The Umstead Coalition is a volunteer-led, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization comprised of individual members and 16 partner conservation organizations. 100% of your donations go directly to help William B. Umstead State Park and are tax deductible.
Since 1968, the Umstead Coalition has repeatedly risen to protect William B. Umstead State Park from threats such as quarries, a proposal to sell the Park, a dry-dam flood control structure on Turkey Creek, RDU airport runways that would have taken Park lands and a plan to build a major highway through the Park and the Richland Creek Corridor.
Your donations help us with Park land acquisition, environmental education activities, trail maintenance, restoration of the 120 historic cabins and mess halls and preserving the cultural history of the rural community that once lived in the lands that became William B. Umstead State Park. Read more about our projects here.
The Umstead Coalition serves as the conduit to donate funds to help the Park.
Help us with our fight to Stop RDU Quarry. On August 11, 2023, the State's denial of Wake Stone's mining permit application for RDU Quarry was overturned. Help us continue our fight to protect our public land!
We have two active court cases: 1) to sustain the denial of the authorization to destroy Crabtree Creek Stream buffers for Wake Stone's proposed bridge over Crabtree Creek and 2) for our fight to restore the Sunset Clause and protective buffers along Umstead State Park and Crabtree Creek.
To help with our fight, we have yet another generous donor willing to match dollar-for-dollar up to $20,000 of donations made after August 18, 2023. Sales at the Park's Visitor Center (8801 Glenwood Ave, Raleigh, NC 27617), our online store, donations and memberships are eligible!
Matching gifts are a form of corporate giving in which employers financially match the donations their employees make to nonprofit organizations. They essentially double an employee's donation. Please check to see if your company offers this wonderful program and make your donation to the Umstead Coalition go even further!
You can now donate to the Umstead Coalition on Venmo. We are a verified charity (check for the blue checkmark badge on our profile). Search for the Umstead Coalition or our username "umsteadcoalition". View our charity profile here.
eBay for Charity
Shopping on eBay? Next time you buy from eBay, favorite the Umstead Coalition and you can directly donate to us in eBay Checkout. Already listing things on eBay? Check out eBay for Charity to get started and donate between 10-100% of your proceeds to the Umstead Coalition. View our charity profile here.
Mail a Check
If you prefer to write a check instead of doing an online donation, you can send it, made payable to the Umstead Coalition, to this address: P.O. Box 10654, Raleigh, NC 27605
For 54 years, the Umstead Coalition’s mission has been to preserve the natural integrity of William B. Umstead State Park and the Richland Creek Corridor. We’re proud to have successfully protected the Park from several threats throughout the years including a proposal to build a highway through the Park and even attempts to sell it.
And still today the threats continue.
It’s hard to believe we’ve been fighting since 2016 to stop Wake Stone’s plans to build a new rock quarry adjacent to one of the most pristine sections of the Park. We will win and protect our State Park!
We had some significant wins this year in our fight and we definitely could not do this without the help from supporters like you. Here’s a snapshot of what we accomplished with your sustained support and investments to help protect our public lands:
On February 17, the NC Department of Environmental Quality-Division of Energy, Minerals and Land Resources (DEQ-DEMLR) denied the Mining Permit Application from Wake Stone for RDU Quarry. The denial was in large part due to the significant adverse effect on the Park and thousands of public comments (thank you!). In March 2022, Wake Stone filed an appeal. The NC Attorney General is defending the denial. We expect this appeal to continue for a while. The judge just denied Wake Stone's request to immediately overturn the denial and ordered a contested trial-yet to be scheduled. Read more details here.
To truck overburden (the soil above the rock) and rock from the proposed new pit on the Odd Fellows Tract to the existing Triangle Quarry, Wake Stone has proposed a massive, 60-foot wide bridge over Crabtree Creek just upstream of Foxcroft Lake and Umstead State Park. To justify the wide bridge, Wake Stone claims in their Neuse Buffer application that 440 quarry trucks per day would cross this bridge (and travel along our Park boundaries). Just think of the noise and dust!
In October 2021, Wake Stone submitted a new application for a Neuse Buffer Authorization with the same bridge design and location as their previous application. This is after the Umstead Coalition won our appeal in September 2021 to invalidate Wake Stone’s first application approval. In February, DEQ approved the application again. This is surprising because we believe DEQ did not follow the required rules to avoid and minimize buffer impacts. The Umstead Coalition filed another appeal in April. After succeeding through the preliminary legal maneuvers in October, we have a trial set for January 24-26, 2023.
The current Wake Stone Triangle Quarry adjacent to William B. Umstead State Park had their original Mining Permit 92‐10 approved in 1981 with a 50-year Sunset Clause. After 50 years, in 2031, Wake Stone was to give the State Park the right to have the quarry donated to the State and all mining operations would cease. If the Sunset Clause is restored, RDU Quarry cannot happen.
Wake Stone accepted permit renewals and modifications without objections to the Sunset Clause for 37 years. In 2018, without public notice, the Wake Stone Mining Permit was changed to eliminate the Sunset Clause, take out the undisturbed protections along the Creek and the Park, and reduce the protective buffers along Crabtree Creek by 30 feet.
In July, the Umstead Coalition submitted a lawsuit to reinstate the 50-year Sunset Clause on the existing Wake Stone Triangle Quarry and to restore undisturbed buffers promised to protect Umstead State Park. If the Sunset Clause is restored, RDU Quarry cannot happen. Wake Stone has filed motions to delay our trial. Read more details here.
The RDU Fence remains unfunded (thanks to massive public outcry), but the Raleigh Durham Airport Authority (RDUAA) staff keep bringing it back in their reports to the RDUAA Board, so it’s still looming. The good news is that the Wake County Commissioners explicitly asked that the section of fence along Haley’s Branch not be built if the County succeeds in establishing a mountain bike park on the “286 East” Tract (read more about that below).
On November 21, the Wake County Commissioners approved a proposed new mountain bike trail park on a 151-acre tract known as “286 East” located to the east of Haley’s branch and to the west of the East Coast Greenway (aka Old Reedy Creek Road). Their proposal must be approved by the RDUAA Board at their upcoming December 15 meeting. Wake County’s proposal includes:
No fence along Haley’s Branch
10-year lease with renewal options
180-day “claw-back” by RDUAA
Funding partners of the Towns of Morrisville and Cary
Very importantly, no tie to the proposed Wake Stone Quarry; no increased County liability when quarry denial is upheld
Our biggest concern with the original proposed lease by RDUAA was relying on Wake Stone for a $360,000 contribution each year. RDUAA had asked the County to pick up an additional $360,000/year if the quarry denial was upheld, but the County Commissioners refused (again, thanks for the public outcry!)
We held several events in 2022, thanks to everyone for attending and a huge thank you to all of our volunteers and the Umstead Rangers and staff — we couldn’t have done all this without you
Hosted our annual Walk/Run/Bike for Umstead. Save the date for next year’s event on April 22, 2023 (Earth Day!). Registration will open in January
Hosted an in person exhibition to celebrate the 2022 winners of our annual Photo & Illustration Contests. Next year’s contest opens in January
Held four native plant sales selling over 2,700 native plants
Continued to fund Park Ranger I&E programs for youth
Held several maintenance volunteer work days on the rain garden in the Reedy Creek parking lot at the Cary, Harrison Ave entrance to Umstead State Park
Led a series of hikes along the border of Umstead State Park and the Odd Fellows Tract
While there was much to celebrate this year, we still have a lot to do to ensure the Odd Fellows Tract is preserved and the natural integrity of Umstead State Park is protected.