TLC recently partnered with the Earthseed Land Cooperative to conserve 33 acres of land north of Durham. The 33-acre easement is located in the headwater region of the Eno River Watershed. The property has two forested headwater streams that flow to the Eno. The conservation easement establishes a permanent 100-ft buffer on these tributaries as well as protect 33 acres of mature hardwood forest and additional mixed forest and meadow areas.
The property is owned by the Earthseed Land Cooperative who aim to permanently protect the water quality, forest, and agricultural properties of the site. The collective is a group of black and brown Visionaries who walk out their belief in abundance by collaborating to acquire land for shared affordable housing, sustainable food production, environmental stewardship and community ritual and education space. The group is engaged in creating alternative models for sustainability, equity, and cooperation within communities of color.
“This land means we have a home that we will never have to leave. We have a place to grow our businesses, and our children and grand-children. This land means that our community has access to land in order to grieve and heal. It also means we can offer small-business incubation and a model for alternative economies,” explained Kifu Faruq, a founding member of the cooperative.
TLC utilized resources from its Pearson Stewart Land Opportunity Fund (LOF) to support the conservation of this tract. Funds in the endowment enable TLC to seek out owners of critical land, to competitively negotiate for land, and to respond quickly as prime conservation land becomes available. The project was also supported by the City of Raleigh’s Watershed Protection Fund to help conserve the tract. Leigh Ann Hammerbacher, Associate Director of Conservation & Stewardship for Triangle Land Conservancy, said of the project “TLC is excited about this unique opportunity which permanently protects open space in the Eno and Falls Lake Watersheds as well as provides a new model of protection to help make conservation lands more affordable to innovative community groups.”
The Earthseed property provides a model for creating partnerships to protect high-priority lands in the Upper Neuse Watershed. This property will help permanently protect the water quality of the Eno River and Falls Lake.
Sandy Sweitzer, Executive Director of Triangle Land Conservancy stated “TLC is proud to support Earthseed’s work and to stand with them as they create alternative models for sustainability, equity, and cooperation for all.”
Earth seed is in the midst of a crowdfunding campaign to transform a barn on the property into a community gathering space. More details at https://www.gofundme.com/earthseedlandcoop
For more information about the Earthseed Land Cooperative, visit their website at https://earthseedlandcoop.org/.