Margaret Nygard (1925-1995) was born in Nasik, India, where her father was a British civil servant. After leaving India, she lived in England and Canada. She married English professor Holger Nygard in 1944, received her masters and doctorate from the University of California, Berkeley, and moved to Durham, N.C., where she taught English at Durham Technical Community College and later became a social worker. In 1965, she and others formed the Eno Historical Society, which became the Association for the Preservation of the Eno River Valley in 1966 (often called the Eno River Association). In the early 1970s, the Association began acquiring land along the Eno River that became the Eno River State Park in 1973. While remaining active in the Association, Nygard was also involved in other local and state-wide groups that supported efforts to protect sensitive environmental areas.
The papers chiefly relate to Margaret Nygard’s involvement in founding and running the Association for the Preservation of the Eno River Valley. Included are appraisal reports and other materials related to the acquisition of land along the Eno River for the Eno River State Park, as well as materials regarding opposition to those efforts. There are also meeting minutes, financial materials, and materials relating to the annual Festival for the Eno and other outreach events of the Association. Also included is documentation of Nygard’s involvement with the North Carolina Division of State Parks and North Carolina environmental organizations. Many of these items relate to Nygard’s opposition to development projects, including the proposed expansion of Raleigh-Durham Airport. Also included are some Nygard and related family materials; articles written in response to Nygard’s death; and photographs of Nygard and others, Nygard’s funeral, the Festival for the Eno, and the Eno River.
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