For several decades, Dr. Richard Adams – a prominent orthopedic surgeon who practiced in Iredell County – has been buying land around his farm.  And almost as quickly as he buys it, he tries to ensure its permanent protection.

Dr. Adams has been featured in previous newsletters, as he has protected more than 900 acres so far through conservation easements. In 2012, he protected an additional 349 acres of farmland adjacent to the South Yadkin River and where Rowan and Iredell Counties converge. A good portion of this newly protected farmland was purchased within weeks of him putting conservation easements on them to ensure their long term protection. Although there are a couple of existing farm houses on these properties, no new homes will be allowed, and riparian buffers will be implemented to ensure long term protection of the water quality in the South Yadkin River.

Dr. Adams reminisces, “When I was growing up on a farm in Forsyth County, I could go out and walk or ride my bike for hours on end, exploring the countryside. My parents never worried about me, and I learned much in those formative years that would stay with me for the rest of my life. Today, that farm that I explored every nook and cranny of is filled with roads and houses and fences, and I wonder what the children growing up there learn about this earth. I want to do my part to make sure that the lands I own will serve to educate future generations about how nature works.”

Dr. Adams’ partner and land manager, Renee, has worked diligently to care for the land herself. She has advocated for and oversees the permanent protection of this land.

She stated at the most recent closing, “If we don’t ensure the protection of this land, who will? This land is really, really special. It takes a lot of work to keep it productive and accessible, but it is worth it. I hope that in 500 years, people will still be coming to this farm and be as inspired by it as I am every day.”