Triangle Land Conservancy


Mission Statement

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. We see the Triangle region as an increasingly healthy and vibrant place to live where wild and working lands are protected and everyone has access to open space, clean water, and local food.


In the early 1980s, more than 150 citizens of Region J (Chatham, Durham, Johnston, Lee, Orange, and Wake counties) gathered to look ahead to the year 2000, making recommendations to chart the course for the Triangle’s growth. One of these recommendations was to preserve land.
After a task force studied the feasibility of a land trust, the Triangle J Council of Governments (TJCOG) approved the recommendation. As the initial development phase began for a conservation organization, TJCOG provided temporary office space and administrative support.
Not long after, on February 17, 1983, North Carolina’s Secretary of State officially certified the formation of Triangle Land Conservancy (TLC). TLC’s efforts to protect conservation land began promptly.
White Pines Nature Preserve became the first major land purchase project. In 1987, TLC launched an effort to protect this natural area from potential development, purchasing 136 acres from two landowners and forming the core of the nature preserve. Today, this mountain-like sliver of the Piedmont provides a refuge for a curious collection of Mountain, Piedmont and Coastal Plain flora and fauna. Located at the confluence of the Deep and Rocky Rivers, it is renowned for its isolated stand of white pines (Pinus strobus). Thanks to willing landowners and additional land acquisitions, White Pines Nature Preserve now protects more than 270 acres.
TLC continues to identify and preserve sites throughout the Triangle that are logical locations for open space. Since 1983, TLC has conserved over 20,000 acres of land through conservation easements, fee acquisition and partnerships with state and local governments. Through permanent land conservation, TLC is ensuring our region will have clean water, healthy habitats, local farms and fresh food, and plenty of places for people to connect with nature. For more information about our current work, take a look at our 2018-2025 Strategic Action Plan.

Program Details

Triangle Land Conservancy (TLC) has protected over 20,000 acres of land since 1983, including over 145 miles of streams, for natural habitat, local farms and food, to connect people with nature, and to safeguard clean water. TLC’s ambitious Strategic Action Plan, which calls for doubling the rate of our conservation work in our region by protecting an average of 1,000 acres per year to reach 25,000 acres protected by 2025. Guided by this plan TLC surpassed our 1,000-acre goal in the first year of our Strategic Action Plan.
TLC owns and manages eight nature preserves. Seven preserves are open to the public from dawn to dusk, and one is a working farm used by more than 500 children and refugee farmers each year. We are currently in the midst of preparing to open our ninth preserve, Bailey and Sarah Williamson Preserve. This preserve will give mountain bikers, hikers and birders a place to enjoy nature a short distance from downtown Raleigh; provide assistance to farmers who want to learn environmentally friendly farming practices; and will be a place of learning and educational opportunity for children. Williamson Preserve will have a joint 13-mile trail system with an adjacent property owned by NC State Parks and managed by the Town of Clayton, and the trail system will connect to the Neuse River Greenway.
Due to the impact from the novel coronavirus and the associated social distancing measures, TLC has launched a new web-based series called Conservation Conversations, which has allowed the public to connect with TLC staff members and their work, resource professionals, and partner organizations in a presentation and Q&A format. TLC’s environmental education (EE) program also seamlessly pivoted from in-person gatherings to launch Triangle Explorers, a virtual EE program aimed at kids K-5. Participants can earn badges for completing activities on different subjects as they work towards a TLC patch. The activities are designed to be completed in their yard or local park to keep with social distancing guidelines, and they require very few materials.
TLC has been working hard to ensure our properties and programs remain safe for people to enjoy. Demand for outdoor recreation only increased after North Carolina’s stay-at-home order exempted outdoor recreation from restrictions, and the last several months have seen the highest number of visitors to our preserves, emphasizing their importance to our community.
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514 South Duke Street
Durham, NC 27701
United States
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