Deaverview Mountain – 343 Acres

Deaverview and Spivey mountains - aerial viewSouthern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy has signed an option agreement to purchase an iconic ridgeline overlooking the city of Asheville and much of the French Broad River valley.  The property was recently listed for sale for $9,995,000 under the subdivision name “The View of Asheville.”

SAHC Executive Director Carl Silverstein explains, “We have been talking about protecting the summit of Deaverview Mountain for years, but buying land for conservation in the expensive Asheville market is not easy. In this case a friendly ‘conservation buyer’ negotiated the purchase, bought the property, and will hold it temporarily to give SAHC an opportunity to work out a permanent conservation solution.”

Carl notes that Deaverview Mountain is prominent from all around the city and county.

View of downtown Asheville from Deaverview Mountain“The ridges surrounding Asheville are dotted with residential subdivisions, but this mountain begs for a different fate,” he continues. “It is part of our collective imagination and history – visible from Bearwallow Mountain, the Biltmore estate, the airport, and from the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s the backdrop for Asheville in ‘Land of the Sky’ postcards going back to the 1930s, and needs to remain for people in Buncombe County and the region to enjoy forever.”

The option gives Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy three years to complete the purchase.

“We’re excited about the potential for a park to expand access to recreation, educational opportunities, and conservation of a remarkable natural resource,” said Buncombe County Parks & Recreation Director Allison Dains. “We look forward to working together to help make this vision a reality for Buncombe.”

Person touching red-orange fall foliage on tree limbSAHC Land Protection Director Michelle Pugliese says, “We want to assist Buncombe County in their efforts to protect more farmland, link more trails, and, now, to create a park in this location. Land trusts are especially effective when helping public agencies meet their own conservation goals.”

Michelle emphasizes that part of SAHC’s mission is connecting people to land.

“We have a crisis related to people’s disconnect from nature,” she adds. “It leads to anxiety when people see a natural place they treasure altered by road cuts and construction.  Creating more public land on what is still untouched can really enhance public health. Connection to nature has been shown to reduce anxiety, and a new public park at Deaverview Mountain will offer both physical and mental health benefits to make our community stronger. ”

Close-up aerial of Deaverview Mountain propertyThe online property listing touted ‘Outstanding views from the property extend[ing] to the horizon line over layers of mountain ridges in all directions.  Clearly visible landmarks include the downtown Asheville skyline, Biltmore Estate, Mountain Mitchell, Mount Pisgah, the Grove Park Inn, Weaverville, the French Broad River, and more.’  The seller of the property had an approved 21-estate-lot development plan on file.  The listing also described mature hardwood timber, multiple springs, open meadows and extensive existing soil roads or trails.

Buncombe County Commissioner Terri Wells says “I applaud SAHC’s initiative to conserve this community asset and to convene many partners. With its proximity to a significant portion of our population, this mountain forest has tremendous potential to provide recreational and educational opportunities. I especially love the idea that anyone will be able to enjoy the most spectacular view in Asheville. This will be an enduring legacy.”

View of mountains from local sports fields

“Deaverview Mountain will make a great addition to our county’s natural areas – it’s close to town, is still wild, and has views like no other,” says NC State Senator Julie Mayfield. “I am grateful to SAHC for its work to protect it and make it available for public use once full funding is secured.”

Angie Trantham, principal of Johnston Elementary School, which sits just below Spivey and Deaverview Mountains adds “Not only will this space be a wonderful resource for the community, we are excited about the enrichment opportunities and educational connections we will be able to provide our students with access to this beautiful property.”

SAHC will continue to seek partnerships for permanent protection of the land and has begun fundraising from multiple sources.

One partner who has already been vocal in support of saving the mountain is Jamie Ervin, a resident of East Asheville and a policy associate for Outdoor Alliance, a national organization focused on outdoor recreation.

“Deaverview Mountain is already loved by a lot of people,” says Ervin.  “You can see that mountain from everywhere.  It just seems like the perfect location for a park and I’m glad that’s one of the options. Being outdoors changes lives, and the idea that families might be able to take a hike somewhere this beautiful and close to town in the future is exciting.”

For more info, check out this article in the Asheville Citizen-Times:

Panaroma of landscape with Deaverview Mtn