Ritchie's LakeStanly County is known for its farming and beautiful pastoral landscapes, and The LandTrust has been fortunate to work with a number of landowners to conserve some of Stanly County’s most beautiful farms and forests. In December 2013, we were able to help conserve another Stanly County landmark. Thanks to the dedication of two very special landowners, we preserved a beautiful 238-acre property adjacent to Pferiffer College that not only possesses gorgeous farmland, but also boasts a spectacular 30-acre lake—known widely around the area as “Ritchie’s Lake”.

Those who know Tom and Hannah Hearne are well aware of their commitment to environmental issues, including everything from renewable energy to land conservation. When LandTrust staff first met them on this beautiful property, Hannah spoke eloquently of Tom’s love for this land: “Since I first met Tom 19 years ago, he has spoken of this property with great love. It means so much to him.” They were able to obtain ownership of the property, which had been held by extended family for many years, and for them preserving this special place was always their ultimate goal. The Property adjoins Pfieffer College on the western boundary and provides gorgeous views of cotton grown in the fields from High Rock Road. The tributaries here drain into Riles Creek, a beautiful stream that feeds a secluded and undeveloped cove of Tuckertown Reservoir where waterfowl are abundant.

Hannah shared her gratitude to The LandTrust for helping her and Tom realize a dream many years in the making. “The staff of The LandTrust have been so pleasant to work with. We appreciate deeply the work you all do on behalf of preserving the vanishing open spaces of Piedmont North Carolina.” In fact, LantTrust staff  believes that we are the lucky ones to get to work with such sincere and dedicated people as the Hearne’s. Transactional funding for this project was provided by the NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund and The Conservation Trust for North Carolina.