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The Umstead Coalition 
Celebrating Umstead State Park since 1934!

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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.

Illustration by Amber Anderson

NEW $15,000 MATCH!


We're thrilled to have a new donor match challenge!

Our goal is to raise $15,000 before July 10, 2024.

We can do it!


Become an Umsteader, a monthly supporter

The easiest and most efficient way to support the Umstead Coalition is through automatic monthly payments. These consistent, monthly gifts bring stability, help us maintain our support of William B. Umstead State Park and plan for future projects. We’ll deduct your designated donation each month. In the donation form below, select Monthly as the Payment Frequency. You will automatically become a member and/or a renewed member of the Umstead Coalition with your donation. 

Your Contribution Matters

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Other Ways to Give

Matching Gifts

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!

Venmo

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


PAYPAL GIVING FUND

You can donate to the Umstead Coalition with PayPal Giving Fund.  Visit our verified charity fundraiser profile here

Donor-Advised Funds

Support the Umstead Coalition by donating via Donor Advised-Funds (DAFs). Search for the Umstead Coalition on Fidelity Charitable, Schwab CharitableVanguard Charitable and others.

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 10654Raleigh, NC 27605


2023 Highlights

2023 was another busy year! Here’s a snapshot of what we accomplished with your sustained support and investments to help protect our public lands:

RDU Quarry Permit Denial & Appeal

We want to assure everyone that the recent Settlement between DEQ and Wake Stone DOES NOT affect the Umstead Coalition’s court cases they ALL are going forward. We continue to be optimistic that there will be no quarry on the Odd Fellows Tract and our public lands will be protected. We are boosted by the 9,500 public comments that were received opposing the quarry and your generous support. 

If you want to help, please consider contacting Attorney General (AG) Josh Stein, and Governor Roy Cooper and ask them to assign attorneys to defend NC State Parks. The duties of the AG is not just to defend DEQ, but also NC State Parks. 

Attorney General Josh Stein: Fill out the form at bottom. Leave voice message at central phone number: 919-716-6400 (option 5).

Governor Roy Cooper: Email or call Governor Roy Cooper's office: 919-814-2000, Option 5

More:

We started 2023 with a denial of the Wake Stone’s RDU Quarry Mining Permit Application by DEQ. Wake Stone then filed an appeal at the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), the court where you first appeal a State Agency Decision, requesting to overturn the denial. The Umstead Coalition and the adjacent private resident asked to Intervene to defend the denial. Our request was denied because the OAH appointed judge said we were “duplicative” of DEQ’s efforts to uphold the denial. We appealed in Wake County Superior Court and were told we then needed to wait until the OAH judge made his ruling and then ask to Intervene (e.g., retry Wake Stone’s appeal).

After various filings and motions, a trial was held at OAH in February. The Umstead Coalition filed an Amicus Brief in support of the Denial. On August 11, 2023, the OAH judge overturned DEQ’s denial and ordered a Mining Permit be issued. A Mining Permit was issued by DEQ on September 8, 2023. 

Immediately following, DEQ filed an appeal of the OAH overturn of the permit denial and also filed a “Stay” on the Mining Permit. The Umstead Coalition and the adjacent neighbor filed various filings in Wake County Superior Court that included our (now timely) request to Intervene (e.g., retry the case with our expert witnesses) and an appeal of the OAH overturn of the denial. We also filed an appeal of the new September 8, 2023 Mining Permit to OAH. At this stage, DEQ, the Umstead Coalition, and the neighbor were fighting for the denial. 

To everyone’s surprise, on Monday November 13, 2023 DEQ Settled with Wake Stone and removed the Stay on the permit and dropped their appeal. Because we were not (yet) allowed to Intervene, only DEQ and Wake Stone were parties to the Settlement. The Settlement allowed the Mining Permit to stand, but contains language that explicitly says it cannot be “construed to be a determination on the merits of any factual allegations or legal claims.” 

It is interesting to note the same DEQ employee who changed the Mining Permit in secret in 2018 to remove the Sunset Clause is the same DEQ employee who signed the Settlement (both times in an Interim position). 

Obviously, DEQ’s perspective is not “duplicative” of the Umstead Coalition and the neighbors' desire to protect Umstead State Park, the East Coast Greenway and a private home. 

Everyone seems surprised that an Interim Director over Mining and an assistant attorney in the AG’s office agreed to this Settlement. Immediate public response was swift and in disagreement with the removal of the Stay on the September 8, 2023 Mining Permit. 

In press statements, the following was said:

Secretary over the NC Division of Parks and Recreation (aka) NC State Parks, Secretary Reid Wilson, Secretary NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources:

On behalf of North Carolina's state parks, the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources strongly opposes the judge’s order to issue the permit and the settlement between the Department of Environmental Quality and Wake Stone Corporation that may allow a second quarry adjacent to William Umstead State Park. The Department of Environmental Quality did not consult with the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources before signing the agreement. Unquestionably, a second quarry would damage two units of the state parks system, Umstead State Park and the East Coast Greenway State Trail, which runs through the park. For decades to come, a new quarry bordering the park would bring more blasting noise, more air pollution, more water pollution, more truck traffic, harm to wildlife, and a degraded experience for the roughly one million visitors to the park each year.” (Source: News and Observer, 11/14/2023)

The Honorable Governor Roy Cooper: 

