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Donation Leads to Mt. Mitchell Expansion
Written by Bruce Ferrell   
Tuesday, 30 August 2016 17:11

MOUNT MITCHELL  --  Thanks to the generosity of Salisbury philanthropists Fred and Alice Stanback and The Conservation Fund, along with contributions from the state’s Clean Water Management and N.C. Parks and Recreation trust funds, Mount Mitchell State Park will soon double in size with the acquisition of 2,744 acres of land in the Black Mountains.

“Protecting our natural resources in North Carolina requires a partnership of government and the private sector. This acquisition for Mount Mitchell State Park, aided by the Stanback family, The Conservation Fund and the state’s conservation trust funds, is a prime example,” Governor Pat McCrory said in a press  release. “It’s also a perfect complement to the $75 million Connect NC bond initiative that provides improvements at our state parks.”

Announced at an August 26 centennial celebration of the park, the land acquisition includes 783 acres in the Laurel Branch area and 1,961 acres in the Cattail Peak area. The Conservation Fund will have paid $8.6 million for the two tracts and will resell them to the state for $3.2 million.

“What a magnificent birthday gift to Mount Mitchell and the state parks system,” said Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz. “Mount Mitchell was our first state park and this gift will more than double its size. The generosity and graciousness of the Stanbacks and other private donors and citizens for this project are an example of why North Carolina is so special. Their participation enhances what’s best about North Carolina.”

The Laurel Branch area, valued at $3 million, was funded primarily through a gift from the Stanbacks, with $130,000 provided by the Clean Water Management Trust Fund.

Funding is not yet complete for the Cattail Peak area, valued at $7.5 million. Half of the funding for the property was provided by the Stanbacks. The Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF) provided $1.2 million, and the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund has set aside $728,000 in funding. A pending grant from CWMTF is expected to provide the remaining funds.




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