Second Gear August Non-Profit: Friends of DuPont Forest
This month we are thrilled to host Friends of DuPont Forest as our August non-profit!
About Friends of DuPont
"We care for the trails, protect the natural resources and inspire love for DuPont State Recreational Forest.
Friends of DuPont Forest is a nonprofit, membership organization that provides a unified voice for DuPont State Recreational Forest. We advocate on behalf of the Forest, renowned for its world class trail system and vibrant waterfalls — natural beauty that provides many opportunities for hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians, anglers, naturalists and families. Friends of DuPont Forest was created as the Friends of the Falls, a grass-roots group who successfully campaigned to save the DuPont waterfalls from development in 2000.
We PROTECT the Forest
Friends of DuPont Forest is a strong advocate for the Forest. From water quality to trails to public safety to wildlife, we campaign for policies and investment that protect and conserve the Forest. We leverage funding for improvements like bridges, bathrooms and the Visitor Center that protect the Forest’s natural resources and enhance recreation.
We believe the best way to protect DuPont Forest is to plan for its future and that is what we advocated for a Master Recreation Plan In fall 2021 the North Carolina General Assembly allocated $750,000 to develop and implement a Master Plan for DuPont State Recreational Forest. The purpose of the Master
Plan is to develop clear goals and objectives that will act as a guiding document for the NC Forest Service and prioritize needs related to recreation and environmental protection. The end product will suggest capital improvements to enhance the visitor experience while protecting natural resources, along with
management recommendations and annual funding requirements.
We CARE for the Trails
DuPont Forest has one of the best trail systems in the Southeast and is a favorite among hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians, anglers, hunters and summer camps. Since the Forest became public, Friends of DuPont has been there to help build, protect, and maintain the trails in partnership with the N.C. Forest Service We have a dedicated group of volunteers who spend on average more than 1,200 hours a year working in the Forest, which equates to an annual economic benefit to the Forest Service in excess of $29,000.
We have invested hundreds of thousands of dollars into trails including work on Ridgeline Trail, Rocky Ridge Trail, the Triple Falls staircase and the Hooker Falls pedestrian bridge.
We INSPIRE Love for Public Lands
We believe that outdoor education is an important aspect of conserving and protecting DuPont State
Recreational Forest for generations to come.
We share information about the resources and wonders of the Forest with the public via educational
events, newsletters, kiosks, and the annual Forest Festival.