Shop Hyper-local Online!

Just in time for the holidays, our Online Eno Store gives you the opportunity to shop local, online!

Shop Eno Store favorites including:
*Festival for the Eno posters, screen prints, and art
*Eno Hats & T-shirts
*Eno Bandanas — new colors released!
*The 2021 Eno Calendar, our 50th anniversary edition!

Plus, brand new merchandise just in time for the holidays!
*Sweatshirts
*Long-sleeved tees
*Dog leashes
*Eno Logo Tote Bags — great for gift wrapping items for that Eno-lover on your list!

More items on the way! Special surprises! Inventory reduction deals! Limited edition releases from our archive! You don’t want to miss it.

Eno River Association Members receive a 10% discount through Sunday, December 6. If you haven’t already received your member discount code for 10% off, or have questions about your membership, please email development@enoriver.org.

Annual Meeting, Holiday Hullabaloo, & Calendar Celebration

Click for more info…

Honoring Native American Heritage Month

November is National American Indian Heritage Month. The Eno River Association joins in paying tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native Americans. We have recently updated our Land Acknowledgment Statement as further commitment to practicing inclusion daily.

Photo by Mike Salemi

The Eno River Association respectfully acknowledges that the land that we are on today is the traditional and ancestral homelands of the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi, the Tutelo, the Shakori, the Cheraw, and the Eno. They descended from an ancient tribe called the Yesah and spoke dialects of the Siouan language. The Eno River Valley was their home as it was for Woodland Natives for thousands of years before the arrival of people from other continents. We recognize Indigenous peoples as the original stewards of this land.

The mission of the Eno River Association includes the protection of the natural, historical, and cultural resources of the Eno River Basin. That protection is mostly necessary due to colonial practices and an economic system of land use and ownership that has often degraded our environment and dispossessed many peoples of color in the Eno River Valley.

This acknowledgement is part of the education and practice of inclusion we seek to demonstrate to our community to recognize and respect the history of this land and this river, and all peoples and beings on the Eno through time.

Protection Added To Nancy Rhodes Creek

Nancy Rhodes Creek

On October 30, 2020, the Eno River Association accepted the donation of a conservation easement on an 8.8-acre property in Durham adjacent to Eno River State Park across from the Pump Station Trail access. The Nancy Rhodes Creek Conservation Easement was generously donated by Weaving Water, LLC with support from Triangle Community Foundation and will help to ensure the protection of water quality to Nancy Rhodes Creek and the Eno River. It also protects a portion of an important Natural Area and plant species. This land was formerly part of Dr. Robert Holloway’s Farm and contained the collect structures associated with the former Rivermont Carbonated Spring Water. To learn more, click here.

Now Hiring: Eno Education Director

Photo by Patty Clayton

We are hiring an Eno Education Director!

Do you have a passion for sharing your knowledge of ecology and cultural history with others? Do you have a gift for connecting learners of all ages with the natural world?

The Eno River Association is offering a full-time position with benefits, starting December 30th. Click here to learn more about this opportunity to join the Eno team.

Reenvisioning Fall Events & Programs

Association to support personal and small group outdoor experiences

Due to safety concerns stemming from the ongoing global pandemic, the Eno River Association is re-imaging several of its popular in-person fall events and programs. While experts agree that outdoor experiences are among the safest ways to recreate during the pandemic, the Association will focus its efforts on small group and individual programs that highlight the natural, cultural, and historic resources of the Eno River basin.

The music and camping event known as JamborEno that takes place at the Association’s Confluence Natural Area in Hillsborough has been cancelled, as well as the hands-on environmental education event Stream-In at Eno River State Park. The Association will no longer be co-hosting the Eno River Run; interested participants should check the Bull City Running website for details and alternative programming.

Instead, the Association plans to provide environmental education programs for individuals, small groups, and families throughout the fall, and supplemental STEM educational programs for local students and learning pods. Additionally, to offset the cancellation of large group stewardship and trail workdays, the Association will be supporting small group service projects for workplaces, families, and pandemic pods. Due to a significant increase in traffic in parks and natural areas since the beginning of the pandemic – up to 68% in some cases – trash and trail erosion has increased. This small group stewardship series will help tackle the ongoing strain on park resources and provide a safe way to give back and commune with nature.

