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Unique gift of land to N.C. State creates education, conservation opportunities

May 07, 2007

Media Contact: Keith Oakley, President of the N.C. Agricultural Foundation, 919-515-9262 or

The owners of The Legacy at Jordan Lake, LLC, a property development company in Chapel Hill, have donated nearly 11 acres of land to North Carolina State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Valued at $1.5 million, the land will be used as an environmental learning laboratory by the college's Agricultural Education Program, the North Carolina Agricultural Foundation, the North Carolina FFA Association and Chatham County Schools.

The company, led by brothers Holland and Alan Gaines, also provided the lead gift of $20,000 toward the creation of an endowment to establish three scholarships and an internship that will provide enhanced educational opportunities for high school students in Chatham County Schools.

On Monday, May 14, at 3 p.m., students, members of the Gaines family, county officials and educational leaders will gather at The Legacy at Jordan Lake for the land dedication and endowment signing. Media are invited to attend.

"We are extremely grateful for the generosity and tremendous vision of the Gaines family," said Dean Johnny Wynne, N.C. State College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. "This exceptional gift will create new learning opportunities for students and the community, will allow our FFA program to grow in new and exciting ways, and will protect valued land for North Carolinians to enjoy for generations to come."

The site, previously zoned for community institutional use, will now be preserved in its natural state. It is located on Big Woods Road in Chapel Hill, bordering federal and state park lands.

"We're just delighted to be involved with N.C. State and the FFA program," said Holland Gaines, president of The Legacy at Jordan Lake and a former FFA member. "We hope that this gift provides students with unique, hands-on learning opportunities that will complement their classroom experience. This fits right in with our philosophy for developing The Legacy, and we're excited about it."

The Legacy at Jordan Lake is "not your standard subdivision," Gaines said, but rather an environmentally sensitive, community-oriented development. It features 200-foot wide stream buffers, extensive groundwater controls, 10 miles of walking trails, wetlands, and a system of social and educational "enablers" that encourage residents to be active in the community.

"One of the social enablers for the community is the scholarship program," Gaines said. "Each household in The Legacy will contribute $5 a month to the scholarship program as part of their homeowners' association dues, ensuring its growth in perpetuity."

Two of the scholarships, focusing on business and civic interaction, will be available to all students in the Chatham County School System. A third scholarship that centers on the environment will be available to students enrolled in the Chatham Central High School Agricultural Education Program.

The gift also includes a paid summer internship for a graduating high school senior, tailored to his or her academic interests. Conducted on-site at The Legacy, the internship will pair the student with an appropriate mentor. For instance, a student in environmental studies would work with the Legacy's natural resources manager.

"We wanted to do what's right for the students and for the Chatham County community," Gaines said. Along with his brother Alan and their siblings, Gaines has established what he hopes will become a learning and living legacy for generations to come. "Our Chatham County roots go back 200 years. Our commitment to its future has no limitation."

For directions to The Legacy at Jordan Lake, visit: To hear more about the project from Holland Gaines, check out his podcast.

The Legacy at Jordan Lake is one of several recent land gifts to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, valued collectively at more than $20 million. All properties will be used for educational and conservation purposes. They include Bacon Island in Brunswick County, donated by Holden Beach Enterprises; Mayfaire III in New Hanover County, donated by Mayfaire, LLC; and Palmetto Creek of the Carolinas in Brunswick County, donated by Bert and Kimberley Exum of Wilmington.

--Suzanne Stanard, 919-513-3126 or

Posted by Suzanne at May 7, 2007 08:43 AM