State News

N.C. luminaries named to Conservation Trust board

Posted May 17, 2009 12:21 p.m. EDT
Updated May 17, 2009 2:05 p.m. EDT

— Nearly 60 distinguished state residents – from Andy Griffith to James Taylor to Maya Angelou –- have been named honorary board members of the Conservation Trust for North Carolina, which preserves land along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The group accepted an invitation from University of North Carolina President Emeritus William Friday to lend their names to the organization's work. Friday and his wife, Ida, are also honorary board members.

"Protecting our natural heritage for our children and grandchildren commands the top priorities of our generation," said Friday, while announcing the appointments at the Somerhill Gallery in Durham. "We are profoundly grateful for the good work done already; we must now gather our strength and fulfill the trust our generation possesses."

Also among those named were former Govs. Jim Hunt and Jim Holshouser, former state education board chairman Howard Lee and NASCAR team owner Richard Childress. The honorary board members agreed to lend their reputations to bolster the organization's work.

The Conservation Trust assists 24 local land trusts, so that they can protect more land in the communities they serve. It also protects water and 32,000 acres along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

"As our state grows and conservation funding shrinks, it’s critical to support an organization that has the scope and influence of the Conservation Trust for North Carolina,” said Chuck Stone, a journalist, educator and honorary board member. “All North Carolinians benefit from CTNC’s work to protect our natural heritage and resources, and we should all find a way to be involved in that work.”

"Conservation cannot wait for better times – once we lose a stream, a farm field or a spectacular mountain landscape, we can’t get it back," said Joe Rowand, an honorary board member and owner of the Somerhill Gallery.