“Having access to safe, outdoor activities has never been more essential to the health of our community. Since the outbreak of the global pandemic, citizens have flocked to our parks for recreation and respite in record numbers. Never has the need for open spaces and safe, outdoor activities been more apparent.” commented Jessica Sheffield, Executive Director of the Eno River Association.

On October 3, the Association will host an education event at their Confluence Natural Area. The program will feature some of the popular activities from their Eno River Field Station and iWalk the Eno Summer Camp program and will support youth and adults of all ages. Attendance will be limited, and participants will be required to sign-up for specific timeslots.

To support the strain on school districts, parents, and students, the Association’s education team has also created a catalog of available programming ranging from hands-on STEM activities to local history topics to cultural arts. Learning pods are encouraged to use these resources, as well as online educational videos and other self-serve content, to create physical or virtual field trips to the Eno River this fall.

“Even in these tough times we are finding ways to provide opportunities to be safely outdoors, have fun, and grow the public’s knowledge and stewardship of natural resources,” adds Dave Cook, Education Coordinator. “You have to know it to appreciate it, and appreciate it to care for it.  We want everyone to know and appreciate the natural, cultural, and historic treasure that is the Eno, and from there grow support for open spaces and clean water. The health and well-being of our community depends on programs like ours, that inspire an environmental ethic.”

Funding from the Merck Foundation and the placement of a Resiliency Fellow by the Conservation Trust of North Carolina (AmeriCorps Program) is helping make these new programs possible. The Association website will be updated with more information and links to register closer to the events: www.enoriver.org. Individuals or companies that want to learn more about service opportunities on Eno River trails this fall should contact Tom Davis, Stewardship Coordinator, at tom@enoriver.org or 919-620-9099 x206. Those with questions about the education program, may contact Dave Cook, Education Coordinator, at dave@enoriver.org or 919-620-9099 x204.

Eno River Association Awarded Catalyst Fund Grant to Catapult Wildlife Corridor Conservation

Eastern Box Turtle, Terrapene carolina carolina

The Eno River Association was awarded the highly competitive Catalyst Fund grant from The Network for Landscape Conservation to further coordinate the efforts of the Eno-New Hope Landscape Conservation Group.  From more than 100 applicants nationwide, 13 were awarded catalyst grants and the Association was the only North Carolina group to receive funding.

The Eno-New Hope Landscape Conservation Group is a network of land trusts, conservation groups, educational institutions, local governments, and ecologists who have aligned to conserve the natural habitats and the connections between them in the Eno River and New Hope Creek watersheds to protect biodiversity and natural resources for current and future generations. Funding will be used to hire a coordinator and to solidify group governance structures. The funding will also enable the group to develop a strategic action plan to guide implementation of its existing landscape conservation plan. By leveraging the momentum generated by the completion of the plan, this new support will build critical capacity within the group to advance collective action around its vision to conserve landscape connectivity within the Eno-New Hope landscape. Read the full press release here.

Take Action to Protect Orange County Lands & Waters

The Orange County Board of County Commissioners are poised to vote on Lands Legacy Funding and the proposed Research Triangle Logistics Park (RTLP) development in September. Their decisions will result in either a strong, positive impact for both the Eno River and our community, or in a negative, lasting scar on both. Read the full statement here.

Next week, on September 1, it is critical that they fully fund the Lands Legacy program in the County’s Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) for years 2 and 3 of their budget. Please write to your Orange County Commissioner in support of this vote or email them all ocbocc@orangecountync.gov.

The second issue is the proposed Research Triangle Logistics Park (RTLP). While development is important to our region and our communities, it must be done in a way that fits with existing uses and preserves our natural assets. Please let the Orange County Board of County Commissioners know you want to hear them vote “NO” on September 15th to this RTLP proposal as it doesn’t yet offer the appropriate protections for the natural community and Orange County neighbors. More information, a petition, and a direct link to email your commissioners is included on the Save Hillsborough website.

View the complete letter from the Eno River Association by clicking here.

A letter to our community…

Photo by Linda Yao

The centuries-deep cultural history in the Eno River basin is rich, and injustice, inequity, and racism are tragically foundational to much of that history. The most recent murders of two innocent Black men – George Floyd and Amaud Arbery- and a Black woman – Breonna Taylor- have opened centuries-old wounds of racism inflicted on the Black community. We see you, and we stand with you in the call for justice and equity.

The land conservation movement is not separate from these acts of injustice. The initial concepts of land conservation were exclusionary. Preservation and protection were done for the benefit of white men of privilege. Too often, early conservation work overlooked and marginalized the needs of communities of color and created an unequal access to nature. We are committed to seeing that that is not the legacy of conservation in the Eno River basin.

