When you give, the river lives.

We’re in a time when, as a society and a people, we’re faced with important decisions. It’s incredibly exciting and motivating to think that the choices and investments we make today could protect water and land for generations well beyond our own. Donors to the New River Conservancy forge a legacy that’s as meaningful as any other point in the river’s history — perhaps even more.

Every day, we make a promise to you and to ourselves: to be good stewards of our financial gifts just as we are stewards of the river itself. Our track record for putting grants and donations to work shows the collective impact of the New River Conservancy and its supporters. Year after year, more than 90% of our gifts are directed to actionable programs that protect and improve the quality of the New River and the quality of life along its watershed.

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Your gift, your legacy

A legacy gift can be an expression of gratitude and vision of hope for the future. The NRC Edmund Ivan Adams Legacy Society recognizes those individuals and families who have remembered New River Conservancy in their estate plans through a documented planned gift. We can work with you and your estate planning professional to help you identify areas where your gift can make the most impact. To learn more about how to expand your gift through planned giving opportunities, please contact…

Types of Planned Gifts:

Bequest or Will

The easiest way of making a planned gift. You can designate a specific amount, a percentage of your estate or a specific asset.  By naming New River Conservancy as a beneficiary of your estate plans through a will, trust, retirement plan, or insurance policy, you leave a conservation legacy by making the world a healthier place for future generations. We can help you prepare to meet with your attorney.  Have you already made New River Conservancy part of your legacy? Let us know your plans. We can work with you and your estate planning professional to help you identify areas where your gift can make the most impact.  It may help if you fill our Legacy Giving Form

Life Income Gifts

Charitable gift annuities and charitable remainder trusts are examples of a life income gift and generally reduce or eliminate certain taxes and guarantee an income for life. New River Conservancy can offer a charitable gift annuity. First, make a donation to a single charity – the New River Conservancy. Then, the gift is set aside in a reserve account and invested. Based on your age(s) at the time of the gift, you receive a fixed monthly or quarterly payout (typically supported by the investment account) for the rest of your life. At the end of your life (as well as your spouse’s, if you’re giving as a couple), the charity – New River Conservancy- receives the remainder of the gift.

Life Insurance

Do you  have life insurance?  Life insurance can be used to make a gift to a non-profit. Simply add New River Conservancy as a beneficiary to an existing policy.   You can also designate New River Conservancy as owner and/or beneficiary of an existing policy  you no longer need or you can purchase a new policy and designate New River Conservancy as beneficiary.  Contact your employer, broker, or insurance company to find out how.

Qualified Charitable Distributions

Making a gift to New River Conservancy with a QCD from your retirement account, or IRA rollover, may be a tax-smart way to donate. QCDs may be counted toward satisfying your required minimum distributions (RMDs) for the year. Certain rules must be met to quality, for example, you must be 70 ½ or older to be eligible to make a QCD.  Please consult your financial or tax advisor for more details. Checks may be made out to New River Conservancy.

Gifts of stock can also be made.  Find more information HERE

About Ed Adams


Ed Adams was born December 4, 1933 in Madison County, GA, to the late Clarence and Ola Stephens Adams. His attorney father and school teacher mother valued education and civic engagement, and Ed followed all eight of his older siblings to college. He attended Emory-at-Oxford and received his law degree from the University of Georgia in 1956. He moved to Winston-Salem, NC, and was admitted to the North Carolina Bar in 1960. From 1961 to 1969, he practiced in Winston-Salem where he was an Assistant Solicitor for Forsyth County.

In 1970, Ed was offered, and took, an opportunity to move to Sparta to succeed long-time county attorney Floyd Crouse.  At the time, Crouse was representing Ashe, Alleghany and Grayson Counties in opposition to the Blue Ridge Project —  twin hydroelectric dams that would have inundated more than 50,000 acres of the best farmland along the New River.  Ed moved his young family and joined the dam fight.

Ed became devoted to the “dam project,” understanding its irrevocable impact on the economy, culture and ecology of this remarkable landscape. He represented the three counties before the Federal Power Commission, testified before the Interior Committee of both the U.S. House and Senate and appeared with Attorney General Edmisten before the District of Columbia Circuit. He and his allies prevailed and in 1976, legislation stopping the project was signed into law by President Gerald Ford. Ed was present in the Rose Garden when President Ford signed the Bill designating the 26.5 mile segment of the New River as part of the Wild and Scenic Rivers system, halting the dam project.

In honor of his service, in 2008 Ed became the first recipient of the Wallace and Peggy Carroll Vigilance Award. Ed was a founder of the National Committee for the New River — now the New River Conservancy — with stints as Director and President. Read more about our origin story here. Over the years, he donated countless hours of pro bono work to the organization, establishing land trusts and other protections for property along the river.

Ed was named for the political theorist Edmund Burke, whose famous quote adorned his office desk: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” The New River project was only the beginning of a long career founding, leading, and serving a remarkable list of civic and service organizations in his adopted community and around the state.

By making a planned gift to the Edmund Ivan Adams Legacy Society, you, too, can play an important role in protecting and preserving this significant natural resource. Your gift will support the Conservancy in our work to safeguard the waters, woodlands and wildlife of the New River watershed for future generations.