Gaining Ground

North Carolina

1,523,393

Acres Protected

That’s about 1,154,086 football fields!

Land trusts have already conserved 61 million acres of private land across the nation — more than all of the national parks combined. Help us conserve another 60 million acres by the end of the decade.

Together, let’s keep Gaining Ground.

Visitors to Land Trust Properties

132,373

Visitors in 2020, more than double that of 2015.

Percent of Land Trusts That Provide Public Access to Their Lands

79%

Land trusts provide opportunities to recreate and recharge.

Number of People Served

59,628

Land trusts provide programs and activities to get people outside and learn about the land.

Miles of Trails

109

Walking, hiking and other outdoor recreation improve people's health and well-being.

Miles With Universal Access

11

Universal access trails are designed to be used by all people, regardless of ability.

Percent of Land Trusts Who Increased Community Engagement in the Last Five Years

91%

Land Trusts Are Deepening Relationships With:
  • People from various racial and ethnic backgrounds

  • Older adults or those living in retirement communities

  • People who identify as LGBTQ+

  • People living with disabilities

  • Veterans

Land Trusts Are Helping Address Community Needs, Including:
  • Youth education and development

  • Community and economic development

  • Food security and agriculture

  • Health and wellness

  • Social and environmental justice

Demographics

Every land trust is as unique as the community it serves.

North Carolina land trusts are community-led and supported and protect lands and waters that help the entire state.

Active Land Trusts

28

A land trust is a nonprofit that conserves land by acquiring and stewarding land or conservation easements.

Learn more about land trusts
Alliance Member Land Trusts

26

Land Trust Alliance members commit to adopting Land Trust Standards and Practices as their guiding principles.

Learn about the land trust alliance
Accredited Land Trusts

18

Accredited land trusts undergo a thorough review of their practices in governance, finance, transactions and stewardship.

Learn about land trust accreditation

People

  • Members/financial supporters

    16,417

  • Volunteers

    3,799

  • Full-time staff

    147

  • Part-time staff

    35

  • Board members

    357

Land Trust Longevity

  • Oldest

    139 years old (1883)

  • Youngest

    15 years old (2007)

  • Median age

    28 years old

Percent of Land Trusts Who Increased Focus on Climate Change in the Last Five Years

73%

Percent of Land Trusts Receiving Funding to Address Climate Change

64%

Sources of Funding to Address Climate Change
  • United States Department of Agriculture - Natural Resources Conservation Service

Land Protected

There has been a 19% increase in North Carolina land protected by land trusts since 2010.

Acre by acre, land trusts are helping to conserve North Carolina lands, waters and ways of life.

2010
2015
2020
Total acres protected
1,280,688
1,406,569
1,523,393
+19%
Under easement
199,078
264,177
328,746
+65%
Owned
282,439
323,135
357,684
+27%
Acquired and reconveyed
464,556
475,992
505,897
+9%
Protected by other means
334,615
383,301
331,066
0%

Disclaimer: Land trusts conserve land in many different ways and every project is unique. Category totals may change depending on how acres are reported by survey respondents to reflect the most current data and minimize double-counting. In some instances, the total may be greater than the sum of the separate categories due to organizations that provided total acres not broken down by category.

Percent of Land Owned and Under Easement Held by an Accredited Land Trust

94%

Source: 2020 National Land Trust Census

Total Public Funding for Conservation From 1998-2017

$1.8 billion

Source: Trust for Public Land's Conservation Almanac

Acres of Land Lost to Development From 2012-2017

124,300

Source: NRCS - Natural Resources Inventory

This information reflects data collected in the National Land Trust Census, the longest-running comprehensive survey of private land conservation in America. Learn more about the Census and see which land trusts participated in the 2020 National Land Trust Census.

Making a Difference

North Carolina land trusts are gaining ground.

Land trusts across the state are helping find solutions to some of North Carolina's most pressing issues.

  • Saving family farms: The North Carolina-based Black Family Land trust, which works primarily in the Southeast, works with Black land owners and farmers to preserve their land assets. The organization provides education and technical and financial support to landowners, while encouraging them to consider their land heritage in planning for the future. "We're one of the nation's only land trusts dedicated to the protection of African-American land and land owned by other historically underserved populations," says Executive Director Ebonie Alexander.

    Read more
  • Addressing community needs: The Carolina Thread Trail is a regional network of greenways and blueways spanning 15 counties in two states around Charlotte, which is expected to lose a quarter of its forestland by 2025. The accredited Catawba Lands Conservancy is engaging communities along the planned route for the trail as it seeks to balance anticipated growth with conservation.

    Read more

Land Trusts Working in North Carolina

Land Trust Alliance member land trusts, listed below, commit to adopting Land Trust Standards and Practices as their guiding principles.