While Chapel Hill Mayor Pam Hemminger is used to speaking at a variety of venues, the middle of a forest is not a typical one.
Members of the Town government and Chapel Hill residents traveled off the beaten path Saturday to celebrate a new nature preserve in Chapel Hill.
The North Carolina Botanical Garden Foundation, the support organization for the North Carolina Botanical Garden, held a celebration in honor of its recent acquisition of the Cochrane property. The property enjoys protected status as a nature preserve, meaning it will not be able to be built upon or taken by the city or state government. Hiking trails will also be added and maintained for use by the public.
The Cochrane property spans 12.8 acres and borders Parker Road. The property is adjacent to Parker Preserve and the Mason Farm Biological Reserve, both of which are owned by the University.
The Botanical Garden Foundation was able to purchase the property using a grant from the N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund, which gives to conservation projects in North Carolina every year.