The Orchard at Altapass
In 2014, CWMTF provided a portion of the funding that permanently protected The Orchard at Altapass. The Orchard is located at milepost 329 on the Blue Ridge Parkway and is a popular attraction, hosting approximately 50,000 visitors a year.
The Orchard has had a long history, going back over 100 years. It was first planted when the CSX railroad was built and has been in continuous operation since that time.
In the 1990s the property was for sale and many people thought it would be developed for second homes. However, the new owners wanted to preserve its beauty and history. The Conservation Trust for North Carolina (CTNC) worked with the owners to protect the orchard by raising funds to purchase conservation easements on the working orchard and the surrounding lands, which included a grant of $180,843 from CWMTF. The state of NC holds a permanent conservation easement on 56 acres of stream buffers on the surrounding land, while CTNC holds a permanent conservation easement on the orchard, allowing the Orchard to continue its operations.