Carolista Fletcher Baum, a fearless advocate for environmental preservation, will be recognized with a North Carolina Highway Historical Marker for her pivotal role in safeguarding the iconic Jockey's Ridge on the Outer Banks. The dedication ceremony for the marker will take place Friday, July 7, at 10 a.m., at 300 Carolista Drive, Nags Head, N.C.
On Aug. 15, 1973, Baum courageously positioned herself in the path of a bulldozer sent to remove sand from Jockey's Ridge. Defying the machine's progress and finally engaging in a heartfelt conversation with the bulldozer's operator, the driver departed the dune.
While local organizations had previously discussed protecting the expansive dune from encroaching development, it was Baum's unwavering determination that transformed the idea into reality. Inspired by her dramatic protest, Baum co-founded the group People to Preserve Jockey's Ridge, rallying support through fundraising initiatives and petition drives to capture the attention of state lawmakers and local officials.
In 1973, the Division of Parks and Recreation released a report advocating for the preservation of Jockey's Ridge as a state park. A year later, the dune received the distinguished designation of a National Natural Landmark. With the General Assembly's allocation of funds in 1975, the preservation of this natural wonder was secured for future generations to cherish.
The dedication ceremony will feature speakers, including Ansley Wegner, head of the N.C. Historical Research Office, and George Barnes, the first superintendent of Jockey's Ridge State Park. Additionally, members of the Baum family will be present to share stories of Carolista Fletcher Baum's extraordinary legacy.
For more information about the historical marker and the event, please visit http://www.ncmarkers.com/Markers.aspx?MarkerId=B-78.
About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) manages, promotes, and enhances the things that people love about North Carolina – its diverse arts and culture, rich history, and spectacular natural areas. Through its programs, the department enhances education, stimulates economic development, improves public health, expands accessibility, and strengthens community resiliency.
The department manages over 100 locations across the state, including 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, five science museums, four aquariums, 35 state parks, four recreation areas, dozens of state trails and natural areas, the North Carolina Zoo, the North Carolina Symphony, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, the African American Heritage Commission, the American Indian Heritage Commission, the State Historic Preservation Office, the Office of State Archaeology, the Highway Historical Markers program, the N.C. Land and Water Fund, and the Natural Heritage Program. For more information, please visit www.ncdcr.gov.