The Umstead Coalition
Dedicated to the appreciation, use, and preservation of the William B. Umstead State Park and the Richland Creek natural area

RDU Airport – PLEASE help us move our solution forward

First, a huge thank you to all the supporters and advocates who are helping to save the recreational trails next to Umstead State Park, Old Reedy Creek Road and Lake Crabtree County Park.  You may have heard that the RDU Airport Authority recently declined to accept The Conservation Fund offer to purchase the Odd Fellows tract (“Rocky Road”) for Umstead State Park -- this same tract has been proposed for a controversial rock quarry!!  But we still have a good chance! The airport has issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to lease 3 parcels of land, including the Odd Fellows Tract (see link below for RFP).

We are happy to report that Wake County is planning to submit a proposal to lease lands for forested trails. The RFP timeframe is very short, however, and community input will reinforce efforts to secure ALL three lands for trails!

YOU HELP IS NEEDED NOW to communicate the value of preserving these tracts for recreation and natural resource protection. Please write your local representatives (city, county, state) and emphasize the following:

  • The RDU Airport Authority should accept The Conservation Fund offer to purchase the Odd Fellows tract (RFP Parcel 1).  The offer is Fair Market value and the FAA has told us in writing that the airport CAN sell this land for a park.
  • The RDU Airport Authority should accept an offer by Wake County to lease lands for recreational trail use.
  • The community strongly OPPOSES a new industrial quarry on the Odd Fellows tract.  This quarry would destroy amazingly stunning and environmentally sensitive lands lands adjacent to Umstead State Park and Crabtree Creek

Raleigh City Council members:

Durham County Commissioners:

Durham City Council Members:

Wake County Commissioners:

RDU Airport Authority Chair: Farad Ali:

RDU Airport President and CEO:

The RDU-Airport Authority has rejected the Conservation Fund offer.  And, issued an RFP that appears to be geared for a  controversial new QUARRY pit !!  They made this decision behind closed doors with no public meeting or input.

RDU announcement:

RFP just release by the RDU Airport:

The Conservation Fund made an offer to Buy Land from RDU Airport for Umstead State Park!

An exciting, vibrant future has been proposed for a tract of non-aviation land currently owned by RDU airport. The Conservation Fund submitted a fair market offer of nearly $6.5 million to the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority to purchase a 105.46 acre parcel, known locally as the “Oddfellows” tract. The parcel of land sits between Wake County’s Lake Crabtree County Park and William B. Umstead State Park, and encompasses many miles of hiking and biking trails that are beloved by the community. The land would be preserved as an expansion of Umstead State Park, extending recreational trails and protecting a critical nexus of greenway connectivity in the Triangle Region.

The proposed purchase is a welcome alternative to a plan under consideration by RDU to lease the land for the construction of a new quarry. Construction of a new quarry would destroy the land and trails forever, while providing RDU only a modest short-term profit. The quarry plan has fervent community opposition, with close to 7,500 supporters signing a petition that opposes a new quarry and urges RDU to preserve the land as a forested recreational space.

 The Conservation Fund’s proposal to purchase the land for Umstead State Park is an opportunity for RDU to collaborate with the community to protect valued recreational land, while realizing revenue from land that is not needed for aviation use. The Conservation Fund and its partners are prepared to raise public and private funds to finance the purchase, and the Fund proposes to close the purchase on August 31, 2018. 

The offer letter: TCF_RDU_Offer_7-10-17.pdf

Please ask the RDU Airport to accept this offer:

Write N&O Letter to Editor:



RDU Airport Land Use Planning

Help Umstead State Park from Bad Airport Ideas

The RDU Airport is proposing to allow a new quarry next to our Park (between Old Reedy Creek Road and Crabtree Creak), as well as build office buildings and parking lots on what is now Lake Crabtree County Park and along the boundary of William B. Umstead State Park.  A tragic loss of single-track bike and pedestrian trails!

WE are offering a superior community vision that will assist the airport with revenue streams and enhance this corridor with a “RDU Forested Trail Center.”  (and, YES, the FAA allows this use on airport property). And, yes, it would entail revenue streams for the airport via leases to brewery, bike rental, outdoor retail, conference/meeting space, hotel, parking, cafĂ©, perhaps zip line, and more!

More information and what you can do to help:

Economic analysis supporting the RDU Forest Trail Center Concept: RDU Forest

Link to Federal Regs and legislation/Deeds: RDU Forest

Upcoming Events 

Upcoming events and Service Projects, Click on Event listed below for information. To register, scroll to bottom of any event information page and click on "Register."

09/27/2017 10:00 AM • William B. Umstead State Park
10/07/2017 9:00 AM • Loblolly Trail Head off of Edwards Mill Road near Arena, Raleigh
10/14/2017 10:00 AM • William B. Umstead State Park

BIG THANKS to ALL!  Bikeway along I-40 moves forward!

The Triangle Bikeway along I-40 moved forward with unanimous support at September 21 CAMPO meeting.   This bikeway along I-40 will connect the Trenton Road Greenway to RDU Forest and Davis Drive (RTP- Triangle Park Center).

We were explicitly congratulated for the tremendous number of comments and support -- big thanks to all who wrote comments!

The Triangle Bikeway got a high ranking (4th out of 43) for the bike/ped greenways that CAMPO recommends for funding.  Next step: it will be ranked by NCDOT with all the other regional and state projects.  

Thanks to Wake County Commissioner Sig Hutchinson for adding the "Triangle Bikeway" along I-40  to a list of projects being evaluated for funding under CAMPO's request to NCDOT (known as SPOT 5). Note: Capital Area Metropolitan Planning Organization (CAMPO) is the regional transportation organization serving Wake, Frankly, Granville, Harnett, and Johnston Counties. 

The Triangle Bikeway would would connect the Trenton Road greenway to RTP.  This missing link would enable bike/ped connections from downtown Raleigh to RDU and RTP.  It will enable connections to many of the area's major greenways, including: Black Creek, Reedy Creek, House Creek, Rocky Branch, Walnut Creek, American Tobacco Trail, Crabtree Creek, and the Neuse Greenways.  In addition to the regional/national East Coast Greenway and NC 2 (Mountains to Sea) and US 1 (Carolina Connection) bike routes.

AND, the Triangle Bikeway would serve as a vital connection to the RDU Forest trail system at Lake Crabtree County Park, RDU Airport, and Umstead State Park via the Old Reedy Creek Road Corridor.


(above, graphic on t-shirt front and back)

T-shirts now available at Park Visitor Center!

2017 T-shirt features the stunning Monarch Butterfly graphic by Kristen Hall.  The t-shirt is and Anvil 4.5oz soft cotton in color "Caribbean Blue."  There is a long sleeve option in Gildan color Sapphire, 6oz cotton.


Thanks to all for helping make this year's Walk/Run/Bike for Umstead a success!

2018 Walk/Run/Bike for Umstead

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Mark Your calendars:  (registration will open in January)

Information:  Walk_Run_Bike

SPECIAL FREE GIFT: The 1st 75 to advance register will receive FREE gift from Great Outdoor Provision Co . 

4-mile race results for the 2017, 2016 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010 Run/Walk are posted (click below):

Umstead 4-mile race results
The Umstead Coalition is dedicated to the appreciation, use, and preservation of the William B. Umstead State Park and the Richland Creek Natural Area.
The Umstead Coalition, PO Box 10654, Raleigh, NC  27605 (919) 852-2268   
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