A flock of immature white ibis flew among the bald cypress and tupelo treetops following the twisting waters of the Black River under a Carolina blue sky as a boat carrying conservationists and bankers motored along the dark waters.
As the ibis went about their daily routine, 30 people from The Nature Conservancy, Nature Conservancy of Canada and TD Bank got a close-up look last week at the latest addition to the 1,700-acre Black River Preserve, the 79.5-acre Freeman Tract that has 1.2 miles of river frontage.
The land was acquired through TD Forests, a North American initiative of TD Bank and its parent company, TD Bank Group, that focuses on protecting critical forest habitat and using resources responsibly.
Rob Hoak, regional president for TD Bank in the Carolinas, said “environmental sustainability is a key strategy of our company, specifically we focus on preserving the forest and trees.”
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TD Bank wants to offset all its use of paper for its banks in the United States and Canada. Since TD Forests began in 2012, it has helped protect more than 25,000 acres of forest.
It choose The Nature Conservancy’s Black River Preserve because of its exceptional value for wildlife and river recreation.
This tract of cypress and tupelo will be managed for old-growth condition, “we’ll let these trees grow and have a hands-off effect to our management,” said Maria Whitehead, Winyah and Pee Dee River Project Director for The Nature Conservancy.
Located in the heart of an area of private conservation action, the Black River Preserve links more than 12,000 acres of privately protected conservation easement lands, home to wild turkeys, black bears, wading birds, wood ducks and the state-endangered swallow-tail kite.