Last Updated on April 26, 2022 9:04 am
Blue Ridge Conservancy is now the owner of 393 acres of farmland and river frontage thanks to a generous gift from the estate of Dr. Judith Beale. Dr. Beale’s love for the outdoors was well-known, and her donation to BRC encompasses two large tracts of undeveloped land: 93 acres outside Elkin and 300 acres on the Yadkin River in Wilkes County, including ½ mile of river frontage.
As part of its mission to permanently protect natural resources with agricultural value in northwest North Carolina, BRC will place both properties under conservation easements, which are legal agreements that will permanently keep the property in agricultural use. 213 acres of the Beale properties are noted as “prime farmland,” a designation assigned by the US Department of Agriculture for land that has the best combination of characteristics for producing crops.
“Blue Ridge Conservancy is humbled by Dr. Beale’s generosity,” says BRC Executive Director Charlie Brady. “The Beale farm provides an important opportunity to permanently protect farmland along the Yadkin River in a historic section of Wilkes County. Equally exciting is protecting the corridor for the Overmountain Victory State Trail and National Historic Trail. A trail easement across the Beale farm could become the keystone for the OVST to connect the towns of Wilkesboro, North Wilkesboro, and Elkin.”
“Growing up, Judith Beale spent many hours walking around her family farms. This love of walking continued throughout her life,” says Judith’s nephew, Seth Beale. “As an avid walker, Judy Beale would have enjoyed walking on the future trails that would connect two of her many loves, the family farm, and the town of Elkin. Her father, Dr. Seth M. Beale, who was loved throughout Elkin and Wilkes County, loved farming and he would be ecstatic to know that the farmland will be kept in agricultural use.”
Estate gifts like Dr. Beale’s protect undeveloped land in perpetuity and demonstrate a deep-rooted commitment to conservation. For information on these options, visit blueridgeconservancy.org/conservation-easements.
Blue Ridge Conservancy is a local, nonprofit land trust dedicated to conserving natural resources in northwest North Carolina. BRC has conserved over 23,000 acres in Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey Counties.