The Umstead Coalition
Dedicated to the appreciation, use, and preservation of the William B. Umstead State Park and the Richland Creek natural area


RDU Airport Land Use Planning

Call to Action!  Help Umstead State Park from Bad Airport Ideas

Help stop detrimental aspect of RDU Airport proposed plans to William B. Umstead State Park and its Surrounds.

The airport is again considering building a runway 400 feet closer to Umstead State Park (disastrous taking of Park land via noise).  They are proposing that all the forested lands at between Old Reedy Creek Road and William B. Umstead State Park (including Lake Crabtree County Park) be developed into:  a rock quarry, office park, paved areas, and similar.

WE are offering a superior community vision that will assist the airport with revenue streams and enhance this corridor with a “Forested Urban Recreation Trail Center.”  (and, YES, the FAA allows this use on airport property). And, yes, it would entail revenue streams for the airport via leases to brewery, bike rental, outdoor retail, hotel, parking, cafĂ©, perhaps zip line, and more!

YOUR input is VERY IMPORTANT to show the tremendous public support for our vital community asset (natural forested trails)!!!

What YOU can do:

1. Submit your comments by clicking the “Comments” tab in the dark blue banner at the top of the following website:

2.     Write an Editorial to the News and Observer.  The more that are submitted, the more likely some will be printed.  Click on this web site to submit our Letter to the Editor:

3.  Talk to and email your local elected officials:

Raleigh City Council members:

Wake County Board of Commissioners:

Sig Hutchinson:

Jessica Holmes:

Matt Calabria:

Caroline Sullivan:

James West:

Betty Lou Ward:

John D. Burns:


4.     Sign the Petition hosted by TORC to save the forested lands near Old Reedy Creek Road:

Tell the airport that you:

1.     OPPOSE a runway built closer to William B. Umstead State Park. 

We defeated this by mass opposition by the public in the mid-1990’s. Let’s make sure we don’t have increased aircraft noise and a runway that directs take-off and landings directly over the Park Visitor Center and the Family Campground!!

2.     OPPOSE  a quarry built next to William B. Umstead State Park on environmental sensitive lands that drain into our Park and Crabtree Creek

3.     SUPPORT a Forested Urban Recreation Trail Center that includes 50 MILES of single track/pedestrian trails.

4.     SUPPORT an extended, detailed community involvement in planning the land us on all RDU airport lands on the side near William B. Umstead State Park, including Lake Crabtree County Park and lands near Old Reedy Creek Road.

We only reach out with such urgency to our friends of William B. Umstead State Park when it is absolutely necessary. We feel this is such a time for as many of you to ACT quickly and strongly.  The Umstead Coalition has and is continuing to reach out to the RDU Airport and offering a visionary, community approach that will provide a great tourist destination and community asset, while recognizing the needs of the RDU airport to obtain a consistent revenue stream.  PLEASE help us with this communication. 


PLEASE make your comments heard !!



Sycamore Mess Hall Restoration

Thanks to all who made our May 30 Celebration event a success.  We're very proud of the work our volunteers have accomplished in coordination with our amazing Umstead State Park staff!

We will continue to have Service Work Days.  Check our Event Calendar on the upper right - it's routinely updated with new events.


Forested Rain Garden and Butterfly Gardens at

Harrison Ave (Reedy Creek Section) parking lot

What awesome volunteers we've had! Thanks!

This project has converted 2 of the medians at the Harrison Ave parking lot to bioretention areas that will treat the runoff from the entire 1 acre parking lot -- thereby reducing sediment, nutrients, water peak volumes, and temperatures in storm water runoff.  In addition, we have an innovative design that will allow for shade trees to be planted in the medians.

Native plants that provide food for migrating Monarch butterflies have been planted in two new butterfly gardens adjacent to the walkway near the bathrooms.

The parking lot medians will be closed to foot traffic during and after construction (to enable healthy plant growth and water quality/quantity treatment).

The generous supporters of this huge project include individual donors and:

  • Triangle Community Foundation's Support for Places: Environmental Conservation Public Benefit program grant
  • Wells Fargo Community Grant
  • Wake Stone Quarry
  • Great Outdoor Provision Company
  • Raleigh, Ski & Outing Club
  • Dragonfly Pond Works
  • NC State University - Biological and Agricultural Department
  • NC Cooperative Extension Service - Wake County

Upcoming Events 

Upcoming events and Service Projects, Click on Event listed below for information. To register, scroll to bottom of any event information page and click on "Register."

09/09/2016 10:00 AM (EDT) • William B. Umstead State Park
09/10/2016 10:00 AM (EDT) • William B. Umstead State Park
10/08/2016 9:00 AM (EDT) • Loblolly Trail Head off of Edwards Mill Road near Arena, Raleigh

Mark your calendars --

2017 Walk/Run/Bike for Umstead

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Information:  Walk_Run_Bike

4-mile race results for the 2016 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010 Run/Walk are posted (click below):

Umstead 4-mile race results


T-shirts are on sale at Visitor Center.

2016 T-shirt features the stunning belted kingfisher.    

The belted kingfisher's habitat is along streams and lakes in our Park.  It nests in banks.  It makes a loud dry rattle. The female has an additional rusty breastband.

The t-shirt is an amazing fabric.  Color "Willow"  (a darkish green). Style is Authentic brand, pigment XtraFine T-shirt.  It's 5oz 100% combed ringspun cotton and it so SO soft!  Double-needle stitching throughout, Garment-dyed in the USA for a soft, lived-in feel. Youth style is 5.6oz. 

Celebration 100 Years of NC State Parks!

Thanks for your BOND support!!
All 40 NC State Parks will now receive needed funding, including $1.725 million for William B. Umstead State Park!!

UNC-TV Special- Saving the Best:  North Carolina State Parks at 100 aired as a celebration of the 100 year anniversary of NC State Parks and is a tribute to the men and women who work and volunteer in our parks, as well as the 15 million visitors who use our parks each year. Watch carefully and you will see a LOT of Umstead State Park footage!  You can now stream the show on-line:


Stories in Stone by Tom Weber

Available at:

William B. Umstead State Park Visitor Center, off US 70 (donation of $20 to The Umstead Coalition) (sold by The Umstead Coalition)

The Umstead Coalition is dedicated to the appreciation, use, and preservation of the William B. Umstead State Park and the Richland Creek Natural Area.
The Umstead Coalition, PO Box 10654, Raleigh, NC  27605 (919) 852-2268   
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