DEQ’s decision to deny the quarry permit was well-reasoned and best for the state and its parks, and I disagree with the (OAH) Judge’s order requiring that the permit be issued and DEQ’s decision not to appeal and instead settle the case. Protecting public land and water resources is essential, and I am concerned overall about the weakening of protections through bad laws and bad court decisions.” (Source: News and Observer, 11/14/2023)

The NC Attorney General Josh Stein: 

The decision to settle this case and issue Wake Stone a permit ultimately rested with our client, DEQ. Attorney General Stein continues to strongly disagree with the court order (from OAH), which he believes was wrong on the law and harmful to our state’s resources.” (Source: Triangle Business Journal, 11/16/2023)

Again, the Settlement does not affect any of the Umstead Coalition or neighbor’s legal cases. With that said, now that the AG’s attorneys will be forced to defend DEQ’s settlement, we strongly believe that the AG should now assign separate attorneys to DEFEND NC STATE PARKS. Please ask such of the AG and the Governor:

Attorney General Josh Stein: Fill out the form at bottom. Leave voice message at central phone number: 919-716-6400 (option 5).

Governor Roy Cooper: Email or call Governor Roy Cooper's office: 919-814-2000, Option 5

Crabtree Creek Bridge

Wake Stone's proposed bridge over Crabtree would require destruction of Neuse Riparian buffers on Crabtree Creek. DEQ issued an Authorization (aka permit) in 2020, we appealed and won in 2021no permit. Wake Stone reapplied with the same bridge design and location and same impacts; DEQ issued the permit; the Umstead Coalition appealed. A second contested case trial was held in January 2023. The OAH judge revoked the permit on May 11, 2023, but for a strange reasonthe person issuing the permit did not have delegated authority to issue the permit. Wake Stone appealed to Wake County Superior Court. Hearing was held in October, 2023. We won and the Superior Court sent the case back to OAH to rule on the merits of the case. 

There is no bridge permit and therefore no quarry can proceed we are waiting on OAH ruling. We should all expect the losing side to file an appeal at Superior Court. 

Sunset Clause Lawsuit and Protective Buffer Reductions

The current Wake Stone Triangle Quarry adjacent to 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 donate the pit to the State and all mining operations would cease. 

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, 2022 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.

In 2023 various court filings and Hearings in a very winding legal manner have transpired — DEQ and Wake Stone trying to prevent us from going to trial on the merits — the Umstead Coalition striving to get a trial to proceed. Judge Holcomb summed it up “complaint filed by the Plaintiff (the Umstead Coalition) concerns modifications of significant interest to the parties and the public-at-large…”.

Our next Hearing on proceeding to trial at OAH is Monday, December 4. It would be great to have 5 to 10 of our folks in the audience. RSVP now>>

New Mountain Bike & Pedestrian Park at RDU

Wake County’s Bike & Pedestrian Park opened in late December 2022 as a lease between Wake County and RDUAA. “286 East” is a 151-acre tract located to the east of Haley’s Branch and to the west of the East Coast Greenway (aka Old Reedy Creek Road), just across from the Odd Fellows Tract. One of the conditions by Wake County was no fence along Haley’s Branch (Wake County Commissioners restarted their opposition to such a fence). This lease has NO ties to the proposed quarry if you hear Wake Stone or someone else say this know it is just not true. The two Wake County appointees to the RDUAA Board repeated at their December Board meeting that the lease had NO mention or ties to the proposed quarry. 

NEW! We are excited to relay that Wake County and NC State Parks are working on an agreement that would ADD new mountain bike and pedestrian trails in adjacent lands within Umstead State Park! The Umstead Coalition has been working on this for years. We are urging this to happen soon. 

Umstead Coalition Events & Projects

We held several events in 2023, 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 20, 2024. Registration will open in January

  • Hosted an in person exhibition to celebrate the 2023 winners of our annual Photo & Illustration Contests. Next year’s contest opens in January

  • Held Spring and Fall native plant sales

  • Held several volunteer work days in the forested rain gardens and butterfly gardens, including 80 volunteers on Martin Luther King service day in the Reedy Creek parking lot at the Cary, Harrison Ave entrance to Umstead State Park

  • Held three service volunteer work days at the Sycamore Mess Hall, including September 11 Remembrance Day

  • Led a series of hikes along the border of Umstead State Park and the Odd Fellows Tract

  • Supported the Park Ranger environmental education programs

  • Continued our fight against the proposed RDU Quarry


Your Contribution Matters

By giving to the Umstead Coalition this Giving Season, you’ll help play a key role in protecting the beauty of Umstead State Park for us and future generations to enjoy. 100% of all funds donated to the Umstead Coalition go to support Umstead State Park. The Umstead Coalition is a volunteer-led, registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and all donations are tax deductible. 

New Matching Donor 

We have a new challenge match! One of our generous donors is matching your tax-deductible donation dollar-for-dollar up to $20,000 for donations this holiday season! Make your donation go further.

Ways You Can Give

Donate via our website. Does your employer offer a Matching Gift Program? If they do, make your donation to the Umstead Coalition go even further. Create a personal Facebook Fundraiser for GivingTuesday. 

Shopping on eBay? Next time you buy from eBay, favorite the Umstead Coalition and you can directly donate to us in eBay Checkout.

You can also donate via Donor Advised-Funds (DAFs). Search for the Umstead Coalition on Fidelity Charitable, Schwab Charitable, Vanguard Charitable and others.



The Umstead Coalition

We are a nonprofit dedicated to preserving the natural integrity of William B. Umstead State Park and the Richland Creek Corridor.

WHO WE ARE

The Umstead Coalition is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.