Keith McDermott and his brother Arthur and his sister Karen have donated several lots on Ocracoke to the Ocracoke Preservation Society.

The McDermott family, longtime landowners on Ocracoke, is interested in the properties being saved as open space in the village. After discussions with several other land preservation organizations, they decided to deed the properties to OPS with deed restrictions in place, said Ken DeBarth, OPS president.

The lots involved are Lots 23, 24, 25, 26 Block B Wahab Subdivision. These are located in the general area along Irvin Garrish Highway between Lighthouse Road and the Ride the Wind store.

OPS is required to keep the lots in a “semi-wild” state. Further, wording written into the deed provides:

“The conveyance is subject to the following covenants and restrictions: 1) There shall be no commercial signage on or about the property. 2) The property shall not be subject to use for any commercial purposes or activities. 3) The Grantee shall continue to maintain the property in a semi-wild state; however, it can conservatively be cleaned/opened up to allow the general public to have access to and enjoy the area as a nature preserve. As long as this is done in a primitive and rustic manner, this may include walkways, benches, or picnic tables if suitable. 4) The property shall not have any toilets placed thereon. 5) The property shall not be subject to parking by cars, trucks, golf carts, boats, trailers, campers, bicycles, motor scooters or motorcycles.”

According to DeBarth, the OPS plans to gradually clean up the brush and weeds to make this area more attractive and maintained.

“The OPS is honored to be chosen as stewards of the McDermott lots and promises to abide by the restrictions in the deed,” deBarth said. “On behalf of the community, we thank the McDermott family for this generous contribution.”

The Ocracoke Preservation Society was established in 1984with the mission of preserving the history of the people and places of Ocracoke village. OPS has been entrusted with the ownership and preservation of several plots of land within the village. The McDermott donation demonstrates the commitment for preservation of open spaces by the owners of land and the trust those owners have in OPS.

In addition to the preservation of the McDermott lots, OPS is currently working on the historic restoration of the Odd Fellows Lodge building and the development of the Island Inn Park. Donations to this project can be made through the OPS website at

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