The Dale Earnhardt Foundation has awarded a $2 million gift to the Girl Scouts, Hornets’ Nest Council in support of the development of the Council’s 700-acre Oak Springs property, which serves as a retreat for Girl Scouts and their leaders from throughout an eight-county Carolinas region.
In recognition of the gift, which is the largest ever granted by the foundation and the largest single gift ever received by the Hornets’ Nest Council, the campus at Oak Springs will be named the Dale Earnhardt Environmental Leadership Campus in honor of the legendary NASCAR driver.
The foundation’s grant will be used to help fund the ongoing development of the Oak Springs property, including a 25-acre lake under construction.
The Girl Scouts retreat, which is located in Iredell County, features heavy forestation, diverse wildlife, broad open areas, natural water sources and rolling terrain. The property includes the former site of a skeet shooting range that was a longtime favorite of Earnhardt’s.
The Dale Earnhardt Foundation was created in 2002 with a goal to “CONTINUE THE LEGEND” of Earnhardt, who won the NASCAR Winston Cup Championship seven times and was elected to the inaugural induction class at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.
The Hornets’ Nest Council acquired the property in Iredell County in 2007, consolidating activities that had previously taken place at three other sites.
The Council is implementing a long-range development program for the campus that has so far included infrastructure improvements, challenge courses, nature trails, archery range and Girl Scout villages that feature camping areas and cabins.
The Girl Scouts property is serving a central role in the mission of Hornets’ Nest Council, offering girls a diversity of learning, outdoor experiential and leadership development opportunities. Several individual Girl Scout projects have been completed on the site, including an outdoor amphitheater surrounding the original homestead on the property and support area and shelter for the advanced challenge course.
The vast majority of the property will remain in natural forestation, in partnership with the Catawba Lands Conservancy, seamlessly integrating hiking trails, challenge courses, campsites, cabins and an environmental education center.
To learn more about The Dale Earnhardt Foundation, visit www.daleearnhardtinc.com/foundation.