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Charlotte, NC-- Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department invites the public and media to a special ceremony on Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 3pm to celebrate the purchase of 211 acres in northern Mecklenburg County for watershed protection along Mountain Island Lake. The ceremony will be at the colonial era “Holly Bend” house, which is on the property at 3710 Neck Road, Huntersville.

Because of its location, this land presents an important opportunity to protect Mountain Island Lake, which provides more than 80% of public drinking water in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. The County designated the land a Park and Recreation nature preserve. Keeping the land in natural condition protects the lake from pollution and development, as well as from chemical and sediment runoff.

The property lies between Cowan's Ford Wildlife Refuge and Rural Hill Nature Preserve. The tract was one of the highest-ranked potential acquisitions identified by the “greenprinting” of the County’s 2008 Park and Recreation Ten Year Master Plan. The property includes almost a mile of shoreline of the lake, and it received major points for water-quality protection, wildlife habitat and natural resources.

Purchase of the land cost $6.6 million, paid for by County land bonds approved by voters. The site includes the historic Holly Bend house, built in 1795 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The house was built by Robert Davidson, son of John Davidson of Revolutionary War fame. It was once center of a 2800 acre plantation and is a fine example of Federal Neoclassicism style, built by a prominent southern family. Park and Recreation plans to restore the house in partnership with preservation groups and eventually open it for public tours and events.

Re-enactors of the colonial era, dressed in period clothing, will greet people at the ceremony. County officials will make brief remarks. Afterward, attendees will be invited to tour the Holly Bend house.