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Talk of our Towns 

National Register adds 18 North Carolina places

The North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources is pleased to announce that 18 individual properties and districts across the state have been added to the National Register of Historic Places. The following properties were reviewed by the North Carolina National Register Advisory Committee and were subsequently approved by the North Carolina State Historic Preservation Officer and forwarded to the Keeper of the National Register.

“North Carolina is a leader in the nation’s historic preservation movement, and the National Register is a vital tool in the preservation of our state’s historic resources” said Susan Kluttz, Secretary of North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. “If we count all of the buildings classified as contributing to the significance of historic districts listed in the Register, it is estimated that North Carolina has approximately 75,000 National Register properties.”

The newly added places are located in the following communities: Kinston, Everetts, Yanceyville, Bahama, Winston-Salem, High Point, Greensboro, Charlotte, Wilmington, Wingate, Henderson, Raleigh, Albemarle, Fuquay-Varina, Jefferson, Kings Mountain, and Flat Rock.

The listing of a property in the National Register places no obligation or restriction on a private owner using private resources to maintain or alter the property. Over the years, various federal and state incentives have been introduced to assist private preservation initiatives, including tax credits for the rehabilitation of National Register properties. As of January 1, 2015, more than 3,100 rehabilitation projects with an estimated private investment of over $1.96 billion have been completed.

TRACK Trail opens in Greenville

Inspiring and engaging kids, making them want to get out and hike. That’s the goal of a new recreational opportunity in Greenville. It is also the result of a partnership that reaches across the state, all the way to the mountains.

The City of Greenville and the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation have teamed up to create a TRACK Trail, a premier nature park, at River Park North. A TRACK Trail is a program of activities and rewards designed to engage young hikers and get them out enjoying trails across the state.

“We are very excited about this,” said Parks Program Assistant Mark Tysinger. “This is one of just a handful of trails of this kind east of Interstate 95; the majority of these trails are in the Piedmont and mountains of North Carolina.

The TRACK Trails program is a great way to give kids fun activities and information that motivates them to keep hiking. While River Park North now has one of these trails, the fun carries over to the other trails across the state where kids can earn prizes.”

Activities along the trails may be similar at the various trails, but they are customized to each location. Visitors to River Park North and the TRACK Trail in Boone may have the same activity like “Animal Athletes,” but the content and animals would be completely unique to the specific trail and habitat. Kids between the ages of 5 and 12 can register online and earn rewards and prizes for the different hikes they complete at the trails across the state and in other states which participate in the program.

“River Park North has been a staple in eastern North Carolina for more than 30 years and we are always trying to find ways to not only promote a love of the outdoors, but also to educate about the environment,” said Tysinger. “We believe this program can help us do both as well as inspire kids to be more active. The trail will be a great way for them to do that, as well as for people of all ages.”

TRACK Trails is a program of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation. Its website, kidsinparks.com, also provides resources for kids, teachers, and parents. It also has tips for hike leaders to help ensure a successful hike and to ensure younger hikers have a positive experience on trails.

River Park North is the region’s premiere nature park with more than 324 acres of hiking, boating, fishing, camping, and natural areas. It is also home to the Walter L. Stasavich Science and Nature Center which boasts a 70-seat theater, 10,000 gallon aquarium, live turtles and snakes, and other exhibits.

North Carolina fleets best in North America

The City of Durham has been recognized as one of the best government-managed fleets in North America. The 100 Best Fleets in North America has ranked the city’s Fleet Management Department in 17th place as one of the 100 Best Fleets, which also makes Durham the highest ranking North Carolina municipality on the list. The City of Charlotte ranked 60th and the City of Concord received an honorable mention.

The 100 Best Fleets Program recognizes and rewards peak performing fleet operations in North America. Currently in its 11th year, 100 Best Fleets identifies and encourages ever-increasing levels of performance improvement within the fleet industry. The 100 Best Fleets award is based on numerous criteria including standard operating procedures, business plans, emergency operations planning, service level agreements, insourcing guidance, cost analysis, safety, audit criteria, and benchmarking.

According to Director Joe Clark with Durham’s Fleet Management Department, the ranking is a great honor and a testimony to the city’s determined efforts to implement the best practices in fleet management.

“When you realize that there are literally thousands of public fleets in North America, being ranked the 17th best fleet is a real compliment,” Clark said. “Our department strives to be efficient and cost effective in the services we provide to all city departments. We understand the importance of our role in ensuring that departments have the vehicles and equipment they need to do their work and keep this organization running smoothly.”

This is the third award the city’s Fleet Management Department has recently received. In October 2014, the department was ranked 50th in the Top 50 Government Green Fleet™ Awards from Green Fleet Magazine, and earlier this month received an honorable mention for being a notable fleet from the 2015 Leading Fleets Awards by Government Fleet Magazine.