The 690 acre Fox Farm purchase is our most recent Two Rivers Preserve success, one which we are particularly excited about for a number of reasons. This peninsula property not only represents one of the largest privately held tracts of land in Rowan County, but also houses a rare 14 acre perennial floodplain pool. This unique hydrologic occurrence is believed to have resulted from a major flooding event which caused a shift in the normal flow of Fourth Creek. The natural pond is also the reason the site was listed as a statewide significant property in the Natural Heritage Inventory for Rowan County, North Carolina, performed and written by Dr. Michael J. Baranski page 111-112 (1994).
The floodplain pool hosts a variety of resident and migratory waterfowl and at one time accommodated a pair of nesting bald eagles. In the past, both the sensitive pool and extensive river frontage have been available to 100-200 head of cattle that roamed the pastures and entered the river for drinking and bathing. With the LandTrust’s acquisition of the site, this practice will end, which will result in an immediate reduction of fecal coliform entering the river, as well as improved stabilization of previously degraded stream banks.
Historically, the Fox Farm served a variety of functions. Prior to its most recent use as a cattle farm, Fox Lumber Company managed the site for timber production. In the early 1950s and prior, the site was owned by Erwin Mills Corporation, the original lifeblood to the Town of Cooleemee. Fortunately, the most recent owners, Conley and Belle Fox, were willing to work with the LandTrust to insure that both the historical and natural integrity of the site will be preserved for the future.
Protecting the Fox Farm and all other Two Rivers Preserve projects have been the product of a coordinated effort including public awareness and education campaigns, identification of key parcels of land, and nurturing relationships with landowners. To this end, The LandTrust recently hosted several regional meetings held in Rowan, Davie, and Davidson to inform area residents of the importance of land and water conservation in the Two Rivers Preserve area. Many of the latest Two Rivers Preserve projects now on the table have come about from these well attended meetings.