Early in the morning, you’ll find Mary Cridlebaugh diligently tending her colorful flowers in the garden behind her house. You might find her brother Michael nearby setting sweet potato slips near beautiful broccoli and kohlrabi, cauliflower and cabbages. Mary takes the produce and handcut flowers to the Thomasville Farmers Market on Saturdays. This deep seeded love of the land inspired their dream of conserving their Davidson County Farm.

The LandTrust for Central North Carolina has had the great pleasure of working with Mary and Michael to ensure the conservation of their 164-acre farm in Davidson County became a reality. This beautiful pastoral property is a combination of rolling agricultural fields and mature hardwood forest and is located along Rich Fork and Payne Creeks.

The designated Natural Heritage natural area of Two Creeks Basic Forest is found on the property. Two Creeks Basic Forest holds examples of two rare natural plant communities – Basic Mesic Forest and Basic Oak-Hickory Forest. Large canopy and older growth trees, complemented by a diverse understory strata, help underscore the overall age and lack of disturbance within this scenic forest. The site’s low elevation mesic forest supports two rare plant species – Leatherwood (Dirca palustris) and Biltmore Carrion-flower (Smilax biltmoreana). This is the only recorded occurrence of Leatherwood in Davidson County.

The Cridlebaugh property, located near the town of Thomasville, falls into an area facing increased growth and development pressures from the southwestern Guilford County city of High Point. The Cridlebaugh’s placed a conservation easement on the property to ensure it would remain as a natural and agricultural feature on the landscape in perpetuity.

“We are excited that the Cridlebaugh family worked with us to conserve this significant property,” states Executive Director, Travis Morehead. “Protecting a property of this size that is also this close to urban centers is important for providing scenic open space and natural areas for future generations.”


To learn more about this project or how you can support The LandTrust for Central North Carolina, contact Crystal Cockman at 704-647-0302 or crystal@landtrustcnc.org