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Charlotte— Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department invites individuals and groups to take a “Hike for Habitats,” January 23, 2010 at Ribbonwalk Nature Preserve, 4601 Nevin Road. The event takes place 11am-1pm. Participants may come for any or all of the time. A guided hike through the nature preserve starts at 11am.

Hike for Habitats is a way to show support for “wildlife and wild places” in Mecklenburg County. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted. Proceeds go to Partners for Parks, earmarked for nature education programs, trail enhancements, or equipment to remove invasive plants. Donation checks should be made out to Partners for Parks and are tax deductible for most donors.

The event is also a chance to meet people, hear about upcoming outdoor adventure programs, and enjoy Ribbonwalk Nature Preserve, an exceptional 186 acre property which includes majestic old-growth trees and mountain-like terrain. It is on the edge of the Derita community and is one of the largest natural areas near uptown Charlotte.

This year’s event also includes a new Fit-in-Nature program to help participants get in shape for good health. Registration opens at 11 am. Anyone who wants to use the outdoors to get fit can come and learn about this three month program. Full cost is $30.

Mecklenburg County is steward of 6,800 acres of nature preserves with more than 35 miles of nature trails. The preserves provide habitat for wildlife and native plants. Many protect important watersheds. For more information visit and click on Nature Preserves, or call Reedy Creek Nature Center: 704 598-8857.