Dr. Richard Adams and Rene Collins have been working with The LandTrust on the permanent conservation of their Rowan and Iredell County farm for more than a decade now. Long time readers of The Landmark may recount that they have donated conservation easements to The LandTrust on four prior occasions. In 2013, they did it again, this time on approximately 142 acres of farmland located along South River Church Road. This brings the total amount of land permanently protected by these two conservationists to just under 1000 acres. And with more than 1400 additional acres left, they have informed LandTrust staff that they are not done yet! They do not plan to stop until the entire farm is conserved.
Dr. Adams grew up on a farm in Forsyth County, where he hunted, camped, fished, and generally just “ran all around”. Today, the land that he roamed is a very dense housing subdivision, and the laments that there is nowhere for the kids to go play outside in the creeks and woods, much less grow their own food or hunt. From his earliest days of independence, he set out trying to buy his own farm that he could protect and care for. When he closed on his first purchase of small farm in Wilkes County as a 17-year old, he was hooked. And he has continued buying and protection land ever since. In fact, the day of closing on the 2013 conservation easement, Rene informed staff that they had to hurry because they had another closing to get to where they were buying another tract of land to add to the main farm!
Already, their farm sprawls for over 7 miles along the South Yadkin River, making Dr. Adams the largest private landowner along the river. As Dr. Adams has related on many occasions, he never wanted to travel or buy fancy cars or play gold. He thrives off of buying and protecting land, making sure that it will be there for the “kids and critters” of the future. Thanks to the remarkable efforts of Richard and Rene, their farm will remain the special place that it is today forevermore, likely making it one of the largest permanently conserved conservation areas in all of Piedmont North Carolina.