Conservation at its core is the celebration of diversity; diversity of plants, diversity of animals, diversity of landscapes, and diversity of cultures and people. To truly conserve and protect the natural, cultural, and historic resources of the Eno River basin -our mission for the past 54 years- we must uplift the marginalized stories and work to overcome the injustice that has been wrought on the Black and Indigenous communities in the basin.

Are we successful in this effort so far? Is our work reaching the marginalized communities along the Eno as it runs thru Orange and Durham Counties? Are we engaging in meaningful partnerships with low-income communities and communities of color? Are we modeling equity and inclusivity in the way we work, and in our public-facing programs? Humbly, we cannot answer yes to these questions. Not yet.

In 1966, the Eno River Association was founded by a group of inspired Durham citizen who were not afraid to speak up for something they knew was important, and we will not shy away from that calling now. In the tradition of our spirited founders, Eno will advocate for what we know is important- racial justice, equity, and inclusion.

The Eno River Association Board of Directors and Staff

Orange County Proposal to Slash Funding for Land Protection

Update September: Years 2 and 3 up for a vote by County Commissioners.

Read our latest statement. Please continue to let your local officials know how important these land conservation programs are in our community.

Update June 10: Commissioners protected conservation easement funding in this year’s budget.

Thank you all for your time, support, and effort to contact the Orange County board of commissioners last week. Your voices were heard, and last night in their budget meeting the commissioners protected the conservation easement funding in the coming budget!! A link to that video is below.

And, while they delayed the vote that could affect the lands legacy program, most commissioners stated they will NOT cut that funding when it comes up for vote in September!! This is good news.

Sample Talking Points

Here are some sample talking points you can use to craft your letter or remarks, but it is by no means comprehensive. The proposed changes will have long-term affects on social & environmental justice, climate change, and other issues that may reflect your passions and values as well.

  • – Proposed FY 2020-21 CIP amendments CIP-004, CIP-005, and CIP-006 affect the Lands Legacy and Conservation Easement Programs in Orange County, cutting all funding from these programs for the next three years.
  • – Since 2000 over $8 million in other funding–from grants and landowner donations–has been raised for land protection due to the Lands Legacy Program and Conservation Easement Program.
  • – Nearly 4,000 acres within Orange County have been protected through these programs; creating parks for underserved populations within our community, improving water quality for over 500,000 citizens, ensuring viable farmland into the future, ensuring climate change resiliency, and improving the overall health and wellbeing of Orange County residents.
  • – Investments in land protection today provide lasting, positive impacts on our community into the future.  Proximity to parks and open space enhances the value of residential properties and produces increased tax revenues for communities. Open space captures precipitation, reduces stormwater management costs, and by protecting underground water sources, open space can reduce the cost of drinking water up to ten-fold. Improving access to public open space has the potential to increase levels of physical activity, and to have mental health benefits and reduce healthcare and other costs.
  • – Without the financial commitment of the County, land trusts would no longer be able to leverage grant funds to support land acquisition. In most cases, funding partners require matching resources, especially from municipal and county governments.

Read our full statement here:


County Manager’ Recommended FY 2020-21: https://www.orangecountync.gov/714/County-Budgets (Please note the Operating Budget is a 500 page, 20MB document)

Budget amendments, as proposed by the BOCC and staff
https://www.orangecountync.gov/2147/Proposed-Budget-Amendments Reference lines CIP-04, CIP-05, and CIP-06


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BOCC Virtual Budget Public Hearing June 4, 2020 Meeting – 7:00 p.m.

The Board of Commissioners is conducting a Virtual Budget Public Hearing on Thursday, June 4, 2020 where they will hear comment on proposed capital improvement plan amendments which impact three years of funding for land protection. These cuts over time have the potential to significantly reduce the amount of open spaces and harm clean water and conservation efforts for many years to come.

Eno River Association is asking members to participate in this meeting by providing public comment through either:

• Written submittals by email 

• Speaking during the virtual meeting 

Detailed directions for providing comment are in the document below. Your comment must be submitted by Thursday, June 4 at 3pm.

Members of the public will be able to view and listen to the meeting via live streaming video at http://www.orangecountync.gov/967/Meeting-Videos and on Orange County Gov-TV on channels 1301 or 97.6 (Spectrum Cable).