boiling spring wilderness grant funding for conservation north carolina

Boiling Spring Wilderness Receives the Third Largest Grant in NC



3rd Largest Grant in 2023 Awarded By State to Fund Conservation of 978 Acres of Boiling Spring Wilderness 

The North Carolina Land and Water Fund Board of Trustees voted on Wednesday, September 20th to award Unique Places to Save funding to support the conservation of 978 acres of land northwest of Southport.

Southport, NC (October 2nd, 2023) – Unique Places to Save, a local North Carolina nonprofit, has acquired various land parcels from landowner C.F. Smith Property Group to connect 978 acres of freshly conserved land in North Carolina for the purpose of:

  • Protecting water quality for Brunswick County residents: The Property sits above the Castle Hayne Aquifer and the Brunswick County Wellhead Protection Area.

  • Conserving important wetland habitat and species of concern such as the Red-cockaded Woodpecker, Venus Fly Traps, and Longleaf Pine.

  • Contributing towards a local network of 8,000 acres of conserved lands in the Boiling Spring Wilderness Complex. 

On Wednesday, September 20th, the North Carolina Land and Water Fund (“NCLWF”) made their final grant funding decision. Unique Places to Save received full funding for the third-highest award of the 2023 grant cycle. With funding from NCLWF, Unique Places to Save will place a perpetual state-held conservation easement on the entire 978 acres to protect North Carolina’s water quality and natural resources. Executive Director, Clark Harris, commented on the decision saying,

“Landscape-scale conservation projects like this are why we were founded. We value the open-minded nature of C.F. Smith Property Group in looking beyond development as the only way to create value. We’re thrilled to be included in the 2023 grant cycle as a fully funded project and are excited for exploring more conservation opportunities with C.F. Smith Property Group and beyond with other landowners in the area.” 

Unique Places to Save increased the impact of the state’s funding by rolling 123 acres of their own property into the project. That allowed for the NCLWF grant to conserve significantly more acreage for the same amount of funds from the state. 



Each year, dozens of projects that protect the natural resources of North Carolina are proposed to NCLWF for funding. To date, over 500,000 acres of land and over 3,000 miles of streams and rivers have been conserved through this program. Projects are scored using a ranking system that awards points for Resource Significance, Military Buffers, Other Public Benefits, Readiness and Need, and Value. Ranked projects are then presented to the Acquisition Committee and full Board of Trustees for final consideration based on the project ranking and other discretionary factors. 

For more information about the NCLWF Acquisition Program see:


About Unique Places to Save

Formed in 2012 and based in North Carolina, Unique Places to Save is a non-profit organization on a mission to restore and conserve high-quality aquatic resources:


Media Contact 

Clark Harris, Executive Director


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