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Only Black-Owned Century Farm in Durham is Now Protected by Conservation Easement

Post Date:02/22/2018

Durham, NC - Black History Month is a nationally celebrated time when the roles of black people in history are highlighted. This year another historical accomplishment has been achieved in the Triangle as the only black-owned Century Farm in Durham is now protected by Durham County's Farmland Protection Program. Through the program Durham County has acquired a farmland conservation easement on 24 acres near Rougemont to ensure that the property will stay a farm forever - never to be subdivided or sold for development.  The farm, owned by Douglas Daye, is the only registered Century Farm in Durham owned by an African American family.

According to the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to receive classification as a Century Farm, the farm must have had continuous ownership by a family for 100 years or more. The State's Century Farm Program was created to recognize the importance of farming to North Carolina's heritage.  

Adjacent to Hill Forest, Daye's farm provides significant wildlife habitat and connectivity, protects water quality in downstream Lake Michie, and is an active working farm in an increasingly developing area of Durham County. Growing up helping his grandparents, Lucious and Mary Glenn, Douglas learned the value of hard work and of having something of his own. Possessing agriculture ownership for Lucious Glenn, a man of color born in the 1890s, was a vital asset to his family and the black community. Glenn was able to raise food on his land, originally 40 acres, for nine children with his wife Mary.  

According to Daye, working with Durham County on a conservation easement , honors the legacy of his grandparents and their commitment to their family and their land.. "This place isn't mine; it's my granddaddy's and I am just the caretaker," said Daye. "This land is my roots."

Since 2001, the Durham County Farmland Protection program has permanently protected 14 family farms consisting of 2,130 acres in Durham County with   conservation easements. Funding is currently in place to protect five additional farms, 260 acres, over the next 3 years under Durham County's Farmland Protection Program. 

For more information about the program, contact Durham County Open Space Coordinator Celeste Burns at cburns@dconc.gov or 919-560-7956.

 

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