Catawba Conservancy Festival
Posted on 1 Jun 2009 by Rhi Bowman
Saturday, Haywood Rankin invited the community to his 750-acre farm on Redlair Lane, about 30 minutes west of Uptown, near Gastonia. His family connection to the land dates to the early 1800s.
In the 1940s, his father, Forney “Red” Rankin began to re-piece together his ancestor’s estate. The Catawba Land Conservancy, a local group focused on permanently preserving North Carolnia lands for future generations, emerged from Red’s land-gathering.
Saturday’s free festival, complete with bouncy castle obstacle course and Bruster’s Ice Cream, attracted dozens of young families.
Charlotte Parent Magazine sponsored an art contest: A Greener City — A Greener World. Craft tables were set up throughout a large field for youngsters to express their love for the environment and local artisans sold items like homemade soap and quilts.
Environmental groups also set up displays to educate festival goers on topics like clean air, poisonous snakes and the Carolina Thread Trail, an organization with close ties to the Conservancy.
Rankin, himself, lead groups on hikes and Boy Scout Troop No. 49 provided lunch, for a small charge.
It was a gorgeous day for a festival and a peaceful place to celebrate North Carolina’s majesty.
Check out some photos and see for yourself:
Read more about the Rankin family and the history of the Conservancy at the Observer.