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News from Friends of Lower Haw River State Natural Area!


Dear Friends,

We were delighted to see so many of you at our Annual Meeting in September! Thanks to everyone who came out! We voted in officers, heard from Hillary Pace of Plan Chatham, and received feedback and ideas from the group on the organization's top priorities. See the highlights below, and good news! It just got easier to donate and to become a member! 

Online Donating Now Available
We can now accept credit card donations on our website.  Visit to make a donation.  Donations to our chapter are appreciated, and tax deductible.
Online Membership Application Now Available
We now have an online Membership Application on our website to make it easier to join.  Visit to complete the short application form.

Highlights from the Annual Membership Meeting

Our chapter’s first membership meeting was held on September 20th at the Bynum Ruritan Club.  We gained 10 new members at the meeting!
First order of business was election of officers and at-large members of our Board of Directors:
President – Gretchen Smith
Vice President – Erin Jobe
Secretary – Nancy Strong
Treasurer – Matt Spangler
At-large Director – Ryan Cadwalader
At-large Director – Paul Horne
At-large Director – George Pauly
Guest speaker was Hillary Pace with the Chatham County Planning Department, who presented an update and survey results about parks, recreation, and natural resources from the Comprehensive Plan process underway that will guide development of the county over the next 25 years.  Some highlights on survey results included:
  • Top reason survey respondents chose to live in Chatham County is “rural character, lifestyle, or scenic beauty”
  • Top two concerns about the future is “loss of rural character, lifestyle, or scenic beauty” and “urban growth pressure”
  • What survey respondents like best about living in Chatham County is “rural/small town character”
  • Top two priorities for future growth and development are “more parks, public open space, recreation facilities, and programs” and “preservation of existing tree canopy and natural areas”
  • Top priority for parks and natural resources are “preserve natural areas, forests and wildlife habitat”
  • Highest priorities for recreational facilities for the county are “conservation of natural areas” and “greenways and hiking trails”
Hillary asked for input into the Comprehensive Plan process by visiting  or taking a five question “Meeting in a Box” survey at  All information about the Comprehensive Plan, including full survey results and Steering Committee meeting minutes, are available on a public ftp site

We shared the following Mission and Vision for the organization, and listed our three top priorities. Those in attendance let us know what they thought was most important, and they shared comments and ideas. 

We envision a Lower Haw State Natural Area that is expanded in size, strategically developed, well maintained, and connected to local and regional trail systems. 
The Lower Haw is a special place that we’re committed to conserving and enhancing for current enjoyment while creating a legacy for future generations. 

The priorities that we identified were: 
  • Increase the size of the Lower Haw River SNA
  • Foster community appreciation, stewardship, and recognition of Lower Haw River SNA
  • Enhance infrastructure for responsible and safe use
You can see the feedback and comments from the group HERE

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Friends of Lower Haw River State Natural Area · PO Box 65 · Bynum, NC 27228 · USA

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