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Another exciting project came to completion in Stanly County thanks to the deep commitment of the Hatley family. In a joint effort to maintain the natural integrity of their family’s farmland, Bill H. Hatley Sr. and his wife Ann, along with his brother Marvin T. Hatley, and wife Hendrika, have taken active measures to insure the everlasting character of their property along Finger Road by signing a restrictive conservation easement on the property.

The 73 acre property includes rolling hills, a hardwood and pine forest, large pastures, crop fields, a perennial stream, a historic apple orchard. It has been in the Hatley family for more than 150 years, and has served as a valuable agricultural asset to the region in terms of its agricultural production (hay, cotton, soybeans, corn and wheat) and also its historical resource.

Bill H. Hatley, a lifelong resident of Albermarle, expressed his desire to preserve the current character of the countryside. “We see the face of the land changing day by day. This is a way to keep the appearance of the land much like it was when my great grandparents lived here.” Tom Hatley, Marvin and Hendrika Hatley’s son, who was an instrumental driving force in bringing the project to fruition, also indicated the families’ desire to protect more properties owned by the Hatley’s. “We’re hoping this is just the beginning. We have several other tracts of land along Finger Road that we’re planning on placing under permanent protection. We’re also optimistic that other neighboring landowners may be interested in participating. By the time we’re done here, we may have over 300 acres of permanently protected land.”