The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)


July 18, 2013

Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation awards $65,000 to Central Park NC

One-year grant to improve the local economy of central North Carolina

Thursday, July 18, 2013 —

Star – Trustees of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation recently awarded a grant to Central Park NC to support the organization’s mission and its work.

Central Park NC is committed to improving the local economy by focusing on the natural resources and cultural arts of central North Carolina. Central Park NC is also home to STARworks, a business incubator that is designed to serve the creative, agricultural, and alternative energy sectors of the region’s economy. STARworks seeks to advance Central Park NC’s strategy by providing a focused means of growing and developing creative enterprises and individuals for placement in the downtowns of its small communities and to prepare agricultural entrepreneurs to replace the farmers who are retiring.


The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation believes it is important to cultivate community assets to strengthen local economies and foster the economic well-being of all,” said Leslie Winner, executive director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.

“Central Park NC utilizes existing natural and cultural resources to promote its community economic development efforts and build wealth for the region. We are proud to partner together to achieve this shared vision.”

Central Park NC will use the grant funds to educate the public about the value of the region’s natural and cultural assets. One of those being the Yadkin River, which has great potential to improve the economic health of the region.

The Yadkin River is an incredible asset owned by the people of North Carolina, but is currently controlled by a single out-of-state corporation that offers little economic benefit to the people of our state,” said Nancy Gottovi, executive director of Central Park NC.

“Our goal is to make the public aware of the economics involved in the issue and the potential of the Yadkin to generate long-term economic growth for the region.”

Additional goals for Central Park NC include assuring an adequate and clean regional water supply; improving the region’s economy by creating a sustainable revenue stream produced by the Yadkin’s hydroelectric production; and ultimately securing public control of the Yadkin River.

Central Park NC is one of 81 grants that the trustees of the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation approved during its spring 2013 grant awards on May 10. Trustees voted to award grants totaling $11.3 million to organizations in 26 North Carolina counties.


Central Park NC is a not for profit organization that is dedicated to improving the local economy by focusing on the cultural arts and natural resources of central North Carolina. The Yadkin River is one of our largest natural resources. Central Park NC is committed to increasing public awareness of the economic and environmental importance of the Yadkin.



The Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation (ZSR) invests in statewide, multi-county and community-based organizations that are dedicated to building an inclusive, sustainable and vibrant state. The groups that the foundation supports work to build healthy, robust communities at the local level and engage in education, civic dialogue and advocacy around issues of importance to communities and to North Carolina. ZSR currently focuses on the areas of community economic development, environment, public education, social justice and equity and strengthening democracy. The foundation is a 75-year-old private foundation based in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. For more information, visit


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