Montreat Landcare Partners
Each organization conducts tangible efforts for stewardship of Earth and the environments of the Montreat cove.
The Town of Montreat was instrumental in helping to organize the Landcare Committee. It has been a part of the committee since its inception providing, among other services, a conduit for monies donated to the many projects of Landcare. The latest project has been the Hemlock Restoration Project which has worked to save the varieties of hemlocks in the cove. Members of the community and state and local agencies have provided funding for both natural and chemical treatment of the trees. The town has also provided space for a native plant garden; works with incoming college students to clear paths and weed many of the natural areas; has as one of its many committees and boards, an Open Space Conservation Committee which works with various members and entities of the community to place green spaces into conservation for future enjoyment; has consolidated pertinent portions of the town ordinances into one tree ordinance; has organized a Tree Board comprised of the Commissioner for the Environment, the Chair of the Landcare committee, the head of the town’s Public Works Department and three members of the community. These are some of the ways that the Town supports the Landcare community and its mission of caring for the green spaces, environment and canopy of the cove.
The Montreat Wilderness Committee was commissioned in 1992 to advise the Mountain Retreat Association (MRA) on the use of their wilderness properties. The committee is comprised of people appointed by the president of the MRA. The members of the committee were involved in getting a 2,300 acre tract of land owned by the MRA put into conservation easement in 2004. Today the committee continues to offer advice and suggestions to the staff of the MRA in regards to wilderness management.
The Montreat Trail Club is an organization formed of indiviuals who have a shared interest in the conservation of the 4,000 or so acres of the Montreat Wilderness. Our goal is to form a volunteer community dedicated to the stewardship of the wilderness through service, education, and community. The Montreat Wilderness is used by many people, and is becoming one of the more popular hiking areas of Western North Carolina. We believe that it is our responsibility to work toward the continued conservation of wilderness, while creating and maintaining the trails that are used to access it.
The Cottagers’ Wilderness and Open Space Committee was originally formed with the goal of protecting 200 acres in McDowell County between Greybeard and Pinnacle Mountains, known as Rocky Knob. This committee helped Montreat Cottagers, Inc obtain 501(c) status in order to raise the funds necessary for that purchase, which is protected under the Southern Appalachian Highland Conservancy. Other conservation fundraising projects include purchase of properties at Lookout Trace and Greybeard Trail and the Montreat Hemlock Restoration Project. The Committee donated $50,000 to the Town of Montreat’s restricted land purchase fund at the inception of the Town’s Open Space Conservation program.
Montreat Presbyterian Church takes seriously the charge to be good stewards of God’s Creation. We do this as a congregation and as individuals, in our place of worship, in our homes and in the global community. Our Earth Ministry Team’s mission is to lead, enhance and enable the congregation’s involvement in responsible stewardship of God’s created Earth. It seeks to reduce the environmental footprint of the congregation, provide leadership and education to the greater community on ways that respect the Earth and all inhabitants, and foster awareness and action with related organizations concerning environmental subjects. We are recognized as an Earth Care Congregation of the national denomination.
Community Wildlife Habitat
The Community Wildlife Habitat program of Montreat is a citizen-led project that enables individual homeowner yards to become Certified Wildlife Habitats. These properties provide the four key habitat components of food, water, cover and places to raise young, in addition to practicing sustainable gardening techniques. Montreat was the very first community in North Carolina to be awarded Community Wildlife status.