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DLC & Volunteers on the Move

by | Nov 20, 2022

DLC volunteers Sterling Martin and Tom Watson assist local high school students in planting trees at Fisher Farm.


DAVIDSON, NC ― Davidson Lands Conservancy (DLC) recently hosted four community events to advance local conservation efforts and awareness. Volunteers made the events possible.

Run For Green

Team Runners at the finish line of Run for Green

Delayed by hurricane Ian, this year’s Race was held Saturday October 29, bringing together runners and walkers from across the region for 5k, 10k and half-marathon races. “This year’s Race was a great success,” commented Paul Freestone, DCL Board chair and organizer, “because of our loyal and generous sponsors and the community’s generous support”.

This Race is key to the Conservancy and its focus to advance local conservation.

Run For Green is held annually in the fall, this year being the 17th event, and is the Conservancy’s only annual fundraiser. This year’s lead sponsors included Trane Technologies, MSC Industrial Supply, River Run Limited Partnership, Williams, Colonial Pipeline, and Dewberry Engineering.


Saturday, November 5 brought DLC’s NatureFest to the West Branch Rocky River Greenway in the River Run Neighborhood.

Children holding a screech owl and blue-tailed skink.

NatureFest offered displays and activities from local conservation partners and naturalists to the delight of children and families who held and experienced snakes, lizards, and owls, and learned bird calls and created leaf art. The event, held outdoors along the greenway, offered families unique ways to learn about nature by experiencing it.

“This was a joyful gathering of nature-loving and nature-learning for the community” offered volunteer and DLC Board member, Cindy McIntosh, who organized the event. She added “we are just getting started with NatureFest, with much more to come.”

Naturalist and local treasure, Rob Van Epps, led hikes in the West Branch Nature Preserve focused on salamanders and the specialness of the Preserve’s wetland habitat.

Generously supporting NatureFest are DLC partners the Town of Davidson, Bartlett Tree Experts, NC Wildlife Federation, Mecklenburg County Park and Rec, World of Wonder, Carolina Raptor Center and Woodlawn STEAMFEST. Volunteers from Community School of Davidson, Hough High School, and Davidson College made the event possible.

Stream Clean-Up

Scout Pack 58 helped clear trash from the South Prong Rocky River

Also on November 5, DLC partnered with Davidson College Presbyterian Church and Scouts Pack 58 to remove debris from the South Prong West Branch. This stream section runs along the greenway behind the Westbranch neighborhood and was “adopted” by DLC two years ago.

Heather Densmore, event organizer, said “the scouts loved getting down in the stream and worked hard to bring out all kinds of stuff including an old tractor tire, a lawn chair and some things we weren’t even sure about.”

This project was part of DCPC’s Day of Service when over 160 from the congregation helped with service projects throughout the community.

Oak Tree Challenge

About 40 volunteers, including several families, gathered at Fisher Farm Saturday, November 12, in what turned out to be part of a miraculous undertaking.  TreesDavidson, a program of DLC, hosted community volunteers to plant four different varieties of oaks along the entrance road to Fisher Farm. The project was daunting because of the large size of the trees and the difficulty in preparing the root balls for planting.

Local area high school students helped plant trees at Fisher Farm.

“I looked at the trees and the number of volunteers and thought wow, this is going to be a long day” said Brent Evans, DLC Board member and event organizer.

Brent’s welcoming comments highlighted the four native oak varieties of white, scarlet, chestnut, and cherry bark, and reminded the volunteers of the added value of oaks vs other species in wildlife value.

Like most TreesDavidson events, it was made possible by the close and effective partnership with the Town of Davidson.  “We couldn’t do what we do without Davidson Public Works,” commented Evans, including auguring the holes and helping water in the trees”.

Despite heightened traffic and activity at the Park from a large bike race, all the trees were planted by noon.  “It was an incredible effort,” commented Gordon Clark, DLC Board member, noting “I doubt the volunteers, especially the children, will ever forget this day and accomplishment”.




Davidson Lands Conservancy is an accredited land trust with the mission to conserve local lands and natural resources, and connect lives to nature.  DLC advances its mission through education and through four conservation pillars or programs: land conservation and stewardship; greenways and trails; urban forestry; and wildlife habitat.

The growth pressures on Davidson area high and, while economic development benefits our community, balancing growth with well stewarded and conserved natural lands is critical to our quality of life and to keeping Davidson special, attractive and healthy.  Go to for details on programs, news, and events.

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