After successfully celebrating Land Trust Day on June 6th with a hike and party with the Great Outdoor Provision Company (GOPC), Triangle Land Conservancy caught up with Charles Millsaps, president of GOPC and heard his thoughts on Land Trust Day and the importance of supporting land conservation practices.
Millsaps began his involvement with TLC after he started his work at GOPC in the 1980s. His interest in the nonprofit peaked when he heard about the work TLC provided to aid land conservation. The relationship progressed after the formation of TLC's White Pines Nature Preserve in 1987.
“It was such a significant step forward for land conservation in a rapidly developing area of our state. As a company we wanted to be part of this important work to save the places we love for future generations. Our company’s founders, Tom and Becca Valone, started Land Trust Day in 1992 to celebrate the value of all muscle powered trails,” said Millsaps.
With the creation of Land Trust Day, GOPC began donating a portion of sales to TLC and other local land trusts on Land Trust Day.
Over the past 30 years that they have worked with TLC, GOPC has strived to increase the opportunities their customers have to enjoy the natural community around them. Millsaps said, “Increasing the engagement with the land has been our top priority over the past decade and the properties under the protection of TLC have been ideal territory.”
He then described GOPC’s “GetHiking!” program, a free hiking group that organizes trips around the area. The hikes provide a successful form of recreation and increase supporters for land conservation in the Triangle and all over North Carolina, with over 1,000 people already involved in the Triangle GetHiking! program.
“Much of our work and most of our play takes place outside. The work of TLC and other land trusts ensures that future generations will have an outside within which to play. TLC’s work to protect greenspace within this rapidly developing metropolitan area is of great importance to both today’s population and the generation to come,” said Millsaps.
Millsaps ended by explaining his thoughts on the importance of land conservation. “Today, we see a rapid development across our region and a rapid decline in outdoor activities for youth. We know that people need time in nature for their health, happiness, and well-being. Local land trusts help to not only establish permanent open space for future enjoyment but offer programs that allow folks to get outside for a meaningful connection with nature,” said Millsaps.
Learn more about the impact nature has on our lives and how land trusts conserve these important open spaces in this video by Our State Magazine presented by GOPC:
GOPC's support for Triangle Land Conservancy allows us to continue saving the places you love and the land you need. Join GOPC in supporting local land conservation by becoming a TLC member today! Your donation helps connect people with nature, conserve critical habitats, support our local farms, and safeguard regional drinking water supplies. Your membership also includes two newsletters, our annual report, and invitations to special members-only events. Now is the perfect time to become a member (or make a special gift) because generous TLC supporters have offered to match all gifts up to $26,000 – but only until June 30th. So don't delay, give today to protect open spaces for today’s population and for generations to come!