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Pender County to operate and maintain Abbey Nature Preserve

BURGAW – Pender County Board of County Commissioners entered into a lease agreement to operate and maintain 62 acres in the Abbey Nature Preserve.

The Preserve, located in Scotts Hill adjacent to Poplar Grove Plantation, has been owned and operated as a public park by a private entity for decades.

The Abbey Nature Preserve has been acquired by Mungo Homes, who approached the County about taking over the Preserve to ensure it remained open for the public’s enjoyment forever.

“The lease is for $5 per year, and Pender County intends to take full ownership of the Preserve within the next few years and formally establish the Preserve as a County Park,” stated David Piepmeyer, Chairman of the Pender County Board of Commissioners, following the board’s unanimous approval of the lease at the July 11 meeting.

The portion of the Property falling under the management and operation of Pender County Parks and Recreation is the 62 acres of the property currently held under a conservation easement through the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust.

“The existing parking area, accessed via US HWY 17, as well as the areas immediately adjacent to the parking area, is not located within this area,” said Piepmeyer. “A new access point and trailhead will be established via Scotts Hill Loop Road near Scotts Hill Baptist Church in the future.”

“We are grateful to the Foy Family for providing Abbey Nature Preserve for the enjoyment of everyone for so many years and for Mungo Homes in recognizing the importance of Abbey Nature Preserve and working with the County to ensure its continued protection,” said Travis Henley, Pender County Planning and Community Development Director.

“The Abbey Nature Preserve is rich in history. Owned by the Foy Family, who settled Pender County more than 300 years ago, it was part of the Poplar Grove Plantation and the largest peanut farm in the state,” added Zach White, Pender County Parks and Recreation Supervisor. “We’re pleased that we can preserve this area for recreation for generations to come.”

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