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Mary McDaniel papers

Identifier: MS0579

Scope and Contents

Mary McDaniel papers document McDaniels' environmental work, including her founding of the Catawba Lands Conservancy and her work with the Charlotte Urban Institute. Also included are personal projects and a scrapbook.


  • Creation: 1983 - 2010

Conditions Governing Access

Collection open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical Note

During her childhood on a small farm, Mary McDaniel developed a love of nature and the outside that followed her throughout her life. Mary McDaniel began working with a group of volunteer ecologists and activists in 1991 to establish the Catawba Lands Conservancy, originally called SMILE (Save Mountain Island Lake for Everyone). The group attracted media attention as well as the attention of government officials. Mecklenburg County proposed a $5.6 million bond in 1991 that allowed the county to buy the lakefront property the group wanted protected. As the realization that there was a need for conservation work on a larger scale throughout the Catawba River Basin increased, a formal organization—with nonprofit status was formed. Catawba Land Conservancy now encompasses six counties and has preserved more than 15,000 acres. The scope has expanded from a focus on water quality to include farmland, wildlife habitat and making connections between people and nature.


2 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



The collection documents Mary McDaniels' environmental work, including her founding of the Catawba Lands Conservancy and her work with the Charlotte Urban Institute.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Mary McDaniel, 2018

Related Materials

Catawba Lands Conservancy oral history project, UNC Charlotte

Processing Information

Collection inventoried by Nikki Lynn Thomas, 2019.

Mary McDaniel papers
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte NC 28223 United States

About this Site

Finding aids are guides to archival collections, including manuscripts, university records, and oral history collections. These guides help you find physical collections which can be viewed in the Dalton Reading Room on the 10th floor of Atkins Library. A small number of finding aids link to digital content online. Please contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment:

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