Thank You Park and Trail Staff!

Thank you to all the park and trail staff and volunteers that have helped keep our parks, trails, preserves and publicly protected lands safe, clean and open for people to enjoy this year.

During the COVID-19 outbreak, North Carolina’s parks and trails have offered a respite from stress and isolation. Being able to simply be outside for a few hours has given North Carolinians peace in a stressful time.

The state parks that stayed open during Safe at Home orders saw overwhelming numbers of visitors. Thanks to a beautiful spring, Carolina Beach State Park saw a 62% increase in visitors in April 2020 compared to 2019. This meant the staff had to work diligently to keep the trails safe and clean for everyone to use. Visitors did their part by picking up litter and social distancing, but the park staff were the true heroes in showing up to work day in and day out to keep our trails open.

All summer long, the often-invisible heroes of trail and park staff and volunteers have been maintaining trails, emptying trash bins, cleaning restrooms, and patrolling our parks. These behind-the-scenes heroes often go unrecognized for the work they do in the heat, rain and humidity. They are fount of knowledge about the land they care for and take deep pride in keeping it safe for you to enjoy.

Just saying a simple “thank you” the next time you see a park or trail staff member can go a long way. They are the ones ensuring that you can enjoy some of the most beautiful places in North Carolina.

Here are some simple things you can do to thank your park and trail staff and volunteers:

  • Just say “Thanks” when you see them emptying trash bins or cleaning bathrooms
  • Send a thank you note to the park or land conservancy home office
  • Send a tweet or post on Instagram thanking the staff and volunteers and tag your favorite park or land conservation organization

Many members of the Land for Tomorrow coalition will be posting on social media with the hashtag #ThankYouNCParkStaff to celebrate parks and trail staff. Visit our social media channels to see reposts from members.

Many of these lands have been improved thanks to funding from the North Carolina’s conservation trust funds. Our state’s conservation trust funds ensure that the Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF), Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) and the Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund (ADFPTF) are fully funded to be safeguards for our beloved natural spaces. These funds enable conservation groups to continue working with our state partners to protect the North Carolina’s valuable natural resources. To learn more about these conservation funds, visit http://www.land4tomorrow.org/about/trust-funds/. 

Now Is The Time To Invest In Conservation For North Carolina

While this global pandemic has hit all nations and all our US states hard, there is no denying the outdoors have served as a getaway to relieve people from isolation.

In the midst of quarantine, trails at local and state parks have seen a dramatic increase in visitation from North Carolinians trying to get outside for some fresh air. Through these visits, it’s been clear that open spaces have been important for people to maintain their health and bridge the gap to a good quality of life during a time of great uncertainty.

As the North Carolina legislator prepares to go into session, the Land for Tomorrow coalition urges state lawmakers to maintain reliable funding for the state’s conservation trust funds in this upcoming fiscal year. The continued investment for these funds will not only protect our state’s natural resources but it will also invest in the well-being of all North Carolinians and help rebuild our local and recreational economies. By doing so, North Carolina can continue to establish itself as a great place for our residents to work, live, and play – as well as provide economic opportunity for those in the recreational industry.

Here are The Land for Tomorrow Coalition’s legislative priorities for the NC legislator for FY20-21:

  • $19,657,529 for Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF) 

This amount reflects a $13,157,530 base budget + $4,500,000 in new recurring funds + $1,999,999 in nonrecurring funds. 

  • $19,642,884 million per year for the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) 

This amount reflects a $16,242,884 base budget + $1,400,000 in new recurring funds + $2,000,000 in nonrecurring funds. 

  • $7,800,000 for the Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund 

This amount reflects a $4,300,000 base budget + $3,500,000 in nonrecurring funds. 

We look forward to the upcoming session and working with members of the General Assembly to establish a budget that continues to invest in conservation and North Carolina’s constituents.

 

Protecting North Carolina’s Fall Splendor

Cooler temperatures mean North Carolinians can finally get outside and safely enjoy the glory of this fall leafing season.

Each of the following locations are protected and open to visitors thanks to the hard work of local organizations and North Carolina’s conservation trust funds – the N.C. Land and Water Fund (NCLWF), Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) and/or the Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund (ADFPTF). The conservation trust funds help ensure that we all have access to clean air, clean water and spectacular places to recreate and relax.

Plan your next socially distanced fall hike at one of these splendid getaways:

Mountains

Foothills

Piedmont

Triangle

Coast

Charlotte