Monday, October 17, 2011

The Heart and Soul of Sense of Place

I’m very intimate with a part of what still makes North Carolina very special.  There is nothing like experiencing the the back roads that begin just few minutes from my house, especially astride a Harley-Davidson Cross Bones.Central Park

To lose this part of our state’s character, stretching across its heart from Durham to Charlotte would be to lose its soul.

So it is heartening to see the evolution of Central Park NC, a collaboration stretching across eight counties in this region, centered around the Uwharrie National Forest and the lakes and hills of the the lower part of the Yadkin-Pee Dee River watershed and basin.

Celebrating its 18th year at an annual gathering next week in Star, North Carolina, a tiny town famed as the exact geographic center of the state, Central Park NC is a valiant economic-development-driven effort to preserve the natural, cultural and small town character of North Carolina through small-business development including tourism.

The area is framed by a crescent of metro areas anchored from Charlotte to Winston-Salem to Greensboro to Durham to Raleigh and Fayetteville.  Each of these distinct and successful urban areas rely on the success of Central Park NC to preserve, conserve and sustain the rural and scenic character and unique sense of place upon which their evolution has been built.

Star is midway between Durham and Charlotte and a good reason to take the 150 miles of back roads in either direction on any future trip and use the legend on the right to populate the map at this link to identify places to stop and enjoy some of the unique features along the way.  You’ll be helping to preserve a part of North Carolina’s unique sense of place.

The journey will also renew the senses and restore an awareness and humility about our role as stewards for this incredible state and, will hopefully revive in each of us a renewed determination to clean up the blight and pollution our arrogance has caused.

No comments: