Womble Carlyle attorney Mike Leonard has been a staunch supporter of conservation for nearly four decades. His work has led to the preservation of tens of thousands of acres of land throughout North Carolina and throughout the country.
For his efforts, Leonard has been awarded the Ruth Coltrane Cannon Award, North Carolina’s most prestigious preservation award. The award is given by Preservation North Carolina and was presented at a September 18th ceremony in Salisbury, N.C.
Leonard’s specific major preservation efforts include:
- Bethania (a historic Moravian community near Winston-Salem), where Leonard has led the 18-year effort to protect 175 acres of historic open land and secure historic preservation easements on 20 homes and structures.
- Valle Crucis in the North Carolina mountains. There, Leonard has led the 14-year effort to protect nearly 300 acres of land and to secure a historic preservation easement on the original Mast General Store.
- Assisting in the restoration of three National Register Historic Homes in Washington Park in Winston – Salem. He also assisted in preserving a National Register downtown house which now serves as the headquarters of the Piedmont Opera.
- Securing historic preservation easements on the ancestral Hanes home in Clemmons and on the 1790s-era Fountain Flynt Home in Rural Hall.
- Assisting in the preservation of Swan Ponds, a 70-acre farm in Burke County with a large, 1830s-era home that was the ancestral home of the Avery family.
- Bunker Hill Covered Bridge in Catawba County, where Leonard led a 12+ year effort to secure 30 acres around Bunker Hill Covered Bridge, the only remaining original covered bridge in North Carolina.
- Assisting in protecting additional land at the Bentonville Civil War Battlefield in eastern North Carolina, and the Alamance Battlefield in Alamance County, and assisting in acquiring the first protected land at Fort York, a Civil War era fort in Davidson County overlooking the Yadkin River at the new I-85 bridge.
- Assisting in the protection of several thousand acres along the route of the Over Mountain Victory National Historic Trail. The protected lands not only allow the construction of several miles of trail route, but also protect several thousand acres of scenic vistas along the Parkway.
- Flyway Farm, a several hundred acre duck and goose hunting lodge and property on the Currituck Sound adjacent to the Virginia state line in far northeast North Carolina.