Several projects in the Piedmont and High Country are getting a boost with grants from the North Carolina Land and Water Fund. One of the largest includes purchasing hundreds of acres near the Dan River in Stokes County.

The state recently announced funds for 117 projects across North Carolina – totaling more than $70 million. 

The money will be used to improve recreational opportunities for the public, enhance water quality in communities, and provide an opportunity to grow local tourism.

The Piedmont Land Conservancy secured $1.5 million. That money will be used to acquire around 850 acres known as the Shoe Buckle Tract. It has several miles of frontage on the Dan River in Stokes County.

Kevin Redding with the organization says eventually, the site will end up in public ownership either with the state park system or as a state forest.

"It’s going to help with the conservation," says Redding. "It’s also really great wildlife habitat. It will be a segment of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail in the years to come, so it’s also going to provide a public access opportunity to get into the Dan River on one of the stretches where we don’t have as many good access points."

Other counties receiving these awards include Ashe, Watauga, Wilkes, Davidson and Guilford.

Follow WFDD's Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news

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