boundaries with the Mayo River State Park. We were able to first visit the site on April 8th. Before visiting the site we reviewed maps and thought it might be a nice addition to the Park, but probably not something that should jump to the top of our priority list. And then, we visited the site.

With this stunning property on the market and other buyers showing interest the only chance to acquire this property was to act quickly. Thankfully, a gift from Fred and Alice Stanback of Salisbury allowed us to do so, and PLC signed a contract two weeks later. We later learned a similar, competing offer came in just hours after the buyer had accepted PLC’s offer.

An old barn on the property
PLC Staff and Members walking the property

Hikers and kayakers at the Mayo River State Park likely won’t know this story in coming years. They’ll enjoy the cool, clear waters of the Mayo River. They may search for spring wildflowers on the hillsides along the river. They may, one day, even camp with their children and listen to the owls hoot in the forest.

PLC doesn’t typically share the inside story of projects. We celebrate the acreage, the location, or the type of property being conserved. However, in this case it seems appropriate. All of the things that people will enjoy about this property when it becomes part of the Mayo River State Park – none of them would have been possible if PLC had been a few hours later.

A Non-Traditional State Park

Since 2016, PLC has added nearly 500 acres to Mayo River State Park in North Carolina and 216 acres to Virginia’s Mayo River State Park, significantly increasing direct river access and creating something of a non-traditional, more linear State Park. In the map to the left, you can see the striped properties where PLC was involved in acquiring land for the State Park.

The Mayo River is one of PLC’s highest priority conservation targets because of its high water quality, endangered fish, rare aquatic species, and significant recreational opportunities along the river. PLC will remain committed to growing this beautiful State Park into the future and we thank our supporters for the role they play in making that happen.

See a Bird's Eye View of the 95-Acres

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