The Carolina Conservationists Protecting Our Beautiful State

Carolina Conservationists
Carolina Conservationists

Meet the men and women responsible for protecting our land, waters, and wildlife in North Carolina.

Rick Gaskins
Catawba Riverkeeper


This award winning non-profit organization is responsible for the maintenance, health, protection, and enjoyment of local lakes, streams, and rivers; including a removing trash program on the 42 islands that Lake Norman has to offer. Harvard Law and Duke graduate, Rick Gaskins is currently the Catawba River keeper and Executive Director of the Catawba River keeper foundation. His leadership and guidance of this fantastic organization will keep the waterways in Charlotte beautiful for all the residents and visitors to enjoy.

Gordon Myers
NC Wildlife Commissioner


Through examination, scientific administration, and public input, this state government agency protects and maintains the state’s fish and wildlife reserves. Executive director, Gordon Myers, makes sure that NC Wildlife Commission regulates the N.C. fishing, hunting, and boating laws, as well as over sees 590 full time employees. With income from the sale of hunting and fishing license, the agency’s budget of 65 million dollars, goes to making the resource’s sustainable and available for everyone to enjoy.

Mallory G Martin.
Chief Deputy Director


Mallory G. Martin, is the Chief Deputy director of the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. He is a fisheries biologist that has worked with the management of sport fisheries, aquatic environments, and community access through western NC since 1984.

Don McSween
Charlotte City Arborist


With a degree in Forest Resource Management from the University of Georgia and more than 30 years of practice in the landscaping field, Don McSween performs as the City Arborist for Charlotte, NC. He monitors the health of Charlottes trees by tree pruning, inventory, planting to replace dead trees, and administrating tree planting programs. He continues to protect the Charlotte area by maintaining trees along the public right of way and city lands.

Patrick George
Heart Wood Tree Organization


Patrick George fights to protect the trees of his hometown, Charlotte, NC. He is the founder of the Heart Wood Tree organization. This association was created in 1979 to help prune, treat and preserve trees around the Charlotte area.  From the shady sycamores of summer the walnut tree of winter, his passion and commitment to preserve this eye-catching beautiful trees makes Charlotte an attractive place to be.

Tom Adams
Trout Unlimited


Trout Unlimited is founded off a mission of protecting, restoring and maintaining cold-aquatic environmental resources. Tom Adam’s, president of Trout Unlimited, passion is to preserve the beautiful nature for future generations to come. Education is a key principle for their foundation in which they strive to teach their youth how wonderful, yet fragile, nature can be.

Laura Brewer
Tree Charlotte


TreeCharlotte is devoted to refurbishing and expanding the Charlotte tree canopy. Laura Brewer specializes in the street tree program to protect Charlotte’s natural habitat and keep the pathways clear yet site-full. Through the blend of full-time staff, and enthusiastic volunteers, this society helps up-keep the attractive city of charlotte and creates an enjoyable place to live.

Judy Carpenter
Lucky Clays


Lucky Clays is a gorgeous 347 acres farm laid out for trails for hiking, biking, and cycling.  Founder, Clays Shooting Champion, Judy Carpenter, first establish this farm from an image combine her passions of clay shoots, renewable energy, and preservation of lands rich resources. Today, it is recognized as NC’s largest residential renewable energy system; featuring native plants, high-efficiency building supplies and rainwater collecting technique.

Jim Cogdell
Fork Farm and Stables


Founder, Jim Cogdell, is recognized for a superior working farm and equestrian center. The farm is both committed to land and wildlife preservation, while at the same time, still operating as a working farm. This unique combination landed the award of the business conservationist of the year.

Ernie Tart
Ducks Unlimited Charlotte

NC state chairman, Ernie Tart spends time managing Ducks Unlimited. an organization known for conserving, restoring and replanting in wetlands and associated habitats for NC’s waterfowl.

Mike Orell
Treasure Trees


Mike Orell Is a dedicated blogger devoted to writing about Charlotte’s beloved trees. His primary focus in one of his blogs was to find all 123 of the “treasure trees” throughout North Carolina. These trees are an effort to identify excellent trees around our scenic city by placing a tag on the actual tree.

Eustace Conway
Turtle Island


When he was just 17 years old, Eustace Conway became a mountain man of the Appalachian Mountains. With the money he saved over the years, he was able to buy a 1000-acre patch of land. He named this piece of property, “Turtle Island”, where he built barns and structures to create a school so children could learn about primitive learning skills.

Matt Kokenes
Mircofarm Organic Gardens


Matt Kokenes is the proud owner of Microfarm Organic Garden that is exclusively dedicated to natural edible gardening. He believes that everyone should have fresh produce that can fit on anyone’s budget. His vision is to help others that simply don’t have to the time to maintain a healthy harvest.

Ruth Samuelson
Land And Water Trust Funds


Ruth Samuelson is a Republican conference leader and a forefront promoter of the land and water trust funds throughout NC for renewable energy. Through dedication and hard work, this remarkable conversationalist landed the legislator of the year award.

Roy Alexander
Davidson Lands Conservancy


Roy Alexander advocates protecting and conserving the West Branch Wetlands. With his statewide reputation to conserve, he became Davidson’s Land Conservatory’s first executive director where is carries out his duty to sustain land for upcoming generations.
Iseley Farms

Poplar Ridge Farms

Poplar Ridge Farms is a qualified Organic Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). The farm offer produce and hebs year round to the public and delivers to Charlotte’s restaurant; making Charlotte one fresh place to be.

Grateful growers Farm


This family was tired of being scared to eat certain foods in the fast food and restaurant industry because of the unknown products that are in them. They decided to create natural-raised food that has no artificial products. Because of the dedication and devotion, this Grateful Growers was nominated for NC “Small Farm of the Year”.

Carolina Thread Trail

Carolina Thread Trail is a program to build trails connecting greenway and blue ways. Today, these trails link over 15 counties throughout north and South Carolina. The vision of the Carolina Thread Trail is to serve as a ground for exploration, hiking, history, and education.

Charlotte Public Tree Fund


Formed in 1991, Charlotte public tree fund is a non-profit organization focused on tree planting and preserving throughout Mecklenburg County.