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Land Trust Day Is Set for June 2 at the Mast Store in Valle Crucis and Boone Locations

Mark Twain once said, “Buy land, they’re not making it any more.” With that in mind, we should celebrate our land heritage and do everything we can to preserve it for generations to come. On June 2, for the 15th year, the Mast Store is celebrating Land Trust Day by hosting the Blue Ridge Conservancy in Valle Crucis and the New River Conservancy in Boone location. At the end of the day, a donation of 20% of the day’s sales will be given to these partners.

The operations of a land trust are often misunderstood. It is not a government agency; it is a non-profit organization that holds the deed in trust under the agreement reached between it and the landowner. This voluntary relationship includes the uses that will be permitted on the land in the trust, which can include recreational use, farmland, and even limited development.

The New River Conservancy is proving that persistence pays off with its newest addition to the trust. It is a 34-acre tract that will connect the current New River State Park to planned backcountry trails and camping. This new addition will allow development of six backpack-in campsites, a new group campsite, and six more miles of hiking trails and canoe-in campsites. As a project that has taken more than 30 years to complete, these 34 acres are a part of a larger 117-acre acquisition that will be protected for years to come.

The Blue Ridge Conservancy is currently working on a project that will ultimately connect the towns of Boone and Blowing Rock via a 10-foot wide path along the Middle Fork of the New River. The greenway has been in the planning and development stages for more than a decade. With one mile complete, another 2.2 miles are in the construction planning stage and should be complete in 2019. The Middle Fork Greenway will intersect with the Boone Greenway for a 10-mile contiguous trail.

While the landowner may benefit from tax incentives, we all benefit from having open space, wildlife habitat, recreational areas, and even cultural and historical preservation. Many of the greenways we enjoy are pieced together through land trust easements. Family farms are kept in the family by utilizing these organizations. Endangered species and ecologically important areas are preserved with these agreements.

Lisa Cooper, the president of Mast Store, shared, “We believe in the work land trusts do in all our communities because we want to see children put their feet in the stream and families spending time together on picnics and hikes. These are just some of the reasons we partner with land trusts and support their work with 20% of our sales on Land Trust Day.” 

The Mast Store is partnering with Kühl, a clothing vendor, and Hatchet Coffee, a local roaster, for a Pant-Cake Breakfast at the Mast Store in Boone on Land Trust Day. Come by between 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. and make a $5 donation to our land trust partners for a cup o’ joe in a logoed keepsake cup. More about this event can be found at Facebook.com/mastgeneralstore.

Stop by any Mast Store on Saturday, June 2 to learn more about land trusts and to support conservation efforts in the local area. For more information, call the Mast Store in Valle Crucis at 828-963-6511 or in Boone at 828-262-0000.