Three Rivers Land Trust (TRLT) is excited to announce recent funding in the amount of $9,755,298 to protect 5,381 acres of natural areas and family farms across their 15-county footprint. Funding was awarded to TRLT by the North Carolina Land and Water Fund (NCLWF) and the North Carolina Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund (ADFPTF). This was a record increase in funding from previous years thanks to the generous allocation from the General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Cooper.

Through the North Carolina Land and Water Fund (NCLWF), administered by the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, $6,449,917 has been awarded to TRLT to protect 11 properties, totaling 2,701 acres. The NCLWF properties will protect vital natural areas on High Rock Lake in Davidson County, Drowning Creek and the Deep River in Moore County, the Little River and Barnes Creek in Montgomery County, the Rocky River in Cabarrus County, and one tract in Stanly County.

Additionally, $3,305,381 has been awarded to protect 8 family farms in TRLT’s footprint, totaling 2,682 acres, through the North Carolina Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund (ADFPTF), administered by the North Carolina Department of Agriculture. The ADFPTF properties will protect local family farms in Cabarrus, Stanly, Iredell, Davidson, and Davie Counties. These farms primarily produce beef cattle and row crops. Several of these farms are part of larger phased projects with an opportunity to protect even more acreage with these landowners in the future. This farmland funding is one piece of the puzzle, as the ADFPTF pays for a percentage of the conservation easement purchase and TRLT will be applying to the USDA for the remaining funds needed to complete these projects early next year.

“This is a landmark year for conservation in North Carolina,” stated Executive Director Travis Morehead. “We submitted our best projects for consideration. Thanks to a generous allocation by the Governor and General Assembly, both the NCLWF and ADFPTF were able to fund these important local conservation projects.”

“Three Rivers Land Trust is thrilled to have been awarded these funds. This funding will make it possible to work with great landowners to protect these special natural areas and family farms across our region,” stated Associate Director Crystal Cockman. “Many of these projects have been on our radar for a number of years, and thankfully this year the funds are there to assist with the protection of all these incredible lands.”

This grant money goes directly into the acquisition of these properties and easements, which will protect them in perpetuity. Operational and administrative expenses are funded by donations from members of TRLT. For every dollar donated towards operational funding, TRLT staff has been able to leverage $13 into local project funds.

This year, Three Rivers has refocused efforts on local farmland conservation through the creation of the Farmland Fund, partially funded by their current year-end campaign, “Save the Farm”. To support Three Rivers Land Trust’s local conservation efforts, please visit

To learn more about how to conserve your own lands or how you can support Three Rivers Land Trust in our conservation mission, please contact Crystal Cockman, Associate Director of Three Rivers Land Trust at 704-647-0302 or