Park and Recreation
5841 Brookshire Blvd
Charlotte, NC 28216
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► Location & Directions
► History & Description
► Education & Programs
► Flora & Fauna
On November 4, 2008 Mecklenburg County voters approved $250 million in Park Bond projects. One of these projects called for the planning of Evergreen Nature Preserve a 77-acre urban forest, located just three miles from center city Charlotte.
The preserve protects a diversity of habitats and attracts a variety of migratory birds, especially during fall and spring migration. A second community workshop was held in November 2008. The plan included a pedestrian access along Progress Lane, parking at Norland Road, and two educational loop trails at Norland Road and Winterfield Place, and observation decks.
We will hold a third workshop in January and seek the endorsement of the plan by the Park and Recreation Commission in February 2009 and Board of County Commissioners approval in March .
► Take a look at the Evergreen Nature Preserve Master Plan.
Location and Directions
Evergreen Nature Preserve is located in east Charlotte just south of Central Avenue, between Winterfield Place and Norland Road. It is best accessed from Winterfield Elementary School or from a pedestrian entrance on Tarrington Avenue. A future entrance on Norland Road is planned. Get Directions
From Sharon Amity Road and Central Avenue
Travel west (toward center city) two blocks to Rosehaven Drive. Turn left on Rosehaven and continue until it ends at a t-intersection with Winterfield Place. Turn right on Winterfield Place and stay on it until Winterfield Elementary School is on your left. Continue past the school, then turn into the lot just past the building. Park in the back of the lot near the dumpster.
From Eastway Drive and Central Avenue
Travel east (toward Eastland Mall) through the traffic light at Kilborne and Norland. Continue east to the second traffic light at Rosehaven Drive. Turn right on Rosehaven and continue until it ends at a t-intersection with Winterfield Place. Turn right on Winterfield Place. Continue until Winterfield Elementary School is on your left. Continue past the school, then turn into the lot just past the building. Park in the back of the lot near the dumpster.
History and Description
Evergreen Nature Preserve derives its namesake from the adjacent Evergreen Cemetery on Central Avenue. The City of Charlotte purchased 200 acres for Evergreen Cemetery in the early 1940's as an alternative to the nearly full Elmwood Cemetery.
Only 50 acres were developed for plots, and through the years, families in the surrounding neighborhoods of Sheffield Park, Eastway, and Medford Acres used the undeveloped and forested areas of the cemetery for hiking, walking, mountain biking and bird watching.
In April 1977, Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department began discussions with the City of Charlotte on the possibility of utilizing a portion of the undeveloped cemetery for a district park and proposed in its 1989 Park Master Plan a park in the cemetery's vicinity. In December 2000, the community submitted a petition to the Department requesting that nearly 80 acres of the cemetery property be protected as forest habitat and that any needs for active recreation facilities be developed at the adjacent schools instead. 90% of community workshop attendees during that same month supported that proposal. On October 2, 2001, the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners unanimously voted to accept 77 acres of City of Charlotte owned property at Evergreen Cemetery and designate the parcel as nature preserve in accordance with the 1997 Nature Preserve Master Plan. Thus Evergreen Nature Preserve was born.
The preserve's natural communities are primarily upland hardwood forests with a couple of forest openings or glades. Several tributaries flow through the preserve and empty into Edward's Branch and the Edward's Branch wetlands. Remnants of the historic Potter Road, one of the two main roads in Mecklenburg County in 1775, can be seen near the Evergreen Nature Preserve and Sheffield Park border.
Evergreen Nature Preserve contains no restroom facilities or other park amenities. However, new picnic shelters, a playground, and renovations to the basketball and tennis courts are planned for the adjacent Sheffield Park within the next two years.
Evergreen Nature Preserve has 2 miles of trails offering hikers and nature enthusiasts the opportunity to explore a variety of terrains while enjoying scenic views of the forest, fields, and streams. Mountain bikes are not permitted within the preserve.
Dogs are welcome on preserve trails, but must remain on a 6-foot or shorter leash at all times. All trails are marked with color symbols. Download a temporary trail map. A full-color, pocket-sized trail map is planned for the future.
Flora & Fauna
Evergreen Nature Preserve protects habitat for 129 species of birds, a remarkable diversity considering its urban location. Some of the better birdwatching areas are in the forest openings and at the newly constructed Edward's Branch wetlands in adjacent Sheffield Park. Staff are still in the process of documenting the preserve's other plants and animals residents.
Evergreen Nature Preserve has been adopted by Mecklenburg Audubon Society. Members hold regular birdwatching trips and work days at the preserve. For more information, visit www.meckbirds.org.