The late Carolista Fletcher Baum will be recognized for her instrumental role in preserving Jockey’s Ridge with a North Carolina Historical Marker.
The marker is to be dedicated during a ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday, July 7, at 300 Carolista Drive, Nags Head.
On Aug. 15, 1973, Baum stood in the path of a bulldozer sent to remove sand from the sizeable dune system, convincing the bulldozer’s operator to leave. Baum co-founded the group, People to Preserve Jockey’s Ridge, rallying support through fundraising initiatives and petitions to draw attention.
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 was designated National Natural Landmark. With the General Assembly’s allocation of funds in 1975, the dune’s preservation was secured, according to the state. Jockey’s Ridge State Park is home to the tallest living sand dune system on the Atlantic coast.
“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,” officials said.
The dedication ceremony is expected to feature speakers including Ansley Wegner, head of the North Carolina Historical Research Office, and George Barnes, the first superintendent of Jockey’s Ridge State Park. Members of the Baum family are also expected to share stories about Baum.