From our inception, The LandTrust has had a focus on trying to protect the Yadkin-Pee Dee River. Not only does it supply water to millions of our citizens, it also is a significant wildlife corridor used by a diverse array of aquatic, terrestrial, and avian creatures that have relied on the river since before human habitation. And, of course it is home to many of the most important historic resources our region has to offer.

The Reece Farm on the Yadkin River in northern Davie County exemplifies the best attributes of the Yadkin River, and will protect many conservation values of regional importance thanks to the donation of a conservation easement by John and Libby Reece in late 2010.

The 97-acre property includes significant hardwood forests, seasonal wetlands, substantial river frontage, and a bottomland field with remnant warm season grass populations. The conservation easement will not only prevent future development on the site, but will also protect the trees, river frontage, and wetlands. In fact, the Reece’s have taken great strides in the past several years to improve water quality running into the Yadkin River. The bottomland pasture has not housed cows nor agricultural activities since they have owned the property, and they have managed the pastures to provide wildlife habitat for a variety of wildlife.

It is also a spectacularly beautiful natural area located in the midst of an urbanizing region just outside of Winston Salem. Located within 10 minutes of Winston Salem, the property could certainly have eventually been developed into multiple homesites. Property owner John Reece noted, “Libby and I were proud to help ensure the long-term protection of this special property. The natural beauty of the place is what drove us to originally purchase the property, and having the opportunity to permanently protect the land through a conservation easement was an easy decision for us.”

Although the property has not been professionally inventoried, it is home to many archaeological resources of significance. In years past, many Native American artifacts were found along the bottomlands next to the river. Although not located on this property, there is a high knoll overlooking the river and bottomlands adjacent to the Reece farm at a large bend in the river. The number and type of resources are unknown, but with this conservation easement, the Reece’s have ensured that future inventorying and studying of the buried artifacts will one day be possible.

We are grateful for this generous conservation gift to the citizens of our region, and look forward to working with the Reece’s in the years ahead to ensure that the property will be managed to provide maximum wildlife and water quality benefits perpetually.