Mainspring Conservation Trust Board of Directors recognized the retirement of long-time board member Richard Clark of Franklin, at their recent board retreat. Clark has been on the board since 2002, serving as chair, vice-chair, and secretary in those 17 years. As founder and president of Clark and Company Landscape Services, he will continue to advise the nonprofit on beautification projects.
Access to the Bartram Trail in southern Macon County just got a little easier through a partnership with Mainspring Conservation Trust, the U.S. Forest Service, NC Wildlife Resources Commission, and the NC Bartram Trail Society.
A new parking lot now sits directly across Hickory Knoll Road from the relatively new Bartram Trail trailhead. The gravel lot is on a portion of 72 acres Mainspring purchased in 2018 that borders Nantahala National Forest lands to the east and North Carolina Needmore Game Lands across the Little Tennessee River to the west. USFS prepared the site, the NCWRC delivered and spread gravel for the parking lot, and Mainspring and Bartram Trail volunteers placed bollards and installed bumpers to define the parking spaces.
Mainspring Executive Director Sharon Taylor says the parking lot is great for all outdoor enthusiasts. “It’s wonderful to have the lot available for Bartram Trail hikers, but also to fisherman and hunters who want to take advantage of Mainspring’s publicly assessable land and the Forest Service lands adjacent to the property.”
An informational kiosk and some landscaping, including native plants encountered by explorer and naturalist William Bartram during his 1770’s travels through the region, are also planned for the area.
May 21, 2019 – Mainspring Conservation Trust has expanded its physical presence by opening a satellite office in downtown Sylva.
Headquartered in Franklin, North Carolina, and formerly known as the Land Trust for the Little Tennessee, Mainspring’s service area includes the six western-most counties in North Carolina and northern Rabun County, Georgia. In 2016, Mainspring opened an office in Murphy and saw an increase in conservation projects in that area. “After analyzing our effectiveness of having an additional office outside of Franklin, our board of directors recognized the potential of a Sylva office and how we can better serve the people of Jackson County,” says Executive Director Sharon Taylor. “We’re excited to be here.”
Mainspring works with landowners on a strictly voluntary basis. The non-profit also offers hands-on education opportunities for local schools and other groups.
Connie Haire, chair of Mainspring’s board of directors, says it’s important to have local people working in conservation. “Part of Mainspring’s impressive 22-year history of conserving land and culture around the Little Tennessee River was from having a strong connection with the citizens of that area,” she says. “With an office in Jackson County, Mainspring can have a positive impact in this community I call home. I’m looking forward to seeing wonderful projects that will help the protect the land, water and cultural heritage here.”
Mainspring’s Sylva location is 642 West Main Street. For more information, visit www.mainspringconserves.org.