"I think most people don't see it until it's gone," said Karen Rollet-Crocker -- who serves as vice-chair for the Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association.
It started in 2003 when a small group of people, including Chairman Bob Caulk and Rollet-Crocker, teamed-up with the city to save what's now known as The Trails at Mount Sequoyah Woods.
"We made a commitment to raise 300-thousand dollars towards the purchase," Caulk said. "We did in fact give the city the equivalent of 320-thousand dollars because this pavilion back here that we're standing next to was part of our commitment to them."
But the group's commitment didn't stop there. Over the years, it's grown to have more than 800 contributors while focusing on even more land. That includes 13 acres at the Brooks-Hummel Property, a 20-acre conservation easement on the Smokehouse Trail along with a prairie restoration at Lake Fayetteville.
"We're working to remove the plants that have come in there so that it can be restored to prairie with the city," Caulk explained.
The group has also obtained grants for conservation planning and is always looking for new ways to raise awareness. For example, members have implemented a scholarship program this year which will hopefully give young people the information they need to carry on the mission.
"The whole reason for doing all of this is to have this kind of space available for future generations," Caulk said.
To learn more about The Fayetteville Natural Heritage Association, just visit www.fayettevillenatural.org/