CREEDMOOR — A donation from one of the co-founders of one of the world’s wealthiest video-game companies has enabled the Tar River Land Conservatory to increase the size of a nature preserve near Creedmoor by more than 50%.

Conservancy officials announced recently that their organization had received 83 acres in the Swift Creek area and “a significant financial contribution” from Mark and Tara Rein.

Mark Rein is co-founder and vice president of Epic Games, the Cary software house that makes and publishes Fortnite, the gaming sensation whose success over the past few years has helped push the company’s value to almost $29 billion.

The Tar River Conservancy already owned 158 acres next door, and says it will combine it with the tract acquired from the Reins to create the 242-acre Horseshoe Road Nature Preserve.

Granville County land records show that the conservancy acquired the first 158 acres in 2018, and that a company headed by Mark Rein, Whispering Pines Farm LLC, has owned some 612 acres next door since 2019.

As preserve’s name suggested, the site is off Horseshoe Road, southeast of Creedmoor. Swift Creek passed through the area on its way to Falls Lake, the primary source of drinking water and several other Wake County communities.

Tar River Land Conservancy officials said the donation “will ensure that the land remains permanently undeveloped,” and added that the property “is a combination of hardwood and pine forest and marshy wetlands, which offer important refuge for waterfowl and water birds.”

The conservancy intends to build a network of hiking trails in the Horseshoe Road preserve, with the work beginning this fall, Executive Director Derek Halberg said.

Construction should get underway in October, with a goal of having two miles ready for the public in June 2022.

The conservancy announced the donation on April 21, a day before Earth Day.

Epic’s lead founder and CEO, Tim Sweeney, was involved in another major conservation deal announced on April 22. The Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy announced that it’d signed a letter of intent to acquire 7,500 acres from Sweeney in the Roan Highlands, a mountain wilderness in Avery and Mitchell counties in western North Carolina.

The Tar River conservancy works in Vance, Granville, Warren, Franklin, Person, Halifax, Nash and Edgecombe counties, and by its own count has more than 18,000 acres under protection via outright ownership, conservation easements or other means.

Contact Ray Gronberg at or by phone at 252-436-2850.

Contact Ray Gronberg at or by phone at 252-436-2850.