MANTEO — The Conservation Fund transferred ownership in late December of 20 acres of maritime forest along U.S. Highway 64 to the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, The Conservation Fund announced Friday.
The land, bordered on three sides by Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, is to be managed by the National Park Service. The land preservation effort is to protect Fort Raleigh National Historic Site and home of “The Lost Colony” outdoor drama, according to the release.
Transferring the property was the final step in a plan to preserve the historic and natural landscape surrounding Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. Known sections of England’s first New World settlements from 1584 to 1590 are protected within the historic site along with the Roanoke Island maritime forest.
“The Conservation Fund deserves great credit for stepping in to protect this vital property,” Susi H. Hamilton, secretary of the state Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, said in a statement. “This special place brings together our state’s natural, cultural and historic heritage in one location, and now it’s protected for future generations to enjoy.”
Using funding from the North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund, Parks and Recreation Trust Fund, Fred and Alice Stanback and other private sources, The Conservation Fund purchased the land in February 2018 from Roanoke Island Historical Association. The association added proceeds from the sale to its endowment to perpetuate “The Lost Colony” outdoor drama.
“Land conservation efforts like this that complete protection for a site of national historical importance are rare these days,” stated Bill Holman, North Carolina state director with The Conservation Fund. “We are honored to partner with the Roanoke Island Historical Association and the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources in ensuring the character of the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site for generations to come.”
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