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Celebrate Land Trust Day 2017

 
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Land Trust Day at Mast Store is celebrating its fifteenth year on Saturday, June 3rd. We are honored to host this friend-raising day for the land trust organizations in each of our communities to visit with our guests, educate people on what land trusts do, and to garner support both in our local communities and in the home communities of our visitors.

lt2.jpgMark Twain said, “Buy land. They’re not making it anymore.” He was right, and that’s why it is important to look around us and preserve areas of historic importance, family farmland, beautiful viewsheds, and watersheds.

Land Trust is a term generally used to describe non-profit conservation organizations that either buy land or hold conservation easements, or both. Land trusts work in partnership with landowners and communities to permanently conserve natural resources.

The land trust movement started in the 1970s and gained momentum in the 1980s as urban sprawl began to develop at an ever-increasing pace, overtaking open spaces and farmland. In fact, according to the Farmer’s Business Network, via USA Today, “The US Department of Agriculture estimates that 144,792 farms have disappeared across the US in the past decade.” Our land trust partners help preserve many local farms.

lt3.jpgThis vital movement helps individuals, families, businesses, and communities take steps to ensure that the land is there for us, our children, and our children’s children. The impact of their work can help family farms remain productive and in the family or ensure that the habitat for a rare species of plant will remain intact.

Mast Store works with seven land trusts in our communities. Each one has a multi-faceted approach to preserving the beauty and natural resources in its area of charge:

In the High Country, our land trust partners are the Blue Ridge Land Conservancy, which was formed by uniting the Blue Ridge Rural Land Trust and the High Country Conservancy, and the New River Conservancy.

lt4.jpgWaynesville and Asheville both work with the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy, which works in an area stretching as far north as Avery County and as far west as Murphy.

The Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy serves the Hendersonville area. Mast Store also helps them by sponsoring their member hikes to “get to know” some of the land it preserves.

Upstate Forever is a very active group in the Greenville area. In addition to its land trust function, it is also involved in making alternative transportation more available in the Upstate area.

In Knoxville, we work with the Foothills Land Conservancy. Its ultimate goal is to lead the way to an East Tennessee that is a healthy place for both people and wildlife.

lt5.jpgColumbia’s land trust is the Congaree Land Trust. It holds educational seminars to help lawyers and accountants better understand the benefits of land trusts and “brown bag outings” to enjoy the more rural areas around the capital.

In Winston-Salem, the Piedmont Land Conservancy is the only local land protection organization serving nine northern Piedmont counties for over 25 years. Their mission is to protect special places and to help ensure clean water for our communities, habitat for our wildlife, locally-grown food, parks and trails, and other places for people to connect with nature.

Lisa Cooper, president of Mast General Store, appreciates the positive impact each Trust has had on our Mast Store communities. “Mast hopes that our support of Land Trust Day encourages awareness of the work of land trusts. It is not only important to our physical and mental health, but also to our economic well-being.”

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Representatives from each community’s land trust will be in your local Mast Store on Saturday, June 3rd, to share with guests the activities they are undertaking to conserve the open spaces in the region. The Mast General Store will donate 20% of the day’s sales to our partner land trusts.