July 10, 2006
Charlotte, NC--Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department announces a new program that invites citizens to contribute to preserving and managing natural resources close to home.
This program is called “Adopt an Acre,” and this effort is important because more than 40 acres are paved over or lost to development every day in Charlotte.
“If you enjoy watching butterflies dance among prairie wildflowers, owls gazing down from high atop 100-year old trees, and hiking along miles of trails winding through forests with vistas of Mt. Island Lake and Lake Wylie, and you would like to help us keep these fragile and priceless habitats maintained, please consider Adopting An Acre today,” says Michael Kirschman, Park and Recreation’s branch manager for nature preserves.
Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation holds stewardship of more than 5,600 acres of nature preserves. Donations to Adopt An Acre will help protect these properties and preserve wildlife habitat for future generations. In these preserves are:
• Piedmont Prairies, first documented by North Carolina explorers in the 1500’s and 1600’s. Bison and elk once lived in these grasslands, which have now almost disappeared. Only small patches of prairie still exist, mostly in power line rights-of-way, along railway tracks, and in restoration tracts managed by Park and Recreation. These preserves include endangered wildflowers such as the Schweinitz sunflower and smooth purple coneflower.
• Forests composed of both broad leaf trees and needle bearing conifers. Their leaves, branches, natural cavities, and fallen logs provide homes for insects, frogs, small animals, and birds. Forests once blanketed much of North Carolina but are now found in a mosaic of smaller patches, including both those preserved by Park and Recreation.
Adopt An Acre invites citizens to invest in these natural resources through Partners for Parks, a 501(c)3 organization that can accept tax deductible donations. The program seeks adoption of one acre for $50, 10-acres for $100, and 100-acres for $250, although donations of any size will be welcomed. Donations can be earmarked for either forests or piedmont prairies. Patrons will receive a certificate, photograph and information about the property they will help protect.
For more information call Don Seriff at 704 432-1391 or write to Adopt An Acre, 5841 Brookshire Boulevard, Charlotte, NC 28216.