Getting to Know: Carolista Fletcher Baum
The activist who saved Jockey’s Ridge sand dune
On August 15, 1973, Baum placed herself in the path of a bulldozer removing sand from Jockey’s Ridge and refused to move. She had received word about it from her children, who climbed the large dune in Nags Head for its spectacular views.
Though local groups had talked about protecting the dune from encroaching development, the determined, fiery Baum became the driving force that made the idea a reality. She helped form the People to Preserve Jockey’s Ridge (now the Friends of Jockey's Ridge), raising money and organizing petition drives.
In 1973, the Division of Parks and Recreation issued a report in favor of preserving Jockey’s Ridge as a state park. Baum died in 1991, knowing she had made a big difference. And today, Jockey’s Ridge State Park has the tallest natural sand dune in the eastern United States.
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