Gifts that endure

September 20, 2020

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Triangle Land Conservancy has received numerous calls from people who are updating or making their estate plans. In these uncertain times, more and more people have been thinking about the future — not just about their own, but about the future of people they might not ever know.

A planned gift to TLC is one of the best ways to ensure land is protected long after we are gone. Supporters who include TLC in their estate plans become members of the Heritage Society so we can recognize their dedication to conservation in their lifetimes. We’re grateful to those who are ensuring land can be protected for future generations as TLC continues to accelerate the pace of conservation in the Triangle.

To help make it easier for people who have already started thinking ahead, TLC partnered with FreeWill to provide our community with an innovative, free, online resource that guides people through the process of writing a will in 20 minutes or less. More information is available at

Recently, Shellie Lempert, who lives in Raleigh and is a TLC volunteer, decided to include TLC in her estate plans. As a longtime supporter and user of public lands and green spaces, she was excited to learn about the FreeWill tool.

Shellie lived in the Triangle for several years before finding TLC preserves, and she likes that they are often quieter than nearby state parks. She recently completed the TLC Hiking Challenge to explore more nature preserves and trails in the Triangle.

When the pandemic first broke out, she found herself heading to White Pines Nature Preserve — which is now her favorite TLC preserve — to get some fresh air and contemplate the world. She also enjoys Swift Creek Bluffs and Flower Hill because they remind her of the mountains.

Shellie appreciates that conservation efforts have protected wooded areas in the region.

“Here in the Triangle, there’s the greenways, and there are so many preserves like those protected by TLC, as well as parks,” she said. “It’s really nice that it keeps the area from being a concrete jungle.”

Shellie has lived in the Midwest and West, so she’s appreciative of the many incredible spots that have helped clear her mind and encourage her creative side. Now, inspired by some of the earlier conservationists who recognized the importance of nature, she wants to make sure future generations have green spaces to explore and find comfort in as she has throughout her life. She hopes part of her legacy will help TLC conserve more land.

“I feel most peaceful in nature, and I want to share that with others,” she said. “It’s sad to me that we have so little green space for so many people.” 

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