The Good Ground Initiative

Farm tour at Faithfull Farms in Chapel Hill, NC. Photo: TLC Staff

Triangle Land Conservancy (TLC) strives to create a healthier and more vibrant Triangle region by safeguarding clean water, protecting natural habitats, supporting local farms and food, and connecting people with nature through land protection and stewardship, catalyzing community action, and collaboration. TLC’s strategic plan set a goal of  accelerating the pace of conservation in the Triangle to conserve 25,000 acres by 2025, a bold goal that requires innovative action and increased collaboration.

Today, all farmland is under threat of conversion to other uses and development, especially in North Carolina, one of the top agricultural states in the nation and one of the fastest growing. Between 2001 and 2016 more than 731,600 acres of agricultural land were developed or compromised. North Carolina is currently on track to lose nearly 1.2 million acres of farmland to development by 2040, making the state’s farmland some of the most threatened in the nation. Part of TLC’s strategic efforts include protecting an additional 3,000 acres of farmland by 2025. The Good Ground Initiative (GGI) enables TLC to employ many of the same tools that the organization has utilized since 1983 to conserve almost 23,000 acres of land, in new and different ways.

The GGI is a program of TLC that expands existing efforts to conserve farms, forest, and recreational land facing development pressures and addresses historic disparities in land access and ownership. Ownership has for many generations been disproportionate in the United States. TLC utilizes community collaboration and conservation tools to promote equity, educate about conservation, and increase land ownership, retention, and economic opportunities for historically underserved people at prices unaffected by development potential. One conservation tool, known as Buy-Protect-Sell, entails purchasing prime agricultural land and protecting it with a conservation easement, an agreement that permanently protects land and decreases its total market value by restricting the option to develop. Conserved properties will then be matched with and sold to historically underserved people participating in the initiative.

Hoop house at Faithfull Farms in Chapel Hill, NC. Photo: TLC Staff

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