Getting to Know: Carolista Fletcher Baum

The activist who saved Jockey’s Ridge sand dune

Getting to Know: Carolista Fletcher Baum

Baum with Jockey’s Ridge in the background, circa 1973 (photo courtesy of North Carolina Parks and Recreation).

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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Comments (2)

  • Ann-Cabell Baum

    Ann-Cabell Baum

    31 July 2017 at 16:12

    Thanks for your kind words about my mom... she was a pioneer & taught her 3 kids that with a bit of determination, a bit of hard work & a lot of love for your environment, you can literally 'not' move a sand dune! :)

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    • Jasmine Jelesoff Larimer

      Jasmine Jelesoff Larimer

      31 July 2017 at 21:16

      Ann-Cabell Baum -- your mama was truly an amazing wonderful woman!! As a child/teen, we spent every summer in KDH and your mama's jewelry store was an important stop for us not only for jewelry but for the fabulous conversations! My mama valued your mama's opinions & her warm lively personality as did I. I still have some of the lovely jewelry she made for Mama as well as a beautiful set of earrings that Inglis made for me. Carolista was a treasure!!

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