In the rapidly urbanizing Triangle Region of North Carolina, the Haw River is a vibrant natural asset high on the area’s list of land conservation priorities.
Friends of the Lower Haw – a branch of the non profit Friends of State Parks – developed a trails master plan for the Lower Haw River State Natural Area (LHRSNA) which would maximize conservation efforts by developing infrastructure for the site’s existing recreation activities. Friends of the Lower Haw tapped DbD’s expertise to visually capture the State Natural Area’s story with an educational video that would increase public awareness and engagement with the Lower Haw River Trails Plan.
Watch the video here
Conservation Amidst Urbanization
The Research Triangle region – anchored by Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill – is one of the fastest growing areas of the country, boasting a growing array of urban amenities that continue to fuel the area’s population growth. The encroaching urban growth has brought together local leaders, ushering environmental conservation to the forefront of a regional conversation.
The Haw River, one of the region’s critical natural assets, cuts through six NC counties over 110 miles before joining the Deep River to form the Cape Fear River. The river supplies drinking water to nearly one million surrounding residents and is home to multiple endangered species. Conservation lands such as the Lower Haw River State Natural Area (LHRSNA) work to properly steward this resource, maintaining environmental health while fostering selective recreational use, through plans such as the Lower Haw Trails Plan. The protection of these natural resources – critical to a healthy and vibrant future – is most effective when backed with public support. What better way to galvanize this support than through compelling visual storytelling?
Through a combination of drone and “on-the-water” footage, we were able to tell the story of the Haw River from multiple perspectives. The goal was an engaging video that appeals to a broader audience who might not otherwise be drawn to reading a static master plan document.
There are multiple ways for a community to market its assets, but ultimately, nothing beats a well-produced video and subsequent marketing campaign. Stakeholder interview footage complemented the picturesque river footage we captured, allowing the Haw River’s story to be both seen and heard.
Bringing a Unique Outsider’s Perspective
Unlike most other projects, we entered the Haw River project from a distinct outsider’s perspective. We weren’t developing the trails master plan for the LHRSNA, only the accompanying promotional video. This unique situation allowed us to approach the project with a blank slate, ultimately resulting in a fresh approach to storytelling that gave community stakeholders genuine ownership of their story. Nobody knows the story of their community like the people that live and work there. Our role in the Haw River project was to empower local stakeholders and give them the tools necessary to tell the story of the place that they are so passionate about.