The current proposal for developing up to 97 acres of publicly owned land is incompatible with protection of the four-toed salamander and other rare and sensitive species inhabiting the Greene Tract. 

Center for Biological Diversity  – November 16, 2021

Save more of Chapel Hill’s last Public Forest  

  • Honor the 2016 community-driven plan to build a great affordable development on 20% of the Forest while preserving 80% for future generations.
  • Chapel Hill and Carrboro will need more green space as our community shifts to higher density apartment living, with no back yards for kids to play in.
  • Why should we construct another development, almost twice as large as Eubanks Road’s Carraway Village – but this time on the public’s land – instead of focusing on building the affordable housing the community needs.
  • A successful development like Weavers Grove on 33 acres would allow us to add a great development and also create our town’s greatest park for our children and grandchildren.
  • We need a more balanced approach. The recommendations in the 2016 report “Rogers Road: Mapping our Community’s Future” is a compromise that would benefit both the Rogers Road community and the rest of the town, and planet.

Since the Greene Tract is one of the few places in the state where we know that four-toed salamanders (Hemidactylium scutatum) are breeding, the NCWRC has a few concerns about the proposed preservation areas recommended in the EA.

The NC Wildlife Resources Commission – May 23, 2021

Read what the NCWRC says about the current plan, and the four-toed salamanders that currently live in the Greene Tract Forest.

What we support

We support the 80/20 plan for the Greene Tract Forest: 80% of the woods and streams preserved as a park and 20% of the land set aside for affordable housing that is actually affordable.

How much is 80%?

The total acreage depends on whether the 60 acre “Headwaters Preserve” is part of the Greene Tract or not, and can result in a total preservation of either 131 acres or 143 acres.

Here’s the breakdown

Option 1: Headwaters preserve is part of the Greene Tract. This seems to be to common method and is reflected in all the maps in the 2016 report. This would mean the Greene Tract is 164 acres in total and 80% of it would be 131 acres.

Option 2: The Headwaters Preserve is not part of the Greene Tract and is simply beside it. This would mean the Greene Tract is 104 acres suggesting 83 acres (80%) of the Greene Tract should be preserved. But this also means the Headwaters Preserve, being separate and intended for preservation, should also be preserved. This would result in a preservation that is 83+60 acres or 143 acres in total.

Either way, the smallest preservation that is suggested by the 2016 paper is 131 acres. This would mean we could build a 33-acre development the size of Weavers Grove and develop Chapel Hill’s largest park there by addressing the need for workforce housing and making real strides towards adding usable greenspace for our community.

How did the plan to preserve 145 acres and create a naturepark turn into “develop it all”?

Who are the Friends of the Greene Tract?

Read this brief description and history of our group.

Our principles

  1. 80% of the forest preserved as a contiguous park with trails and woodlands that are not split by roads, roundabouts and development.
  2. 20% of the forest used for actual affordable housing on public property. No sale of the Greene Tract forest land to private developers for building market rate houses.
  3. Conservation of this urban forest should be a priority, for community green space, for the climate, for future generations. The last and largest piece of undeveloped public land in Chapel Hill and Carrboro is worth preserving.

Trail Map

CNF-GTF Connector Trail 0.6 miles

Parking is available in the gravel lot at 2200 Homestead Road. The trailhead is next to the Hope Gardens fence on the left side. The lot is owned by the town of Chapel Hill.

A to B: Old Field Creek Trail 1.4 miles

Trail follows the power lines, then turns and follows the headwaters of Old Field Creek. Trail winds around to the back side of the Bird homestead. The brick chimney is still visible. In early summer the Bird homestead is covered in purple wisteria. Trail then continues back down to the Old Field Creek before reaching the clear-cut Neville Tract.

C to D: Bolin Creek Headwaters Trail 1.4 miles

Trail follows and crosses the upper Bolin Creek headwaters. Eventually the trail reaches the Bird homestead.

E to H: Homestead Trail 2 miles (passes F & G)

Trail stretches between the Bird homestead, crosses the sawmill trail, and ends at the Larkspur neighborhood gate. Trail passes the ruins of a beautiful stone homestead.

I to J: Inner Old Field Loop Trail 1.3 miles

Trail winds around and over Old Field Creek and eventually ends almost where it started. Trail also passes by the Bird homestead.

Sawmill Road Trails 0.4-0.7 miles      

Double-track and straight trails that connect the Rogers Road community with Larkspur and the end of Merin. Shown as dark dotted lines on the map posted above.

Speak Out

Preserving the majority of the forest while also providing affordable housing have been dual goals for nearly 20 years. Tell our elected officials that recreation, conservation, and slowing climate change need to be part of the plan. We want #MoreGreeneSpace!

The trails of the Greene Tract Forest are an important public resource – especially considering that the majority of Chapel Hill’s greenspace comes from the generosity of UNC in the form of the Carolina North Forest.

This is Chapel Hill’s last chance to have a large park of its own south of I-40.

Email all three government groups

Additional Important Contact Information

Chapel Hill Town Council:  919-968-2714

Mayor Pam Hemminger:
Twitter: @PamHemminger

Renee Price, Chair:
Twitter: @ReneePrice

Carborro Town Manager: 919-918-7315

#GreeneTract #GreeneTractForest #GreeneSpace

Stay Informed

Give us your email address and we’ll keep you informed. Give us your physical address and we’ll also send you a complimentary Greene Tract Forest magnet!

Greene Tract Forest sticker

We would love to hear from you

Learn more about the Greene Tract Forest

The Greene Tract Forest consists of 164 acres – 60 acres currently owned solely by Orange County and the remaining 104 acres held jointly by Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Orange County.

The Forest is located in northern Chapel Hill and is a contiguous, undeveloped woodland in a large part of the area bounded by Rogers Road, Weaver Dairy Extension, Eubanks Road and Homestead Road.

Informal trail access to the series of mountain biking and hiking trails in the Forest can be found at the left side of the power line cut near Weaver Dairy Extension and Rowe Road and near the RENA Community Center off Rogers Road.


Who we are

We are a group of local trail lovers that organized to save this forest. Our informal coalition firmly believes it should be preserved as a park for future generations. We have no paid staff or funding other than our own personal contributions. It is a completely volunteer, community-driven effort. Read more.