WNC man donates land to Blue Ridge Parkway

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A western North Carolina man who remembers seeing the construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway is donating and selling land he owns to help expand its protected landscape.

The Conservation Trust for North Carolina announced yesterday that Joe Arrington has donated a 46-acre parcel of land in Haywood County. In April, he sold a 64-acre tract to the same group.

The combined tract, called Richland Creek Headwaters, is adjacent to the Parkway in Haywood County, near Milepost 440. It's part of a larger piece of land bought by Mr. Arrington's family in 1936, before Parkway construction reached the area. Thirty of the family's 188 acres were condemned and used for the road project.

Richland Creek Headwaters provides a spectacular backdrop for Blue Ridge Parkway travelers – especially from the Waynesville and Saunook overlooks – near the boundary of Jackson and Haywood counties in the Great Balsam Mountains.

CTNC plans to convey the combined property to the National Park Service for inclusion in the Parkway's boundary, possibly by the time the Parkway marks its 75th anniversary in September.

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