The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation (ZSR) has awarded a one-year grant of $250,000 to the Piedmont Land Conservancy to support its Peace of Land capital campaign. Foundation funds awarded will go toward the Conservancy’s acquisition of a permanent conservation easement on the Winston-Salem campus of Crossnore School & Children’s Home (Crossnore). Through the Peace of Land campaign, Piedmont Land Conservancy and Crossnore have partnered together to preserve and protect 92 acres of undeveloped land on 200 plus acres of the property.
The Foundation made this grant with the expectation that the Piedmont Land Conservancy and Crossnore will work in good faith to try to accommodate the wishes and interests of the Boston-Thurmond Neighborhood – adjacent to the conservation easement – with respect to the design and installation of walking trails on the conservation easement property and access points between the Crossnore property, including the property subject to the easement, and the Boston-Thurmond neighborhood. The grant is also made with the expectation that the Piedmont Land Conservancy and Crossnore will work with the Boston-Thurmond neighborhood to honor one or more of its deceased residents through an appropriate naming opportunity.
“The Boston Thurmond Neighborhood Association is thrilled about the opportunity to have this land preserved for a number of reasons including health and wellness, the possibility of more family-oriented activities and additional greenspace, especially amidst so much urban sprawl,” said Pat Caldwell, president of the Boston Thurmond Neighborhood Association. “We also are excited and honored to know that we will be able to have a naming opportunity after one or more of our residents.”
“The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation has a long history of supporting North Carolina’s land trust community and the Winston-Salem community,” said Kevin Redding, executive director of the Piedmont Land Conservancy. “We are grateful for the funding toward this crucial project that exemplifies the nexus between these two areas of interest.”
“This is a win-win partnership,” said Brett Loftis, CEO of Crossnore School & Children’s Home. “It is not every day that you have the opportunity to protect children and provide a sanctuary for them. Our Reynolda Road (Winston-Salem) campus has been a sanctuary for children for over 100 years and we hope that it will remain a healing space forever.”
“The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation is delighted to support this effort to preserve and protect such a historic, treasured piece of land in our hometown,” said Maurice “Mo” Green, executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation. “By also engaging residents of the Boston-Thurmond neighborhood in the design and installation of walking trails, including where to include access points between the neighborhood and the School, we hope that this area will eventually become a place where all residents of Winston-Salem can come together to enjoy this beautiful outdoor space in the heart of Winston-Salem.”
The Crossnore School was founded in 1913 as a boarding school for disadvantaged children living in the mountains of North Carolina. The Children’s Home was originally established as an orphanage in 1909 and later transitioned to a residential group foster care facility. Crossnore School and Children’s Home merged in 2017. This past year, Crossnore School & Children’s Home served more than 1,300 children, many of whom were served through the Winston-Salem campus. The Winston-Salem campus of Crossnore sits on more than 200 acres of rolling land – commonly referred to as “The Farm” – off Reynolda Road, which is located within walking distance to downtown.
For more information about the Peace of Land campaign, contact Executive Director of the Piedmont Land Conservancy Kevin Redding at 336-691-0088 or firstname.lastname@example.org.